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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dobsonfly - King Of The Insects

These photos have no sense of scale, but these are one of the largest insects in North America. They spend most of their life in a larval stage, living under water. They are voracious predators, attacking anything that moves. They can deliver a painful bite to anyone foolish enough to handle one.


dobsonfly larvae (Corydalus cornutus) also called a hellgramite

At their adult stage they morph into large winged insect and take to the air to find a mate. I photographed an adult western dobsonfly at night near Trout Lake, Washington.

Corydalus cornutus
female dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus) nocturnal flight

She would easily fill the palm of your hand. Both of these examples are females. The males are note for their giant, stabbing mandibles.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
Husband, Father, Student Of Natural History, Photographer