Please identify this weird bug for me.
Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:44 AM
I was visiting my parents’ lake cottage in the Adirondack Mountains in mid-June and found this bug by the downstairs brick patio. It was raining heavily and he was just sitting in a dry spot. It was about 11 pm. I scooped him up in a dish and found 2 more of the same size in the same vicinity. It was very docile and didn’t freak out when I picked him up; didn’t try to strike or fight at all. He wasn’t affected by light or water. (I flushed his two friends down the toilet and they didn’t struggle at all when put into the water.) I put him in a baggie and took his picture with a measuring tape to show his size. I left him in the baggie hoping he would suffocate and I could keep his body to show people for identification, but he chewed through the baggie and disappeared. I went back to the area where I found him and his friends but haven’t seen any since. This is in a pine-y, wooded area next to a lake. Pine needles are more abundant than grass. The patio where he wa s sitting is made of brick pavers. My parents also have a jacuzzi tub on the same patio, but they were not next to it when I found them. I am at a loss, finding nothing online even close to this bug to compare. Help!
Thank you for your assistance.
Upstate New York, Adirondack Mountains, Lake Algonquin


You have found Hellgrammites, the larvae of Dobsonflies.  We really don’t condone flushing living things down the toilet.  Hellgrammites are semiaquatic and can survive total emersion for a period of time.  We would like to believe that the two individuals that were flushed will emerge unscathed at the end of the line, but that is probably just a fantasy.

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