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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 in the genus Agulla, 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, male, in the genus Agulla, 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!
Snakefly (Order Raphidioptera)
Snakefly, female, in the genus Agulla, 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, in the genus Agulla, order Raphidioptera.
□The snakefly gets its name from its snake-like head that perches on the end of its long, neck-like thorax. This nonaggressive insect shares little else with snakes. The female, shown here, has a long “tail”, which is actually an egg-laying structure called an ovipositor.
Photographed and identified by: Joey Sanchez. Location: Union, Washington, USA. Date: 29 June, 2018. Joey says, “I found this snakefly (Raphidioptera) on my bus ride home from school.” KnowYourInsects.org says, “ Great job of identification, Joey!”
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.
Add your photo here!
Closeup of Snakefly
Snakefly, female, order Raphidioptera.
Photographed and identified by: Carleen McLain. Location: Portland, Oregon, USA. Date: 8 July 2017.
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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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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