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Eastern Dobsonfly

The eastern dobsonfly, Corydalus cornutus, is a large insect in the Corydalidae family. It is found in eastern North America in regions with fast-flowing streams where its aquatic larvae develop. These larvae are known as hellgrammites and are among the top invertebrate predators in the streams in which they live. They are used by anglers as bait.

Dobsonfly eggs are usually laid close to the water's edge on a rock or overhanging foliage and hatch at night one to two weeks later. The newly emerged larvae fall or crawl into the stream and make their way to a fast-flowing section with a stony bottom. These hellgrammites and they hide under stones, catching and eating soft-bodied invertebrates.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.