Definitions for dobsonflyˈdɒb sənˌflaɪ
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word dobsonfly
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a very large, soft-bodied neuropteran insect, Corydalus cornutus, commonly seen in fluttery flight above streams, noted for its abundant aquatic larvae.
Ref: Compare hellgrammite.
Origin of dobsonfly:
1900–05; appar. after surname Dobson
dobson, dobsonfly, dobson fly, Corydalus cornutus(noun)
large soft-bodied insect having long slender mandibles in the male; aquatic larvae often used as bait
An insect of the subfamily Corydalinae whose males have long mandibles, found in the Americas and related mostly closely to the fishfly.
A Dobsonfly is any insect of the subfamily Corydalinae, part of the megalopteran family Corydalidae. There are over 220 species of dobsonflies. Dobsonflies are found throughout the Americas and Asia, as well as South Africa. Their closest relatives are the fishflies. Both male and female dobsonflies can reach lengths up to five inches, measured from the tips of their pincers to the tips of their four wings. Their wingspans can be twice as long as their body length. The wings are densely lined with intersecting veins. When not in use, the wings are folded along the length of their bodies. Dobsonflies have long, multi-segmented antennae. Though both male and female dobsonflies have sharp mandibles, those of an adult male dobsonfly are actually so big – up to 1 inch – that they are unable to harm humans, as they have such poor leverage that they are incapable of breaking the skin. Their mandibles are used exclusively during mating, where males show them off and grasp the females during copulation. Female dobsonflies, however, retain the short, powerful pincers they had as larvae, so they can inflict painful bites, which can draw blood. Notwithstanding the males' inability to inflict harm, when threatened both sexes will raise their heads and spread their jaws menacingly. They are not venomous, but possess an irritating, foul-smelling anal spray as a last-ditch defense.
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