Neuroptera are sometimes split into the three separate orders of Megaloptera, Raphidiodea and Neuroptera. Neuroptera groups include alderflies, donsonflies, fishflies, mantidflies, lacewings, antlions and owlflies.
Although the dobsonfly spends several years as a larval hellgrammite, the adult enjoys only a brief couple of days as a terrestrial adult. In harsh comparison to their voracious larvae, this male adult’s sickle-shaped mandibles are purely for decoration. The larvae has eight pairs of external gill filaments and will pupate in a mud cell close to the water prior to becoming an adult.