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Introduction

The genus Corydalus Latreille is one of three currently recognized genera of New World dobsonflies (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Corydalinae). Chloronia Banks and Platyneuromus Weele have been revised within the last 15 years (Penny and Flint 1982; Glorioso and Flint 1984; Flint 1991, 1992; Contreras-Ramos 1995). However Corydalus, the most species rich of all three was recently revised (Contreras-Ramos 1998), nearly 50 years after the last species was described in it.

Of the American dobsonflies, species of Corydalus are probably the best known. This is in part due to their large size (forewing length up to 85 mm), but also to the ubiquity of the larvae in many lotic environments and their widespread occurrence (from southeastern Canada to southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina). Most entomologists and lay people, however, remember this genus for the specialized elongate mandibles of the males of several species, a trait present (by convergence) in Asian Acanthacorydalis as well.

Thirty species of Corydalus are currently recognized, 22 of them exclusively of South American occurrence. A complete list of these species is available here. A few more species (at least five) remain undescribed, as they are known each from single female specimens.

The males of three different Corydalus species.
a. C. affinis Burmeister, Guárico, Venezuela. b. C. hecate MacLachlan, Brazil. c. C. ignotus Contreras-Ramos, French Guiana. Photographs copyright © 1997, Atilano Contreras-Ramos

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