Common questions

Can a Dobsonfly hurt you?

Can a Dobsonfly hurt you?

Adult male dobsonflies have long, curved mandibles, but they are harmless to humans. Females and larvae have smaller, sharper pincers that can pierce human skin. Dobsonflies only bite when handled roughly, and while the bite is painful, the effects of a bite do not last very long.

What Does a Female Dobsonfly look like?

Description of dobsonflies Adults measure two to four inches from the front of the head to the wing tips. They are soft-bodied and brownish-gray with the wings held rooflike over the body. Males have long, curved, sickle-shaped mandibles (jaws) approximately 1 inch in length. The females have short inconspicuous jaws.

What is a Helga might?

Hellgrammites live underneath rocks, submerged logs, and debris in the swift river currents, hunting and feeding on other macro-invertebrates. Hellgrammites are a useful in identifying the quality of their river habitats because they can survive only in relatively clean and well oxygenated water.

What do Dobson flies do?

Dobsonflies develop from underwater larvae known as hellgrammites. The larvae live for up to three years among rocks on the bottom of flowing rivers and streams where they feed on insects and small fish. Though they don’t feed on people, both adults and larvae will bite if handled carelessly.

How can you tell if a Dobsonfly is male or female?

Male Dobsonflies have long, fleshy mandibles that can look like a second set of short, rubbery antennae. Females have a short jaw with large pincers. Both genders are a taupe color and have large wings that cover the body when viewed from overhead.

Do dobsonflies eat mosquitoes?

They are able to breathe in and out of the water and they crawl to rocks or debris in soil to pupate. The aquatic larvae has a pronounced snout for stabbing and eating mosquito larvae and pupae.

How do Dobsonflies mate?

(2008) have given detailed descriptions of the mating behavior of dobsonflies. As part of the premating ritual, males place their elongated jaws on the wings of the females perpendicular to the axis of the female’s wings. The male’s jaws also function in jousting with rival males.

Are Dobsonflies beneficial?

Dobsonflies and hellgrammites are beneficial insects. They are a key component of the food chain for fish that live in the streams and rivers where they are found. The predatory nature of the larvae helps keep other species in check, including blackflies, a serious biting pest.

What is a Hellgrammite nymph?

Hellgrammites are the larvae of eastern dobsonflies. They are aquatic, somewhat flattened, and usually some shade of dark brown, tan, or black. The winged adults, called dobsonflies, are large, soft bodied, usually a drab gray, black, or brown, with prominent pincers and long antennae.

What happens if a Dobsonfly bites you?

While their large mandibles might seem terrifying, Dobsonflies are harmless to humans, as they do not cause any structural damage, bite or sting, or even transmit diseases. The females are able to bite, but these cases are very rare, and their bite has no lasting effects.

How do dobsonflies mate?

What kind of flies have two hooks on the abdomen?

They have two hooks on the end of the abdomen. A dobsonfly, Corydalus sp. (Neuroptera: Corydalidae), male. Photo by C. L. Cole. Alderflies (Neuroptera: Sialidae) are similar to dobsonflies but smaller. Larvae of alderflies differ from hellgrammites in that they lack the two hooks at the end of the abdomen.

What kind of antennae does a dobsonfly have?

Description: Dobsonflies are large (can be over 2 inches long), and have long antennae. Their large, many veined forewings are often mottled. When at rest, wings are held flat over the back and extend beyond the abdomen. Males have long, extended curved mandibles which are used to grasp the female during mating.

How big does a Dobson fly larvae get?

Larvae grow up to three inches in length are dull colored and have gill filaments and feathery gill clusters along the sides of the abdomen. There are two hooks at the end of the abdomen. Hellgrammites are used occasionally as an excellent fish bait. Larvae can inflict a painful bite when mishandled.

How are the larvae of dobsonflies different from alderflies?

Larvae of dobsonflies differ from those of their sister clade, the alderflies, in that they bear eight pairs of lateral processes as well as anal prolegs with a pair of terminal hooks used to hold themselves to substrate, and also in that they lack a terminal filament. At the end of the abdomen is a pair of claw-like structures.

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