Random Insect: Spring fishfly

springfishfly

Spring fishfly (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Chauliodes rastricornis) photographed 05/29/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

Yesterday I came home from work to find this impressively large spring fishfly (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Chauliodes rastricornis) resting on my front door. As the standard US quarter above shows, this individual was about two inches in length.

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Spring fishfly (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Chauliodes rastricornis) photographed 05/29/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

These insects have aquatic larvae that live in relatively calm water littered with detritus. The larvae feed on decaying organic matter and prey on other arthropods. After fattening up they pupate and emerge as adults between April and June, depending on latitude.

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Spring fishfly (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Chauliodes rastricornis) photographed 05/29/2013 near Palmyra, Michigan.

In spite of their large jaws adults only feed on sugary substances like plant sap, if they feed at all. Adults only live for about a week and in that limited time they are far more concerned with mating than eating. This individual was a female, as evidenced by the serrated antennae. Males have pectinate (comb-like) antennae. After mating and laying her eggs near water this female would soon die, leaving the next generation in her stead.

As an aside, some people apparently use the common name “fishfly” to refer to “mayflies,” which are in an entirely different order.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, Random Insect and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Random Insect: Spring fishfly

  1. Part of my connection to the blog world is the amazing pool of knowledge that resides there. I really appreciated both the thorough background information and the excellent photos in your post. Thank you so much for sharing your information.

    Like

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