(Neuroptera: Raphidiidae, Inocellidae)
-- Helmut Riedl
Female snakefly, Agulla sp. (E. Beers, June 2012)
Snakeflies are related to lacewings. The adult has a long thorax and is able to raise the head above the rest of the body which gives it the appearance of a snake ready to strike. Snakeflies are found only in western North America. Larvae live under the bark of forest, ornamental and fruit trees and can be very helpful predators in fruit orchards. Adults also are predaceous.
Larva: The larva is long and flattened with a black shiny head and prothorax and three pairs of legs. It can be from 1/2 to almost 1 inch (12 to 25 mm) long and is a mottled reddish or grayish color.
Pupa: The pupa is active and not enclosed in a cocoon.
Adult: Snakeflies have four membranous wings which are held roof-like over the body when at rest. The wings, which have many veins, are from 1/4 to 2/3 inch (6 to 17 mm) long. The prothorax is elongated. The female is usually slightly larger than the male and has a long tail-like ovipositor.
Eggs are laid in clusters in bark crevices. Larvae are usually found under the bark in galleries of various wood-boring insects. They also feed on small insects such as aphids, caterpillars and insect eggs deposited on the bark.