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Insects and other arthropods

Dobsonfly

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Corydalus cornutus

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Description

Dobsonflies have a soft, brownish body. They can grow up to 7 cm long. Two pairs of large wings of nearly equal length with rounded tips are fixed to the insect’s thorax. They are transparent, with spots. On its head are a pair of compound eyes, as well as simple eyes, or ocellae.

Life cycle

Dobsonflies mate on the ground or on vegetation, near shorelines. The female lays up to 3,000 eggs out of water, aligned in superimposed layers that form round or rectangular masses. The egg masses are covered with a protective covering that is generally brownish in colour. Incubation lasts from a few days to two weeks.

The larval stage lasts from one to three years. At this stage, the insect spends a lot of time hunting and eating. Once it reaches maturity, the larva climbs out of the water and finds a site to pupate. Before continuing metamorphosis, the larva digs a few centimetres into the soil or hides under dead leaves, a rock, a rotten branch or an old tree trunk and then pupates. The pupal stage lasts for a few weeks. In our latitudes, adults emerge at the beginning of the summer, in May and June. The lifespan of adult dobsonflies ranges from several days to several weeks. A complete cycle may take from two to five years.

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