Eastern Dobsonfly

Like deer hunters going years without seeing that one “big buck”, entomologists have their own, albeit smaller, trophy to chase after: a male eastern dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus).  Males of this species have intimidatingly large mandibles, which can be over an inch long.  I’ve never seen one live myself, but have had several pictures come in to the diagnostic lab this summer.  The larvae (called hellgrammites) live in fast moving rivers and streams.  The adults are strong fliers and can be attracted to lights at night.

Eastern Dobsonfly_opt
Eastern Dobsonfly (male). Photo courtesy of Karen Vornholt.