Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Corydalus - Dobsonflies

Eastern Dobsonfly - Corydalus cornutus - male ID request - Corydalus cornutus Scary looking - Corydalus cornutus - male On my porch at night.   - Corydalus texanus Corydalus cornutus - female Unknown - Corydalus cornutus - female Unknown Insect - Corydalus - female Male, Corydalus texanus? - Corydalus texanus - male
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 (the larvae)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Corydalis 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)
Huge, males have large pincers. Head flares out at neck, unlike fishflies, which taper out gradually.
Species might not be separable without seeing the genitalia. Almost all of the strictly western specimens (AZ, UT, CA, most NM) will surely be C. texanus based on distribution. --A.B. Richards, pers. comm. to =v= 9.ii.2015
neotropical genus ranging into NA(4); >3/4 of the spp. are S. American(3)
The only eastern nearctic species is C. cornutus, others have limited southwestern distributions: C. luteus so. TX; C. texanus sw. US (CA-CO-TX); the Mexican C. bidenticulatus incidental (established?) in Miller Canyon, AZ
Larvae are predaceous
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.