Subject: Strang flying bug
Location: Northern California
May 15, 2016 4:12 pm
Hit bugman. I’m a tree worker in Paradise, California and have recently came across this strange flying bug on the job a few times. I first saw it when my coworker got stung on his chest after the bug flew up his shirt. The next day I found the same bug flying across the job and it almost looked like a cross between a wasp and a praying mantis. I was able to snap these pictures before it flew away. If you can identify the species if greatly appreciate it!
Signature: -Rob Mahon



Dear Rob,
This is a female Snakefly in the order Raphidioptera, and to the best of our knowledge, they do not sting.  According to BugGuide:  “Although adult females appear to have a long ‘stinger’, snakeflies do not sting and are harmless to humans. In fact, they are thought to be beneficial as predators of forest pests.”  What appears to be a stinger is actually the ovipositor used to lay eggs.

Location: Paradise, California

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