Spring Fishfly

The spring fishfly is a species of North American fishfly. As implied by its name, it flies late in spring, from late May to early July. It is a big, primitive-looking, short-lived, winged insect. It is also known as the toothed-horned fishfly and is lighter and less yellow than the summer fishfly.

Scientific Classification

  • Class:Insecta
  • Order:Megaloptera
  • Family:Corydalidae
  • Genus:Chauliodes
  • Species:C. rastricornis

Conservation Status

Not EvaluatedNE

Not Evaluated

Data DeficientDD

Data Deficient

Least ConcernLC

Least Concern

Near ThreatenedNT

Near Threatened





Critically EndangeredCR

Critically Endangered

Extinct in the wildEW

Extinct in the wild




Female Spring Fishfly

The spring fishflies are brownish gray of size 1.4-2 inches (35-55 mm). Their wingspan is 2.5-3.13 inches (63-80 mm). The head and pronotum have dark markings against a light brown background. The multi-segmented antennae are dark brownish-gray. The female antennae are notched at the edge like a saw, while that of the males are comb-like. There are two big compound eyes at the sides of the head and 3 simple eyes in a triangle on top of the head. The jaws are shorter than the head.

Distribution: The US and southern Canada, east of the Great Plains. It is common in Minnesota and subtropical Florida

Chauliodes rastricornis

Habitat: Near calm waterbodies with detritus.

Do They Bite/Sting: No.

Lifespan: 1-5 years.

Predators: No natural predators.

Behavior and Characteristics


The omnivorous larvae feed on algae, and small invertebrates, including clams, crustaceans, worms, and other insects. The adults don’t feed.

Life Cycle

The summer fishfly undergoes complete metamorphosis.

1. Egg Stage

Large masses of 200-3000 eggs are laid near still water bodies.

Spring Fishfly Larvae

2. Larva Stage

The larvae stay in the water and take 1-5 years to mature. Then it crawls onto land and pupates in moist soil under a rock or log.

2. Pupa Stage

This stage lasts a couple of weeks.

3. Adult Stage

The adults emerge in spring and live for only a few days to a week. They hide during the day and are active at dusk.


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