Snakeflies

J^ AIMIIDIIDAE and Inoccllidac are

_| the two families that make up the order Raphidioptera, which contains 150 species in total. Both families have similar features. All snakeflies have two pairs of wings and a slightly flattened head with forward-pointing mouthparts that are used for chewing. The pronotum is typically elongate. Species belonging to the Inocellidae, the smaller of the two families, are distinguishable from the Raphidiidae in that they do not have ocelli and their antennae are long. Snakeflies are closely related to alderflies (see p. 103), but their larvae are terrestrial and they do not have gills.

Snakeflies live in woodlands where there is a plentiful supply of vegetation. Both the adults and their larvae are predacious, but they also scavenge for a significant amount of their food.

During mating, the male is positioned underneath the female. Several hundred eggs may be laid, in groups of up to 100, either in tree bark or in rotten wood. Metamorphosis is complete.

The name snakefly refers to the snakelike way in which the adults catch their prey. They do this by raising up their head, at the end of its elongate prothorax, and moving it forward to seize the food.

shiny, black head small pterostigma on triangular head

xanthost1gma xanthost1gma has a long pronotum and a distinct, broad head that tapers to the rear. The four wings are of almost equal size.

dark-colored body ovipositor netlike pattern of veins slightly flat characteristic neck with elongated long

ladljua SPECIES are found in North America and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains west through the Cireat Basin to the Pacific coast.

Order RaPHIDIOPTKRA

Family RaphIDIIDAK

shiny, black head

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