Common name: Dobsonfly
Scientific name: Archichauliodes diversus
Māori name: puene
Size: larvae approx. 25mm long, adults ??
Habitat: Native forest
This species is the only dobsonfly found in New Zealand, and can be found throughout the country. You are most likely to find it in its larval form, which resides in freshwater streams and are commonly known as toe-biters! They look a little centipede-like due to their tentacle-like gills found along the sides of their abdomen. The larvae are voracious predators of other aquatic invertebrates, such as mayflies and caddisflies, which they ambush and catch using their large mandibles. In turn, dobsonfly larvae are an important food source for our native fish.
Like many other insect species, an adult dobsonfly has a very short lifespan of about 6-10 days. The adult form uses their ability to fly to locate mates, and females can lay hundreds of eggs on stream-banks and rocks before they die.