Dobsonflies are usually over 25 mm long, with large wings and antennae. They are soft-bodied, weak flyers, usually found near water. Some species are attracted to lights at night and can be found far from their breeding site. Larvae are aquatic and occur under stones in streams; they are called helgramites and are used as bait for fishing. Dobsonfly larvae are collected by natives for food in the Peruvian Amazon region. In parts of Mexico, they are considered venomous and feared.

Common alderfly, Archichauliodes diversus Adults are about 30 mm long and orange with speckled wings. Larvae are known as black-creepers. This species occurs in New Zealand.

Dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Fig. I2.ia-c) The adult male is 100-125 mm long and there are long and curving mandibles extending from the head. Females have small mandibles. This species occurs in North America, east of the Rocky Mountains. Eggs are laid in batches and attached with a white covering to objects such as bridges and tree branches above water. After hatching, nymphs drop to the water and crawl under stones, where they are predators on other insects. After about 2.5 years, they leave the water to pupate in the soil along the bank. Adults remain near streams and they are rarely seen, except when they fly to lights at night. The large mandibles on the males make them look more dangerous than they actually are. A related species, C. cognata, isabout6omm long, and occurs in western North America.

Fishfly, Chauliodes rastricornis Adults are 30-50 mm long. The body is brown and the wings are grayish brown. Antennae are pectinate. Adults fly from May to July near lakes and large streams, and occur at lights at night.

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