Pictured here is an adult female Dobson Fly. I was near a marshland when I stumbled upon this creature on a wooden handrail one April morning.
As you can see here, the length of this animal is approximately equal to the thickness of the 2×6 lumber that makes up the handrail. In other words, about 1.75 inches long. Big for an insect.
This shot gives you another view of its long membranous wings. You can’t see all four of them because they are nicely folded. What you can see are the beautiful vein patterns of the outer wings.
In the final shot you get a full on view of this lady’s face. Note the size of the jaws here. The ladies of this species can bite while the males, whose jaws are much longer, are unable to bite or pinch. Their jaws being primarily ornamental.
Depending on the environmental temperature, Corydalus cornutus, the Eastern Dobson Fly, can complete its lifecycle in 1 to 3 years. Their larvae live in water and prey on insects, tadpoles, and small fish. Their bite is legendary to fishermen like my Grandfather who used to catch them to use for trout bait in Montana. I was suprised to see this girl so far south and near sluggish water to boot. However, this species is known throughout central and eastern Texas. I photographed this one in Fort Worth.