Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Creature from the Black Lagoon Chauliodes pectinicornis

Summer Fishfly Chauliodes pectinicornis
As I've been saying in the past, don't forget to look around your house, you'll never know what you will find.  The other night, I went outside my front door and on the wall, have been attracted to the outside light was a strange creature, one that I had never seen before.  After going and getting my camera with macro lens and capturing pictures and downloading them, I went to my field guides, and in Kaufman.  "A Field Guide to Insects of North America" in the section of aquatic Neuroptera and Owlflies I found my answer, it was a fishfly.  Fishflies are related to the Dobsonflies, but are recognized from the Dobsonflies by the lack of large jaws.

Fishflies spent most of their life as larvae and the larvae are aggressive predators.  The larvae live in ponds, lakes and quiet parts of streams.  The larvae leave the water to pupate on the barks or in rotten logs.  The adults emerge only to mate and lay eggs.  They probably only live about a week.  Male fishflies can be recognized from female fishflies by their feathery antenna.  There are two species of fishflies: Chauliodes rastricornis, which usually is found in the spring; Chauliodes pectinicornis, which is usually seen in mid to late summer.

Summer Fishfly Chauliodes pectinicornis Close-up of head
Summer Fishfly Chauliodes pectinicornis