Meet Maria Dobsonfly

You might remember last summer when I talked about the Dobsonfly that I found outside our back door. I have never seen anything like this thing before. I have lived in this house for over 7 years and I never heard of them either. I guess that they live near water and come out mostly at night. It reminds me of a cross between an ant and a dragon fly…what you can’t really see in these photos is that they have 2 more wings that come from under the large top wings and they look very much like a dragon fly.

I still have Maria, she is in our homeschool room. Even though she is the craziest, creepiest, freakiest bug I have ever seen, she is still a pretty cool looking bug to have. She is the only bug that we have saved, and we have a shell from a cicada that the kids found last summer too. I think it will be pretty cool to have when it comes time to look at when we learn about the different parts of an insect. And even though I screamed like a girl and thought for sure that it was going to be eaten alive by this giant bug, I have gotten over my fear of her since she is dead and can’t actually hurt me. She probably didn’t have any intention of hurting me when she was alive either, but sheesh she sure puts on a good show!

I am fairly creeped out by touching Maria at this point, so I don’t have any photos of her wings spread out so that you can see all 4 wings, but I do have enough photos to show how it would be very easy to feel like your life is in danger if this thing is flying around your head.

Before she died and was flying around, the antenna were curled more out and up. From the back tip of her wing to her pincers is just short of 3 inches long. Her wing span is about 4 1/2 inches wide!

Look at those eyes!


Here wings are pretty cool when you get a good look at them.


The front pincers look super dangerous, but are actually pretty soft and while the males can’t hurt you at all, the females are sharp enough to draw blood.

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2 Responses to Meet Maria Dobsonfly

  1. Hazel Nut on November 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

    I know! You should have seen it flying around, creepy!

  2. Jill on November 14, 2010 at 7:34 am

    OH MY WORD!!! That thing is gross looking! Just looking at it gives me the chills!

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