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This creature is hanging out on my kitchen window. I live in Western Maryland, US, near the Potomac River. The creature is about 3 inches long (measured from tip of mandibles to tip of tail). Does anyone know what it is? Is it dangerous? Rare? I've been living here about a year and have never seen one before.

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It looks like an adult Dobsonfly (Corydalidae), where the adult males have huge pincher-like jaws. Apparently, the jaws are the result of sexual selection and, even though they look scary, males cannot use them to bite.

I'm only vaguely familiar with the group though, and cannot say what species this is.

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(Picture from bugguide.net)

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