Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Interested in a 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico?

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Previous events


Family Corydalidae - Dobsonflies and Fishflies

Corydalus cornutus - male Eastern Dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus - male Eastern Dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus - female Huge Fly Spring Fishfly - Chauliodes rastricornis - female corydalid larva large laced wing - Neohermes concolor Nigronia serricornis
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 wingspan and bear elongate sickle-shaped mandibles >4 cm long(1)
large insects with soft bodies and delicate wings
key characters:
wings folded flat over back at rest
ocelli (simple eyes) present
fourth segment of tarsi rounded (flattened in Sialidae)
antennae variable: may be filiform (thread-like), moniliform (like beads on a string), serrate (toothed), pectinate (comb-like)
males of some 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 are aquatic.
Adults are terrestrial but often found near aquatic habitat of larvae, and may come to lights.
Larvae feed on aquatic insects, tadpoles, and small fish.(1)
Adults either do not feed, or feed on small quantities of nectar and fruit juices.(1)
Life Cycle
The aquatic larvae go through 7-8 instars and take 2-3 years or longer to reach maturity.
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.