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Brief Summary

    Megaloptera Overview
    provided by EOL authors

    Order Megaloptera has two families and sixty genera.All alderflies, dobsonflies, and fishflies have aquatic larvae.The adult alderflies are diurnal.The adult dobsonflies and fishflies are nocturnal.They all have large wings and the hind wings are pleated to aid folding.They have compound eyes and chewing mandibles.Megaloptera undergo complete metamorphosis. Males use vibrations or scent glands to attract a mate.The females lay their eggs on rocks or leaves near water.They have predaceous larvae that capture other aquatic insects.They become scavengers when kept in captivity. The larvae take several years to reach maturity.Once they are mature, they create a chamber where they take several days to molt and pupate.The adults have a lifespan ranging from a few hours to a few days.Their primary concern is reproduction and most species do not feed, but will sometimes drink water.Megaloptera have been around since the Permian.

    Megaloptera: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia
    For the genus of moth, see Megaloptera (moth).

     src= Corydalus cornutus - MHNT

    Megaloptera is an order of insects. It contains the alderflies, dobsonflies and fishflies, and there are about 300 known species.

    The order's name comes from Ancient Greek, from mega- (μέγα-) "large" + pteryx (πτέρυξ) "wing", in reference to the large, clumsy wings of these insects. Megaloptera are relatively unknown insects across much of their range, due to the adults' short lives, the aquatic larvae's often-high tolerance of pollution (so they are not often encountered by swimmers etc.), and the generally crepuscular or nocturnal habits. However, in the Americas the dobsonflies are rather well-known, as their males have tusk-like mandibles. These, while formidable in appearance, are relatively harmless to humans and other animals; much like a peacock's feathers, they serve mainly to impress females. However, the mandibles are also used to hold females during mating, and some male dobsonflies spar with each other in courtship displays, trying to flip each other over with their long mandibles.[citation needed] Dobsonfly larvae, commonly called hellgrammites, are often used for angling bait in North America.

    The Megaloptera were formerly considered part of a group then called Neuroptera, together with lacewings and snakeflies, but these are now generally considered to be separate orders, with Neuroptera referring to the lacewings and relatives (which were formerly called Planipennia). The former Neuroptera, particularly the lacewing group, are nonetheless very closely related to each other, and the new name for this group is Neuropterida. This is either placed at superorder rank, with the Endopterygota—of which they are part—becoming an unranked clade above it, or the Endopterygota are maintained as a superorder, with an unranked Neuropterida being a part of them. Within the endopterygotes, the closest living relatives of the neuropteridan clade are the beetles.

    The Asian dobsonfly Acanthacorydalis fruhstorferi can have a wingspan of up to 21.6 cm (8.5 in), making it the largest aquatic insect in the world by this measurement.

Comprehensive Description