Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Corydalidae - Dobsonflies and Fishflies

Male Dobson Fly - Corydalus cornutus - male Fishfly - Chauliodes pectinicornis - male Nigronia - Nigronia fasciata Spring Fishfly Chauliodes rastricornis ? - Chauliodes rastricornis Western Dobsonfly? (Corydalus cognata) - Neohermes californicus Chauliodes rastricornis Chauliodes pectinicornis - female Chauliodes pectinicornis - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Megaloptera (Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies)
Family Corydalidae (Dobsonflies and Fishflies)
19 spp. in 7 genera in our area(1)
25-80 mm; Corydalis cornutus males can have a 14 cm wing-span and bear elongate sickle-shaped mandibles >4 cm long(1)
Large insects with soft bodies and delicate wings. Adults often found near aquatic habitat of the larvae. Key characters:
Wings folded flat over back at rest
Ocelli (simple eyes) present
Fourth segment of tarsi rounded (flattened in Sialidae)
Antennae quite variable, may be filiform (thread-like), moniliform (like beads on a string), pectinate (comb-like)
Males of many species have enlarged mandibles, presumably used in competition for mates
Eastern genera: Chauliodes, Corydalus, Neohermes, Nigronia; western genera: Neohermes, Dysmicohermes (nw. NA), Orohermes (Pacific coast), and Protochauliodes (w. US; Australia, New Zealand, Chile)
Larvae aquatic
larvae feed on aquatic insects, tadpoles, and small fish(1)
Life Cycle
Larvae go through 7-8 instars and take 2-3 years or longer to reach maturity; adults either do not feed, or feed on small quantities of nectar and fruit juices(1)
Print References
Works Cited
1.Species catalog of the Neuroptera, Megaloptera, and Raphidioptera of America North of Mexico
Penny N.D., Adams P.A., Stange L.A. 1997. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 50: 39-114.
2.Aquatic Insects of California
Robert L. Usinger, Editor. 1956. University of California Press.