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

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Grand River, northeastern Ohio
December 2, 2012 10:14 am
We found this bug in the shallows of the Grand River in NE Ohio in early november. Only the 1st 3 pairs of protrusions are legs, the rest are just spines. 4 inches long end-to-end.
Never seen anything like it. What is it?
Signature: Ian Griffith

Hellgrammite

Hi Ian,
The aquatic Hellgrammite, the larva of the winged Dobsonfly, is a favored bait of freshwater fishermen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ugly bug
Location: North Goergia
August 27, 2012 7:39 pm
Hey my name is Kirby, and I found this thorny larvae, I’m guessing, while i was camping and never seen one before. They were every where, I didn’t kill it cause I didn’t know what it is, but I did relocate it far way from our tent.
Signature: Kirby

Hellgrammite

Hi Kirby,
We have never been able to trace the origin of the name Hellgrammite which is given to this larval Dobsonfly.  The large numbers you witnessed might be one reason the Hellgrammite is a popular bait for freshwater fishermen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hellgrammite pupa
Location: Black River, Springfield VT
June 22, 2012 7:48 am
Our daughter found this under a rock as she was fishing down at our local river. We love river-bugs (benthic macroinvertebrates), as I am the director of the Black River Action Team, a grassroots river group in Windsor County, in SE Vermont.
We have this pupa in a terrarium; it’s been curled up and dormant (unless disturbed, then it wriggles around energetically!) since June 14th. So far, it’s been 8 days…I’m interested to learn how long the pupal stage lasts! I understand the females live as adults just long enough to mate and then lay eggs on structures or vegetation that overhang the water — like the bridge abutments where our daughter was fishing.
Signature: Kelly Stettner, BlackRiverActionTeam.com

Hellgrammite Pupa

Hi Kelly,
We have just started getting Dobsonfly identification requests, and they generally continue until July, so we expect your Hellgrammite Pupa should metamorphose into an adult soon.  Since warmer temperatures arrive later in Vermont than in the more southern portion of the range of the Dobsonfly, you might have a slightly longer wait.  We are uncertain how long the pupal stage of the Dobsonfly lasts, but we know it is not more than a single season.  We expect that pupation takes place in spring to account for a summer emergence.

Daniel, this is great; thank you so much!  I am learning more about bugs than ever before in my life, since moving to our home on the river bank in 2010.  Lots of ID information comes from helping our state water quality lab do “bug picking” each January, but a lot comes from searching the internet and scouring your site.  Learning how the macro setting on my digital camera works has been a big help — got some awesome close-up shots of a burrowing mayfly larvae a couple of years ago!
Would you folks prefer more questions about identification, or are specific queries okay, like my question about the pupal stage of the hellgrammite?
Cheers,
Kelly

Hi again Kelly,
We would really like images of underrepresented species for our site.  We don’t have as many aquatic insects as we would prefer.  Please put the insect name in the subject line to grab our attention.  That said, all inquiries are welcomed, but we can only answer and post a few a day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s This?
Location: Winter, Wisconsn
May 29, 2012 8:38 pm
This is a weird bug that my kids and I found in Northern Wisconsin at a cabin by the Radisson Flowage. During our 3 night stay over Memorial Day weekend 2012 we found 4 of these critters running around. Please help us know what it is. Thanks
Signature: Clint Parker

Hellgrammite

Hi Clint,
This is a Hellgrammite, the larva of a Dobsonfly, and they are generally found close to water.  Hellgrammites are a favored bait for freshwater anglers.  We will be scheduling your letter to post live to our site later in the week as we will be on holiday.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this bug?
Location: Coventry,Ct
May 23, 2012 6:47 am
Mr.Bugman,what is this bug?My husband found it on a job site.It even attacked the tape messure when holding it up to it with his pinchers.
Signature: thanks sheri

Hellgrammite

Hi Sheri,
Try as we might, we have never been able to trace the origin or meaning of the name Hellgrammite, however it seems a very appropriate name for this Dobsonfly Larva.  If you think the larva is a fierce looking creature, take a peek at this adult male.  Dobsonflies and Hellgrammites are harmless, though it is possible to get a nip if the larva or adult female is carelessly handled.  The mandibles of the male are showstoppers, however, one need not worry about getting bitten as they are not functional for biting.  We have always suspected they are used for mating, however, we have never seen a photo to support that theory.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

crazy ant like centipede
Location: tennessee mountains
April 9, 2012 10:13 am
this was found under a rock near a river bank, it tried to burrow into the dirt. It is spring and this was found near a cool mountain river. thanks for your time. it is about 4 nches long and maybe a half inch across the little things on its side do not move like legs..?  this bug is about 4 inches long and a half inch wide. It was found under a rock on a pebble river bank in the tennessee mountains. it’s back ”legs” dont move and it was trying to burrow under a small plant.
Signature: Heather Brannon

Hellgrammite

Hi Heather,
You are not the first person who has mistaken a Hellgrammite for a Centipede.  Hellgrammites are the larval form of Dobsonflies.  Though they are not venomous and are not considered dangerous, both immature Hellgrammites and fully grown female Dobsonflies are capable of inflicting a painful bite if carelessly handled.  Male Dobsonflies, despite their formidable looking mandibles, are not capable of biting humans.  Hellgrammites are a prized bait among freshwater anglers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination