Definition of dobsonfly in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdäbsənˌflī/

noun (plural dobsonflies)

A large gray North American winged insect related to the alderflies. Its predatory aquatic larva (the hellgrammite) is often used as fishing bait.
  • Family Corydalidae, order Neuroptera: several genera and species, in particular Corydalus cornutus.
Example sentences
  • Eastern dobsonflies live east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada.
  • Whereas, the aquatic immature spends several years in a stream, the adult dobsonfly lives only about 7 days.
  • Fishflies and dobsonflies are nocturnal, while alderflies are active during the day.


Early 20th century: of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dob·son·fly

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