Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Subject: What is this bug??
Location: New Zealand
February 8, 2016 2:23 am
Sorry, my partner got a little freaked out and the bug got swatted ?
Have never seen anything like this before in NZ!
Almost like a cross between a fly and a dragon fly!
Signature: Kim

Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand
Smashed Dobsonfly from New Zealand

Dear Kim,
We are feeling sad that the first Dobsonfly image we have received from New Zealand has to be tagged as Unnecessary Carnage.  We found an image on FlickR that is identified as
Archichauliodes diversus, and we found another image on Hidden New Zealand Photographaphy where it states:  “New Zealand only has one Dobson fly species, They are also known as toe-bitters, due to their larva having large jaws and their tendency to bite :).”  We suspect the common name of the larva is Toe-Biter, and that is a very commonly used name for the North American Giant Water Bug despite North America having its own species of Dobsonflies.  iNaturalist states:  “Archichauliodes diversus is an insect in the subfamily Corydalinae – the Dobsonflies. In its larval form It is commonly known by the name toe-biter, and its Maori name is puene. The species is native to New Zealand. Although there are other species of Dobsonfly in other parts of the world including Asia, Australia (Archichauliodes guttiferus) and South America, Archichauliodes diversus is the only species of Dobsonfly in New Zealand. The Dobsonfly larva is the largest species of freshwater insect found in fresh water and the only family representatives in New Zealand.”  The site also states:  “The biggest threat to dobsonflies is human intervention,[14] by removing over hanging bush and trees from the waterways. This has a significant negative impact as it is a critical part in the life cycle of the Dobsonfly.[10] The Dobsonfly is only found in good quality water. Any pollution could do serious damage to not only the Dobsonfly but also other species that could be potential food source.”  Csiro has some good information on Australian Dobsonflies.  Though its larva is called a Toe-Biter (or Toe-bitter), they are not considered dangerous to humans.  Adult Dobsonflies might also bite if carelessly handled, but they do not pose any threat to humans.  We hope that should you happen to encounter another individual in the future, you will allow it to survive and that you will provide us with an image of a living Dobsonfly.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for that information, I will definitely make sure next time my partner doesn’t get to it first.
We live on a golf course so hopefully I will encounter another one and I will definitely take a pic for you ?
Kind regards,

2 thoughts on “Dobsonfly from New Zealand”

  1. What are they doing in my house, car patio,and everywhere I look ?, I live in Oregon, and how can I get rid of them,they bite more than just my toes?

  2. What are they doing in my house, car patio,and everywhere I look ????, I live in Oregon, and how can I get rid of them,they bite more than just my toes?


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