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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Large flying insect with two set of pincers.


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I'm trying to figure out what type of bug this is. I was sitting out by a fire and this bug flew by me once then landed on me. It has very long legs and a set of pincers at the base of each antenna. It could arch its entire body up and down and was definitely larger than my hand. Can you help me? I've never seen anything like it before.

Hi, Rhiley:

Thank you for including the images with your question, though I might have gotten the answer right even from your description alone.

The insect is an adult female Eastern Dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus .  Here is more information:

I'm going to have to do a blog post about these, I think.  This is the second question in as many days that I've had pertaining to these huge insects.

Thanks for sharing your find!


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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