This Insect Spotted at an Indiana State Park is Straight Out of a Nightmare
Imagine strolling through the woods, enjoying a nice hike, and spotting this thing. That's exactly what happened to a husband and wife during a recent trip to Turkey Run State Park.
Andrea Balsley and her husband Keith spotted this massive and freakish-looking bug while visiting the park on June 19th. Not having any idea what type of insect it was, Andrea posted the picture in the Indiana Nature Lovers group on Facebook to see if anyone there knew.
One member said it looked like an ex-husband, although they didn't specify if it reminded them of their ex, while several said it was a Dobsonfly. Not wanting to assume they were correct, I googled "dobson fly," and it turns out they were right.
According to the University of Florida's Entomology and Nematology Department, they're known as the "eastern dobsonfly" and are common in our part of the country. What Andrea and Keith found is the male version of the species, who, as it turns out, isn't as fierce as his appearance may seem. The large pincer-looking things sticking off its face are more for looks than anything else. They can bite, but it is relatively painless.
The female on the other hand is the one you need to be mindful of. While she looks similar to her male counterpart, she doesn't have the pincers hanging off her face like he does, but she has a stronger bite that is "capable of drawing blood," according the Department.
idiot science-enthusiast decided to put that theory to the test in a YouTube video posted back in 2018.
Adults can grow to nearly five and half inches long, and are most commonly found around streams or creeks with rocky bottoms because that's where they lay their eggs. Their "babies" are known as affectionately known as "hellgrammites," I'm assuming that's due to the fact they look like they crawled straight out of the depths of hell. A few people who commented on Andrea's post said they make great fishing bait. A theory the U of F Entomology Departement also noted.
To recap, the one Andrea and Keith found, despite looking like it could eat your face off, relatively harmless. The female on the other hand, get on her bad side, and you're going to know it. Which seems to apply to the female of any species, doesn't it?
You can learn more about dobsonflies on the University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department's website.