Friday, August 14, 2009

Ferocious creatures, big and small

Giant Megaloptera insect - Corydalus cornutus

This amazing insect, over 4 inches (10 cm) long, was sitting on a gas station wall on our way to Connecticut on Monday. What a beast! It is a male dobsonfly, in the order Megaloptera, named after its giant wings of course. Wikipedia says dobsonflies are "known as "the king bug" because of their intimidating mandibles", but the males can actually not bite anyone with them and only use them to hold on the female while mating. Imagine carrying around something that big that you don't use that much! And they live most of their life as larvae in streams, only to come up and hatch to live for a week. I have never seen one before, and even if amazing I wouldn't want one of these caught in my hair at night. (Two more photos of this on Flickr, photo 1 and photo 2)