Majave River
Location: Mojave River, Southern Califorina
July 4, 2011 3:40 pm
We were at the Mojave River and saw this bug in the water. It kinda looks like a larva of some sort, but in all honesty i have no idea what it is and was hoping you would be able to identify it for us.
Thanks for your time
Signature: The Green Family


Dear Green Family,
This is the larva of a Dobsonfly, commonly called a Hellgrammite.  Most of our specimens are of the Eastern Dobsonfly, though several species are known to range in California, however they are not well documented.  This is one of the Western Dobsonflies.  See BugGuide for additional information.

Location: California

5 Responses to Hellgrammite from California

  1. BetsyFinstad says:

    I used to love looking for these in the ditch when I was a kid (I lived in a very rural marshy area in VT) but I never knew they were Dobsonfly larvae! I did know they were called Hellgrammites though. Glad to know more about them almost 20 years later 🙂

  2. ProjectScaliber says:

    This past month I caught a bunch of hellgrammites by my work site in Moreno Valley, Riverside County of Southern California, I found a interesting trait as they are cannibalistic, and some carry a Barb on the tail like that of a hookworm

  3. Rich Freitas says:

    I have went up the Sacramento river, above the damn. I was with both of my brother’s, Steve & Johnny. Before going down to the river we asked the guy in the store if anyone was catching any fish? He told us that no one was catching anything, nothing hopeful. My brother Steve was looking under rocks for helgies. We all started looking and before long we had quite a few. The first cast nailed a 3lb rainbow. We had a blast, I can’t remember if we caught 12 or 14 trout, ( all good sized fish )!! We went back to the store and showed the guy the fish. He couldn’t believe that we had just caught those in the river. He asked where we got em’? I asked myself, “where does he think we got them?” My brother Steve answered him by saying, “in the water” I’ll never forget that day or the Hellgrammite’s!!!

    • bugman says:

      Awesome story. Doesn’t the store owner know that fishermen are notoriously protective of their best fishing spots?

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