bug identification request
Location: Manteca, California
November 28, 2010 4:19 am
We’ve found this bug 3 times now – twice on the bed and once in the garage (which is directly below our bedroom). Haven’t been able to find a picture of it anywhere – I hope you can tell us what this thing is! It’s about half an inch long and can move very quickly. The first one my husband saw went in a sandwich bag to try and get identified – I was very surprised that it’s still alive a week later – no food, no air, no water.
Thanks for your efforts – looking forward to your answer.
Signature: Brenda W.

Snakefly Larva

Dear Brenda,
The beneficial and harmless Snakefly Larva you have imprisoned in a plastic bag would be much better off if you released it where you found it.  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. Adults take efforts to clean themselves after feeding. Females have been observed to ‘have a curious habit of frequently wagging their ovipositor during the process of eating, as though expressing satisfaction with the food.’ [pg. 104, Carpenter, 1936]

Location: California

16 Responses to Snakefly Larva

  1. lonamas says:

    Just found one of these on the kitchen floor of my Northern AZ apartment! We were amazed and not quite sure what this little thing was. Thank you for the information on your site 🙂 it was very helpful

  2. jwbrenda says:

    Thank you so much for the info! The two we captured went outside immediately. Interesting little creatures – they must have hitched a ride into the house when we were doing yardwork.

  3. Ezzarat says:

    Not meaning to be rude but, I don’t think people are going to want to release any kind of bugs back into there beds, no matter how harmless they are.

    • bugman says:

      We agree that it should be released outside and not back into the bed. Thanks for catching that bit of poor advice.

      • Vickibg says:

        I didn’t see this advice, perhaps it was removed… but I would think it referred to flower beds, not sleeping beds.

        • bugman says:

          Rereading the original letter mentioned both bed and bedroom in the same sentence, which would support our original thought that it was found indoors in a bed meant for sleeping humans.

  4. mike says:

    Found number two in the house. IM in B.C. Can…

  5. Sheila says:

    We just found out what these little guys are. They have litterly been dropping down on us in our bedrooms! I’m all for keeping benificial bugs around but not when I am having them crawl on me when I’m trying to sleep. Found two on my bed last night. To the couch I went.

  6. Marci says:

    We have found a total of three of these in our house over the last month. Do we have to worry about an “infestation” at all? I know they are beneficial when outdoors, but would like to know if we should expect to keep finding them or if there may only be a few inside.

  7. Sandy Zuber says:

    My daughter has now found 4 of these in her bed over the past month or so. We have torn the room apart . No windows open, no dirt on the shoes… nothing. Did anyone in the same boat ever figure out the mystery of the bed findings??? Thank you!

  8. GalaxyAccount says:

    I found one in my room and it was 1055 pm. cam down here because I was not gonna stick around with a snakefly and its long stinger. looked online and found they are harmless thx for the info.

  9. Joshua says:

    I just had an adult snake fly land on my head while in my bed. I felt it and sat forward and it fell off of me and onto its back on my sheet. I had no ideah what it was and frankly not too happy to share my bed with it so it was exterminated immediately. But thought it looked interesting enough to find out what it was. My first thought was flying ant but turned up nothing. Then my girlfriend found it on the internet. After reading about it I felt bad about killing it as I love plants and felt dumb for not catching it and putting it in our house plants. Anyways whats done is done. Next time I will try to give it a proper meal instead?

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