That Ain’t No Fish

Having just committed myself to another Half Marathon thought it would be good to get a post out before training takes over ALL my free time.  This will be the earliest in the race season I’ve run this distance.  Usually I build over the course of the season starting with the 5Ker’s moving to the 15K, back to the 7mi and THEN prepare for the final two halfs of the year.  Decided to short change that process a little and simply start with the 13.1.  No, I didn’t go crazy – umm, that may be up for debate.  Regardless, there is a reason and we’ll leave it at that.  The downside is it means there wasn’t really an off season this year as I continued to run through the winter months (yes, even outside when the temps actually got about 20).  Hoping the body holds together!

Oops, enough about my self-inflicted torture, let’s get to the post shall we.

I almost titled this post as Live and Let Die but that will make more sense later in the post.  Thought it would be fun to fall back on the memories when Globull Warming allowed me to go outside and spend time on the porch for more than 3 minutes at a time.  Take a look at this find

Creeeeepy.  I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve seen such a creature.  Definite concerns as to whether it could inflict harm on me or not.  It was definitely scary looking with the wings folded, but when I saw it with the wings spread I took an extra step back and got my wits before going in with the Macro again – looking through that glass puts you right up close and personal.

Hit the jump unless you don’t want to see the up close shots (but at least you’ll learn what it is!)

An now we move in close to see what this insect is made of.  Admittedly it took me a little bit of time to figure out what it was.  This was mostly due to a red herring based on a hasty initial search.

I literally searched for a large brown bug and the first thing that came up was a Dobsonfly.  Based on the Wikipedia pictures and the large number of Google pictures, it was pretty darn close.  Long wings, long tubular body – for someone who knows relatively little about insects it was close enough to me.

They claim they are found all over America which I question based on the fact I have never seen one before and I’ve been around a lot of bodies of waters from oceans to slimy ponds photographing everything that moved – but no creepy brown bugs like this ever found its way into the tin.  While processing these face shots, some doubt started to creep in.  Something just wasn’t right.  Based on the pictures I had, the antennae looked a little different and the mandible were significantly smaller – first thought .. maybe a female vs a male difference.

But that usually just means a difference in size or coloring, not a completely different style of feature.  The antennae on this one was clearly feather like where the Dobsonfly is more tubular.  Some more investigation was necessary now so back to Google.  I also went back to an insect iPad app we had bought some time back from Audubon.  They had a special on it so went ahead and picked it up – at the time we only had Linda’s iPad so that is where it was installed.  She has never been very happy about having that bug app on her workspace.  Eventually located a webpage that compared and contrasted the Dobsonfly to a similar bug called the Fishfly.  Oh, better throw the reference shot up – yes, the standard penny guide.

Now we were getting somewhere.  That comparison page specifically pointed out that the antennae and mandibles were the telltale differences.  Sure enough, the Fishfly has feather like antennae and yes, the matching mandibles.  Ladies and gentlemen we have a positive ID.  According to our friends over at Wikipedia, the Fishfly is a closest relative to the Dobsonfly.  They can live several years but most of that time is spent in larvae stage.  Their adult lifespan is a whopping 7 days.  7 lifetimes longer than those pesky Mayfly adults which can barely muster a day.  They even eat smallish animals like minnows and tadpoles – eesh.  Wait a minute, we appear to have a challenger to that statement.  Insect Identification Org contests that statement on their website (link here) where the specifically say no to the minnow fact.  They state instead they prey on dragonflies, water beetles etc. BUT NOT FISH.  Now, for the record, that site has three images of the Fishfly but one of the three is really a Dobsonfly based on my new education.

Alas, I must end this post with some sad news.  Apparently the pictures above were from day 6 of the short lived adulthood.  The next day I walked back on the porch and found this sad scene.

I promise it was unharmed when I left it the night before.  You know my rule, no harm comes to any subject I take the time to photograph – a small token of appreciation.  Let’s hope it had a full 7 days of enjoyment.  Maybe bought a fast car on day 3, retirement party on day 6….

So long my friend, thanks for deciding to hang out at our porch light.

8 thoughts on “That Ain’t No Fish”

  1. I DID NOT KILL IT! Although, I did probably consume about .03% of its adult life. I sent those links to Linda’s email account and specifically stated that YOU recommended that I do that. That may get you written off of the Christmas list, but I’m assuming you knew that when you opted to take that risk in the first place. … and for the record again.. the Flishfly was alive and happy when I left it there on the porch. I don’t protect wildlife from other creatures so as not to disturb the natural cycle of things, but it’s highly likely the huge wolf/timber spiders I was photographing at the same time needed a late night snack.


  2. “recommended”?? I just said you “might” get them, as they are reference apps like the insect app that proved so useful here to you (but not to the insect, RIP). Or you might not–I just provided the links for informational purposes. I purposely did NOT provide links to any of the many snakeskin iPad covers.

    Here was a poor Fishfly trying to keep a low profile so the wolf/timber spiders wouldn’t find it, and you blew its cover big-time, a clear violation of the Prime Directive.

    “The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proven again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.”
    —Jean-Luc Picard



  3. I definitely saw “recommend” .. I can go back and check, but pretty sure I saw recommend so that is what I went with when I informed Linda of the two links. Can’t wait to see the response at the next gift giving opportunity hehehe. Do have some of those links to the iPad covers… I will gladly forward those on as well (of course, under your recommendation).

    Prime Directive? not only does that not apply in this case since there is absolutely no proof that Mr. Fishfly succumbed to the fangs of a said spider(s). I am pretty sure it had lived a full life and in fact had a Vegas plane ticket in its pocket from just three days ago – when it was in its “prime” and we all know you can’t have a bad time there! Wait a minute, maybe that is what you meant by Prime Directive – when in your prime go to Vegas.. now I understand.

    Who is Jean-Luc Picard?


  4. Jean-Luc Picard was captain of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) in The Next Generation series. He was born to Maurice and Yvette Picard in La Barre, France, on July 13, 2305. He and the rest of his family spoke English, with English accents—the French language having become obscure by the 24th century. Picard failed his first Starfleet Academy entrance exam, but was subsequently admitted and became the first freshman to win the Academy marathon. His academic training in archaeology led him to pursue archaeology as a hobby with a strong interest in centuries-old analog devices (ahem). Shortly after graduation, Picard was stabbed in the heart by a Nausicaan, leaving the organ irreparable and requiring replacement with a parthenogenetic implant. Picard eventually served as first officer aboard the USS Stargazer, which he later commanded. During that time, he invented a starship evade and attack tactic that would become known as the Picard Maneuver.

    (stunned by this question)


  5. Seriously, you both thought it was a good idea to send me links to snake apps??? I can understand Ron because he has never experienced the phenomenon known as “Linda meltdown” when a snake comes even within a mile. But Brian, you know better and this will cost you 😦 I am impressed with Ron’s knowledge of Star Trek. Can you educate Brian with a history lesson also on James Tiberius Kirk?


  6. Whoaaaaa, back the truck up. THE SNAKE APP WAS NOT MY IDEA. Nope, I definitely know what the Linda meltdown is and for the record I will never forget the time at the other house when a racer came out to say high from the bushes she was standing next to. Thanks Ron.. there will be paybacks. Who the hell is Tiberius?


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