On this map you see where there were observations of Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies around the world. This will give you an idea of the global distribution of this class. Note that a class can have many different families, and thousands of species.
Years 2000 until now, source: GBIF
The insect class Megaloptera, commonly known as alderflies, dobsonflies, and fishflies, is a small group of insects consisting of around 300 known species. These insects are characterized by their large size, elongated bodies, and membranous wings. Megaloptera is divided into two main families, Corydalidae (dobsonflies and fishflies) and Sialidae (alderflies), with several genera within each family.
Megaloptera insects can be found in various countries across the globe. Their distribution extends across parts of North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Megaloptera species typically inhabit environments close to freshwater sources, such as rivers, streams, and ponds.
The life cycle of Megaloptera insects consists of three stages: egg, larva, and adult. The duration of each stage varies among species and can be influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, and food availability.
Female Megaloptera lay their eggs near water sources, often on vegetation or rocks. Upon hatching, the aquatic larvae are predatory, feeding on other insects, small fish, and other aquatic organisms. Megaloptera larvae undergo several molts as they grow, and once they reach their final larval stage, they move to the land to pupate. After pupation, the larvae undergo metamorphosis to become adult Megaloptera insects.
Megaloptera insects, particularly their larval stage, are relevant to fly fishing due to their prevalence in aquatic environments and their role as a food source for fish such as trout and bass. Some well-known Megaloptera flies that are targeted by fly fishers include:
In addition to larval patterns, adult Megaloptera flies can be imitated using large, dark-colored dry flies or wet flies that mimic their general shape and appearance. However, adult Megaloptera are less commonly targeted by fish compared to their larval stage.
There can be thousands of species within an order, and therefore lots of different flies imitating various of these species. Flies can also imitate different stages, for example larvae, pupae and adults.
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Each order has an indication of its relevance to fly fishing:
= Not so relevant
= Somewhat relevant
= Most relevant
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