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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It’s always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Raphidioptera: the snakeflies — Examples
Snakefly (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed and identified by: Shelli St. Clair. Location: Columbia, California, USA. Date: 26 May 2016. Shelli says, “It landed on my windshield and I was able to get a really good photo of it w/my iPhone.” Beautiful shot, Shelli!
Snakefly (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed by: D. Weller. Identified by D. Weller and S. St. Clair. Location: Sonora, California, USA. Date: 17 May 2016. D. Weller found this one on a car windshield. Her sister Shelli St. Clair says, “About 3 hours prior to my sister’s photo, a passenger in my car shooed one out the car window (about 5 miles away from my sister’s encounter). We’ve never seen this insect before (she has lived her all her life), and there were 2 sightings in the same afternoon!” See the previous entry for yet another encounter by Shelli!
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Snakefly (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly, female, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed and identified by: Cathleen Capogeannis. Location: east foothills of San Jose, California, USA. Date: 2 May 2015 (late afternoon). Cathleen found this one on a house.
Snakefly (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly, female, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed and identified by: Ruel Parent. Location: Sunnyvale, California, USA. Date: 22 March 2015. Ruel found this snakefly indoors on a windowsill.
Closeup of Snakefly
Snakefly, female, order Raphidioptera.
□ This is a closeup of the previous photo.
Photographed and identified by: Ruel Parent. Location: Sunnyvale, California, USA. Date: 22 March 2015.
Closeup of Snakefly
Snakefly, female, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed and identified by: Carleen McLain. Location: Portland, Oregon, USA. Date: 8 July 2017.
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Snakefly larva (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly larva, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed by Chris Solberg. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Chris says, “The legs push from the back...front part almost ‘snaking’ or creeping forward.” Location: Berkeley, California, USA. Date: 10 July 2015.
Snakefly larva (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly larva, order Raphidioptera.
□ Note the similarities with the adult: a long thorax and a similarly shaped head.
Photographed and identified by: Anonymous. Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA. Date: 29 July 2015.
Snakefly larva (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly larva, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed by: Cindy Andress. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Unknown. Date: 27 October, 2017. Cindy says, “I found it under my husband’s pillow. He had been out chopping wood. When he woke up with bites on his arms, I checked the bedding and found it!”


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Unless noted otherwise, photographs on this website are the property of the photographers and may not be reused without written permission from the photographers. To obtain permission, email the photographers here. High-resolution versions of the photographs are available.

Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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