/dob"seuhn fluy'/, n., pl. dobsonflies.
a large, soft-bodied insect, Corydalus cornutus, having four distinctly veined membranous wings, biting mouthparts, and, in the male, huge mandibles that jut out from the head. Cf. hellgrammite.
[1900-05; after surname Dobson; see FLY2]

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Any insect of the family Corydalidae with four net-veined wings, found in North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

The species Corydalus cornutus has a wingspread of about 5 in. (13 cm), and the male has very large jaws (mandibles) of about 1 in. (2.5 cm) or more. Females lay eggs near streams. Larvae live in the streams and, with their strong biting mouthparts, are ferocious predators on other aquatic insects and small invertebrates. Sometimes called hellgrammites or toebiters, they can inflict painful bites on humans; they are eaten by fish, especially bass, and are used as bait by fishermen.

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also called  fishfly  

      any of a group of insects (order Megaloptera) that are usually large and have four net-veined wings of similar size and shape. Dobsonflies are found in North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

      Corydalus cornutus is a large insect with a wingspread of about 13 cm (5 inches). The jaws (or mandibles) are considerably larger in the male than in the female and are characteristic of the insect's sexual dimorphism. They may exceed 2.5 cm (1 inch) in the male. Females lay up to about 3,000 eggs in whitish clusters near streams. After the eggs hatch, the young larvae crawl to the water and mature there in two or three years. The larvae are blackish in colour and live beneath stones in rapidly flowing streams. Large, older larvae may be up to 8 cm (3.15 inches) long and have strong biting mouthparts and are ferocious predators on other aquatic insects and small invertebrates. They can also inflict painful bites on humans. Mature larvae migrate from their freshwater habitat to wet soil, moss, or decaying vegetation near the water to form pupal cells from which adults emerge. The larvae, sometimes known as hellgrammites, or toebiters, are eaten by fish, especially bass, and are used as bait by fishermen. Megaloptera larvae also are important as biotic environmental indicators due to their high intolerance of water pollution.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dobsonfly — Protohermes grandis Scientific classification …   Wikipedia

  • dobsonfly — ☆ dobsonfly [däb′sənflī΄ ] n. pl. dobsonflies any of a family (Corydalidae) of large neuropteran insects whose larvae live in water: the male, in some species, develops enormous mandibles …   English World dictionary

  • dobsonfly — noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: circa 1904 a winged insect (family Corydalidae) that has very long slender mandibles in the male and a large carnivorous aquatic larva and that is now usually considered a neuropteran compare hellgrammite …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dobsonfly — noun An insect of the subfamily Corydalinae whose males have long mandibles, found in the Americas and related mostly closely to the fishfly …   Wiktionary

  • dobsonfly — soft bodied insect with large mandibles Unusual Animals …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • dobsonfly — noun (plural dobsonflies) a large North American winged insect related to the alderflies, whose aquatic larva (the hellgrammite) is used as fishing bait. [Corydalis cornutus and other species.] Origin early 20th cent.: of unknown origin …   English new terms dictionary

  • dobsonfly — dob•son•fly [[t]ˈdɒb sənˌflaɪ[/t]] n. pl. flies ent a very large, soft bodied neuropteran insect, Corydalus cornutus, commonly seen in fluttery flight above streams, noted for its abundant aquatic larvae Compare hellgrammite • Etymology: 1900–05; …   From formal English to slang

  • dobsonfly — noun large soft bodied insect having long slender mandibles in the male; aquatic larvae often used as bait • Syn: ↑dobson, ↑dobson fly, ↑Corydalus cornutus • Hypernyms: ↑neuropteron, ↑neuropteran, ↑neuropterous insect …   Useful english dictionary

  • Corydalus cornutus — Adult male eastern dobsonfly Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • neuropteran — /noo rop teuhr euhn, nyoo /, adj. 1. neuropterous. n. 2. Also, neuropteron. a neuropterous insect. [1835 45; < NL Neuropter(a), neut. pl. of neuropterus (see NEUROPTEROUS) + AN] * * * ▪ insect Introduction       any of a group of insects commonly …   Universalium

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