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

Subject:  Biting Dragonfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Fussa, Japan
Date: 07/14/2018
Time: 02:29 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw this big insect at church today. A Japanese man told me they call it a dragonfly and that it bites.
How you want your letter signed:  Ms. Beth

Dobsonfly: Protohermes grandis

Dear Ms. Beth,
This is not a Dragonfly.  It is a Dobsonfly or Fishfly in the family Corydalidae, and females have formidable mandibles that might even draw blood if they bite, but they are not considered dangerous.  We believe we identified the species as
 Protohermes grandis on The Royal Society Publishing site.  We verified that on Minden Pictures.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  9” long insect in PA!
Geographic location of the bug:  Enola, Pennsylvania
Date: 07/08/2018
Time: 05:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi – I found this large insect on my exterior house wall early evening, July 8th, 2018. It did not move at all, as I was taking the photo or when I placed the measuring tape next to it. We have 20 acres of woods around us, so our home is pretty shaded. Native? I have lived here 13 years and I have not seen this insect before. I sent the image to my neighbor and he said he saw the same insect, last week, also for the first time,  by his office in York, PA. His office is located in an industrial area. Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Anneli

Wrote wrong dimensions in question.
Hi – I submitted an insect ID question this morning, but being European I wrote 9” instead of about 9 cm! Sorry – Anneli

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Anneli,
Even at a more modest four inches in length, the male Dobsonfly startles many folks upon their first encounter, and even subsequent encounters trigger fear, but the male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless.  His impressive mandibles cannot harm a human.  They are used during the mating ritual.  Semi-aquatic laval Dobsonflies, known as Hellgrammites, are used as bait by many fishermen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Whats this bug??
Geographic location of the bug:  Virginia
Date: 07/04/2018
Time: 08:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Woke up this morning to this bug glued to the side of the house
How you want your letter signed:  Mr Ward

Female Dobsonfly

Dear Mr. Ward,
This comely beauty is a female Dobsonfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Please identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Iowa
Date: 06/17/2018
Time: 07:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please tell what this is
How you want your letter signed:  Steve

Male Dobsonfly

Dear Steve,
Despite his fearsome appearance, this male Dobsonfly is perfectly harmless.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  2″ bug on screen
Geographic location of the bug:  Waleska Ga.
Date: 06/09/2018
Time: 09:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  He’s about 2″ long, looks like bark on a tree.
How you want your letter signed:  Cyndi

Female Dobsonfly: Ventral view

Dear Cyndi,
This is a female Dobsonfly.  Though considered harmless, she has powerful mandibles that should be avoided as she can deliver a painful bite.

Female Dobsonfly: Dorsal view

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Big weird bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Rhode Island
Date: 06/02/2018
Time: 08:24 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please tell me what this thing is because I am terrified
How you want your letter signed:  Enrique

Hellgrammite

Dear Enrique,
This is a Hellgrammite, the larval form of the Dobsonfly.  Both adults and larvae are quite fierce looking, but they have no venom and they are harmless to humans, though female Dobsonflies and Hellgrammites have powerful mandibles that might deliver a painful pinch.  Freshwater fishermen often use Hellgrammites for bait.

Thanks man! That’s crazy, when I saw it I had no idea what it was lol

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination