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On Life in The Holler: Adult Dobson flies are indicator organisms

The Dobson flies giving Shamarie the willies is a life stage of a prized smallmouth bass bait - in its larval stage a helgramite. They are also 'indicator organisms' whose presence is a sign of a healthy stream. Harmless, but its pincers can inflict some pain

Alan Reed writes:
Shamarie, you have a female adult Dobson fly, there - Corydalus cornutus. The Dobson fly is nearly totally aquatic, living most its life in riffles under large slab rocks as an efficient predator of mayflies and stoneflies, and best known as the prized smallmouth bait, or "helgramite." The winged version you see is short-lived, emerging from the water as a fully formed adult only to mate and return to a stream bank to lay its eggs on a tree trunk or branch where the young eventually hatch and drop off into the water. Dobson flies are indicator organisms. Their presence as larvae or "helgramites" indicates a health stream. They are completely harmless but those jaws on the adult female pictured can inflict some pain. --Alan
Life in the Holler: Bug invasion gives our heroine the willies

This story was posted on 2014-07-27 07:58:07
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