Currently viewing the category: "Snakeflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Little Visitor
Location: Sacramento, CA
November 9, 2013 6:36 pm
Hello,
We found this little one in our house the other day. My toddler ”inspected” it and then let it go in the backyard. Any help in identifying it would be most appreciated. I’ve been looking at native species but can’t seem to identify it. It was found in early November in the Northern Sacramento area in California. The one in the photo is about 3/4” long. Sorry the photo isn’t the best.
Signature: John

Snakefly Larva

Snakefly Larva

Hi John,
This is a harmless, predatory Snakefly larva in the order Raphidioptera.  Adult Snakeflies are rather curious looking insects with long necks that look somewhat prehistoric.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: California coast. Santa Cruz
October 30, 2013 12:20 am
Hi. I recently discovered this little guy inside my home. I have very young children need to know if these are problematic.
Signature: Nessa

Snakefly Larva

Snakefly Larva

Hi Nessa,
This is a Snakefly Larva and it is harmless.  According to BugGuide:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans). Adults typically prefer aphids but may eat a wide variety of arthropods.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Couple’s dispute over critter
Location: West Linn, Oregon
October 6, 2013 9:21 am
Greetings, Mr. Bugman,
The Boyfriend and I have encountered a few of these fellas trekking across our wooden floor on their way in or out of dark, dry places (underneath mats and such). Every time, the critter has been traveling solo. They are just under an inch long and have dark heads and thoraxes and looooong, pale abdomens. The Boyfriend wants them to be some form of drywood termite, because he admires eusocial critters and is apparently unconcerned about the fate of our 30s-era wooden house. My spidey-sense, however, tells me that it’s a more harmless something else, just coming in to warm up from the recent cold snap. Thanks for your help in settling our heated debate!
Signature: Becca

Snakefly Larva

Snakefly Larva

Hi Becca,
We are going to side with you on this.  It is a Snakefly Larva, which makes it “a more harmless something else” and not a termite.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Termite or Ant
Location: Cupertino, CA
March 26, 2013 11:43 pm
I find this hard to classify based on guidelines I’ve seen. It has only two bulbous body sections, which would seem to make it a termite, but it has a very slim long body section between the two larger sections. The antenni are curled toward the end, but not sharply bent.
It does not look much like any of the images I have seen online of winged ants or termites.
Signature: –scott

Snakefly

Snakefly

Hi Scott,
This is neither a termite nor an ant.  It is a Snakefly in the order Raphidioptera and you can read more about them on BugGuideSnakeflies look much nicer alive than dead.  We are post
dating your submission to go live next week during our absence from the office.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug
Location: San Francisco bay area
October 10, 2012 2:42 am
I live in northern California about an hour from San Francisco. I found this bug in on a paper towel in my bathroom sink. It is just the start of Fall here. Can you tell me what it is? It was about a inch long. Almost looks like an earwig with no pinchers. It’s head was very flat looking!
Signature: Thank you, Jessica Hunt

Snakefly Larva

Hi Jessica,
We quickly confirmed that this is a Snakefly Larva by comparing your photo to this image on BugGuide.  The information page on BugGuide states:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans). Adults typically prefer aphids but may eat a wide variety of arthropods.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?!
Location: Beaverton, OR, USA
September 10, 2012 11:44 pm
This thing was inching along my computer screen, moving along like a caterpillar or inch worm. When I put something in front of it, it inched backwards. I tried scooping it onto a piece of paper to put outside and it almost spring loaded away, like it jumped. I’ve attached a photo
Signature: The bug man?

Snakefly Larva

This sure looks like the larva of a Snakefly, and this image from BugGuide looks even closer than the individual from our archive.  According to BugGuide:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination