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Dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Dobsonfly.


 Updated: 5/21/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org



  Dobsonfly  
Picture of Dobsonfly


The large jaws and long mandibles on a male Dobsonfly may cry 'caution', but it's the fierce bite from a female that should have you on guard.





Male Dobsonflies look quite fearsome, with what appear to be tentacle-like appendages for mouth parts. The truth is, the males of the species cannot bite and are considered harmless to humans. The females, on the other hand, can deliver quite a painful bite from her strong jaws if she is agitated. Male Dobsonflies have long, fleshy mandibles that can look like a second set of short 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. The net-veined wings have small white dots on them and they slightly overlap at the midline.

Dobsonflies begin life as aquatic larvae before graduating to status as an airborne insect. They feed on tadpoles, small fish, and other young aquatic larvae from other species (like dragonfly naiads and stonefly hellgrammites). Larvae look like underwater centipedes early in life, and adults keep watch over them from a nearby area above the water. All larvae can bite, requiring care when handling. The threat of a nip on the finger does not stop anglers from using them as live bait.

Adults are primarily nocturnal (night dwellers) and are naturally drawn to light sources at night. They do not eat. Instead, they spend their days focused on reproducing the next generation of Dobsonflies.
Basic Information
Common Name: Dobsonfly
Scientific Name: Corydalus cornutus
Category: Alderfly or Dobsonfly


General Identification
Size (Adult; Length): 50mm to 127mm (1.95in to 4.95in)
Colorwheel Graphic
Identifying Colors: black; brown; gray; white
Additional Descriptors: mouth, antennae, long, extra, flying, biting, jaws




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Megaloptera
Family: Corydalidae
Genus: Corydalus
Species: cornutus




Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed below as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections below indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico


Territorial Area Map (Visual Reference Guide)
The map below showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Dobsonfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some species are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America.
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Images Gallery for the Dobsonfly
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