Summer Fishfly

The summer fishfly is a species of North American fishfly. As implied by its name, it is most active in the summer months of May-July unless the year-round climate is on the warmer side. In the latter case, they can be seen both in summer and spring. Its specific name, pectinicornis,stands for ‘comb-horned’.

Scientific Classification

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

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




Chauliodes pectinicornis

The summer fishfly can be identified by its big ‘lacewings’. It uses its combed antennae for sensing. It has a light beige or tan coloration. The head and pronotum have pale markings against a dark background. The fully grown adults reach a size of 1-2 inches (21-46 mm), excluding their wings.  

Distribution: Eastern Canada and the US from Maine in the northeast to Liberty, Alachua, and Santa Rosa counties in Florida in the southeast up to Kansas in the far west.

Summer Fishfly Image

Habitat: Near ponds, lakes, rivers, and calm streams.

Do They Bite/Sting: No.

Lifespan: 3-4 years.

Predators: No natural predators.

Behavior and Characteristics


It feeds on plant matter and small aquatic insects.

Life Cycle

The summer fishfly undergoes complete metamorphosis.

1. Egg Stage

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

Summer Fishfly Larvae

2. Larva Stage

After hatching, the larvae crawl to the nearest source of water live on detritus, or become omnivorous. This is the longest stage of their life cycle, lasting 2-3 years that is spent underwater. Once large enough, the larvae leave the water and pupate near or under bark.

2. Pupa Stage

This stage lasts a couple of weeks.

3. Adult Stage

The adults emerge and live for just a few days, in which they lay eggs.


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