Summer Fishfly (Chauliodes pectinicornis)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Summer Fishfly.
Updated: 4/11/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A Fishfly doesn't eat fish, but its makes a feast out of the small aquatic insects and plant matter that are found in the same habitat.
Fishflies are part of the Alderfly and Dobsonfly group of winged insects. They are generally noticed for their large size, dark color, and seemingly uncoordinated approach to flight. They have jaws (mandibles) that have saw-like teeth, and long feathery antennae. Their wings are as long, or longer than, their bodies, which fold tightly over each other when closed. Veins cover the transparent wings as well as splotches of coloration.
Males use their jaws to fight over females. Females lay hundreds of fertilized eggs above the water on low-hanging branches or plants. Larvae hatch and drop into the water. They are usually found near underwater vegetation close to moving water, while adults can be found resting on land. Activity is mostly seen at night during the late spring and throughout the summer. Adult Fishflies pull aquatic insects (naiads of dragonflies, water beetles, etc.) out of the water and eat them. They will also eat worms, small bivalves like clams and mussels, and algae. Adults are very drawn to lights at night.