Bug Season Begins with a Bang
NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) had predicted a cooler, wetter winter than average for us, which I was looking forward to. It was maybe a little cooler than usual, but I didn’t get the weeks of cold wet weather I love (so that I can sit inside and read guilt-free), and now spring is here. The trees are leafing out, and the insects have started to appear. So I will just switch gears and enjoy spotting wild creatures.
This lovely insect was on my window screen the other day. I’m sure it had come up the night before, attracted by the lamp inside.
I did not measure it but I believe it was about 2 inches (5 cm) long. I was really struck by the beautiful sweeping lines on its wings.
I thought it might be in the Dobsonfly family, and found it in the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America on the same page, but it is a Fishfly; in the same family, Corydalidae, in the sub-family Chauliodinae, but after that, BugGuide has six genera, and I give up trying to classify this exact insect.
The guidebook says that the larvae are predatory but that adults eat either nectar or nothing, but that female Dobsonflies can deliver a painful bite.
I wonder how long they live in the adult stage. I am always so amazed at how complex insects are when you look at them close up, especially when they are a species that doesn’t spend a lot of time in the adult stage!
(If you want to know whether you’ll be able to stay inside and read guilt-free anytime soon, here are NOAA’s prediction maps for the next few months.)