Eastern dobsonfly (adult), hellgrammite (larva) Corydalus cornutus (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Corydalinae)
Male and female eastern dobsonflies.
view on EDIS

How to Cite

Hall, Donald W. 2013. “Eastern Dobsonfly (adult), Hellgrammite (larva) Corydalus Cornutus (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Corydalinae): EENY414/IN987, 4/2013”. EDIS 2013 (6). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-in987-2013.


The eastern dobsonfly is one of our largest non-lepidopteran insects. Its larvae, known as hellgrammites, are the top invertebrate predators in rocky streams where they occur. Adult male dobsonflies are particularly spectacular because of their large sickle-shaped mandibles (jaws). This 4-page fact sheet was written by Donald W. Hall and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, April 2013.


view on EDIS


Arnett Jr. RH. 2000. American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida. 1003 pp. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781482273892

Contreras-Ramos A. (1997). Corydalus. Tree of Life Web Project. http://www.tolweb.org/Corydalus (17 April 2013).

Baker JR, Neunzig HH. 1968. The egg masses, eggs and first-instar larvae of the eastern North American Corydalidae. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 61: 1181-1187. https://doi.org/10.1093/aesa/61.5.1181

Barclay A, Portman RW, Hill PSM. 2005. Tracheal gills of the dobsonfly larvae, or hellgrammite Corydalus cornutus L. (Megaloptera: Corydalidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 78: 181-185. https://doi.org/10.2317/0409.23.1

Hoover JJ, Gage KL, Paulissen MS. 1988. Hellgrammite respiration - temperature's role in ectotherm physiology. The American Biology Teacher 50: 39-42. https://doi.org/10.2307/4448631

Mangan BP. 1992. Oviposition of the dobsonfly (Corydalus cornutus, Megaloptera) on a large river. American Midland Naturalist 127: 348-354. https://doi.org/10.2307/2426541

Mangan BP. 1994. Pupation ecology of the dobsonfly Corydalus cornutus (Corydalidae: Megaloptera) along a large river. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 9: 57-62. https://doi.org/10.1080/02705060.1994.9664427

McCafferty WP Provonsha AV. 1983. Aquatic Entomology: The Fisherman's and Ecologist's Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. Portola Valley, California. 448 pp.

Neunzig HH Baker JR. Order Megaloptera. 1991. In Stehr, FW, editor. Immature Insects, Vol. 2. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dubuque, Iowa. pp. 112-122.

Parfin S. 1952. Notes on the bionomics of Corydalus cornutus (Linne), Chauliodes rastricornis Rambur, C. pectinicornis (Linne) and Neohermes sp. American Midland Naturalist 47: 426-434. https://doi.org/10.2307/2422271

Simonsen TJ, Dombroskie JJ, Lawrie DD. 2008. Behavioral observations on the dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus (Megaloptera: Corydalidae) with photographic evidence of the use of the elongate mandibles in the male. American Entomologist 54: 167-169. https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/54.3.167

Voshell JR. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia. 442 pp.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.