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Snakefly facts for kids

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Temporal range: Lower Jurassic – Recent
Dichrostigma flavipes beentree.jpg
Female Dichrostigma flavipes
Scientific classification

Handlirsch, 1908
  • Raphidiodea

The Snakeflies (Raphidioptera) are a small order of Endopterygote insects. They are closely related to the Megaloptera and Neuroptera.

There are about 210 living species. They are easily recognized by their small head and long 'neck', which is actually the elongated prothorax.

The snakefly, about 15 mm (0.6 inch) long, has two pairs of similar, net-veined wings, long antennae, and chewing mouthparts. The female lays eggs with a long ovipositor.

Life cycle

The life cycle includes egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The active and carnivorous larvae live beneath loose tree bark. The snakefly is found on every continent except Australia and may be beneficial to humans because it destroys the larvae and pupae of other insects.

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