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Genus Corydalus - Dobsonflies

Dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus - male Eastern Dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus - female unknown bug - Corydalus cornutus - male hellgrammite up close and personal - Corydalus cornutus Found in Iowa - Corydalus cornutus Male, Corydalus texanus? - Corydalus texanus - male Male, Corydalus texanus? - Corydalus texanus - male Female, Corydalus texanus? - Corydalus texanus - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Megaloptera (Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies)
Family Corydalidae (Dobsonflies and Fishflies)
Subfamily Corydalinae (Dobsonflies)
Genus Corydalus (Dobsonflies)
Other Common Names
Hellgrammites (larvae)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
The similarly-spelled Corydalis DC. is a plant genus
Explanation of Names
Corydalus Latreille 1802
from Greek corys 'helmet, helmet crest' (likely refers to the long mandibles of the male)
3-4 spp. in our area*(1)(2), the most species-rich megalopteran genus of the New World, with 35 described spp. total(3)
Corydalus cornutus: widespread eastern US, west to TX & NM
Corydalus luteus: s. TX
Corydalus texanus: sw. US (CA-CO-TX)
C. bidenticulatus: incidental (established?) in Miller Canyon, AZ; primarily from Mexico
Huge, males have large pincers. Head flares out at neck, unlike fishflies, which taper out gradually.
Neotropical genus ranging into North America.(4) Over 75% of the spp. are South American.(3)

The only eastern nearctic species is C. cornutus, others have limited southwestern distributions.
Larvae are predaceous; adults do not feed.
Life Cycle
Adults live only a few days.
The large mandibles of the males are used to hold the females during mating. The females, with shorter jaws, can bite quite effectively.
Works Cited
1.Systematics of the dobsonfly genus Corydalus (Megaloptera: Corydalidae)
Contreras-Ramos A. 1998. Entomological Society of America, Lanham, MD. 360 pp.
2.Phylogenetic review of dobsonflies of the subfamily Corydalinae and the genus Corydalus Latreille (Megaloptera: Corydalidae)
Contreras-Ramos A. 2011. Zootaxa 2862: 1–38.
3.A new species of Corydalus Latreille from Venezuela (Megaloptera, Corydalidae)
Contreras-Ramos A., von der Dunk K. 2010. ZooKeys 67: 11–19.
4.A guide to the Megaloptera and aquatic Neuroptera of Florida
Rasmussen A.K., Pescador M.L. 2002. Florida Dept of Environmental Protection, Div. Water Resource Management. Tallahassee. iii+45 pp.