Largest Aquatic Insect

Dobsonfly

Chineses Dobsonfly, Largest Aquatic Insect

The largest aquatic insect is now a dobsonfly that was found by Chinese villagers in Sichuan Province. Its wingspan measures 210.70 mm, displacing the South American helicopter damselfly as the largest aquatic insect. By comparison, the largest dobsonflies in the US are about 114 mm.

The Dobsonfly is sensitive to pollution and pH. It is a sentinel for water pollution. Like many aquatic insects, the majority of its life is in the larval stage. The adults live only a few day, mate. lay eggs and die. Their large size may intimidate the naive, but they do not bite or harm humans.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Largest Aquatic Insect

  1. anastaciast says:

    It’s gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. My (cynical) question is: Do sentinel animals make any difference when they start dying out? In Lincoln, NE, the majority of the saline wetlands are gone-killed off by housing developments. Currently, our Tiger Beetle is in grave danger, but the ppl who care are generally not the ppl who are the developers and those who want to live in them. The thought is “Why bother about a little beetle when people need housing?”

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