Currently viewing the category: "Hellgrammite"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  West slope of the Cascades, Washington.  Ele 2000 ft
Date: 03/25/2018
Time: 01:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Saw this walking on the snow.  Some kind of wood eater?  There is natural hot springs in the area.
How you want your letter signed:  Dylan Rhys

Fishfly Larva

Dear Dylan,
Because the critter in your image looks so similar to a Hellgrammite, we are concluding that it is a nymph in the same family, and that it is most likely the nymph of a Fishfly.  Unfortunately, there is not much visual documentation of the larvae of western species.  What excites us most about your submission is that we can tag your posting as a Snow Bug.

Fishfly Larva

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Underwater centipede??
Geographic location of the bug:  Alta, CA
Date: 12/08/2017
Time: 12:29 AM EDT
So, our house wraps around the remnants of a historic gold mine with access to the mine from a back door. There is a fresh water spring that flows from miles back, with several small, dammed pools about a quarter mile in. Today while spelunking, we crossed the path of a peculiar centipede looking insect below the water in a pool about 8 to 10 inches deep! He had a sort of swim/crawl movement and I’d say about 3 inches long and a half inch thick. Wondering if he’s a native ethereal dweller or some sort of astral crosser come to us from The Upsidedown.
How you want your letter signed:  the good people of InnerEarth

Aquatic Larva, probably Dobsonfly

Dear good people of InnerEarth,
This is an aquatic larva of a flying insect, and we are relatively certain it is a member of the family Corydalidae, which includes Dobsonflies and Fishflies.  The similar looking larva of the Eastern Dobsonfly is known as a Hellgrammite.  Here is a BugGuide image of a Fishfly larva.  Your larva might be that of a California Dobsonfly,
Neohermes californicus

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Satan’s spawn
Location: Northern Maine
May 29, 2016 6:34 pm
Any idea what this could be? Was in northern Maine near The Forks and river. Quite a few around. Bleeeeeech!
Signature: Nanci “I’m not touching that” Sullivan

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Dear Nanci,
This is the larva of a Dobsonfly, and we are very amused at your subject line because Dobsonfly Larvae are known as Hellgrammites, and we have never to our satisfaction been able to determine the etymology of that name, which might actually mean “Satan’s Spawn.”  Though they are not considered dangerous, Hellgrammites can deliver a painful pinch that might even draw blood in some instances.  Hellgrammites are a prized bait for freshwater fishermen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?!
Location: Tennessee
May 17, 2016 12:45 pm
Found near a creek. Wriggling around on a rock. What is it?
Signature: Raya D Whitworth

Dobsonfly Pupa

Dobsonfly Pupa

Dear Raya,
This is the pupa of a Dobsonfly.  We get numerous submissions of images of adult Dobsonflies, and we get a fair number of images of larval Dobsonflies known as Hellgrammites, but images of Dobsonfly pupae are not that common.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found at south Carolina lake house
Location: South Carolina
April 3, 2016 5:19 pm
I found this in the driveway of my parent’s home in South south Carolina. It’s very slow and about 5 inches long. It’s head is flat with large pincers. The front half looks like a beetle, hard segments, 6 segmented legs. The rest looks like a centipede. It has multiple segments with what seem like non functioning legs.
Signature: Curious in Carolina

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

Dear Curious,
Though we have never been able to identify successfully the etymological origin of the word Hellgrammite, it is nonetheless an appropriate name for the impressive larva of the Dobsonfly.  While five inches seems like a bit of an exaggeration, Hellgrammites are large insects.  Hellgrammites are found near sources of water since they are aquatic, but they will move to drier ground to pupate.  Adult Dobsonflies should begin to appear in your area very soon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Long black bug with pinchers?
Location: Hudson valley, ny
June 5, 2015 10:24 am
Hi.
I found this bug dead in an abandoned farmhouse in central new york in late may. The underside was a an orangey-brown color and I’ve never seen a bug like this in that area before. At first I thought it was a queen termite or something, vit that doesn’t seem to be the case. Do you guys have any clue to what this is?
Signature: – its very scary pls help

Hellgrammite

Hellgrammite

We are speculating that the farmhouse was near a stream or river.  This is a dessicated Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly.  Both Hellgrammites and female Dobsonflies are known to bite, and they may draw blood with their powerful mandibles, but they are considered harmless, and Hellgrammites are prized bait for freshwater anglers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination