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


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.

3 thoughts on “Hellgrammite”

  1. I found one in Conway Mo July 19, 2014. It was in the river down the street from my house and it got on my nephews shorts.

  2. Growing up in the hills of West Central PA near Hollidaysburg and loving to fish, I found it a delight to walk the edge of streams and catch (what locals called) soft shelled crabs (crayfish) for bass bait. It was in doing that that I was introduced to lifting rocks in fast moving shallow water and finding, what to me, became the best bait for catching crappies, etc. – the hellgrammite. They were tough and you could catch quite a few fish on one bait if you played the game just right. If you try it, one thing you’ll learn early on is those tweezers can inflict a bite that will bring blood but you learn quickly and the pain is short lived. A second thing you’ll learn is that the hellgrammite moves backward more than he’ll go forward; so, you’ve got to be quick in retrieving him from the rock. A third lesson to note – the hellgrammite has 4 little hairlike “feelers” at the tail end. That little critter has a lot of life remaining in him after your hook is slipped under the shell that surrounds the body behind the head (That’s how I put it on the hook for bait). You’ve got to use your finger nails to pitch those little hairs off or sure-a-shootin’ he’ll take your hook under a rock if one is available. If you’ve never tried it before, go lookin’, catch yourself a hand full (recommend having a pail with you- more than 1 in your hand can be a problem) and have fun fishing.


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