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

Subject: 2 bugs to identify
Location: Petaluma, CA
February 7, 2017 11:38 am
These are 2 bugs that I saw in my garden March 2016. Please identify them for me. Thank you so much!!
Signature: Sharon Risedorph

Molting Snakefly

Dear Sharon,
This is an Earwig, and it appears to be injured.

Thank you so much Daniel!!!
All the best,
Sharon

Eric Eaton provides a Correction
Hi, Daniel:
Female snakefly trying to shake off the pupa molt.
Eric

WOW!!  Thank you!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ant/Caterpillar Crossbreed!
Location: Napa, Calfornia
December 29, 2016 8:35 pm
My wife found this insect on the floor of our kitchen while sweeping. My best guess is that an ant (or termite) and a caterpillar had a forbidden love affair that resulted in this unusual creature. Dark, flat head and thorax, six legs, long mottled abdomen that has small hairs on it, large jaws. When it moves it walks with its legs, and the long abdomen expands and contracts like an caterpillar to keep up, though it moves very rapidly. I’ve lived my whole life in California and never seen an insect like it. In addition, we are in the middle of winter, so a very unusual time to find a new insect. You will impress me indeed if you know what this is.
Signature: Jesse

Snakefly Larva

Snakefly Larva

Dear Jesse,
Based on this BugGuide image, this is a beneficial, predatory, Snakefly larva, and we think the adult Snakefly is much more unusual looking than is the larval form.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Centipede baby?
Location: Nevada
September 25, 2016 4:29 am
I found this little guy crawling up my leg I live in Reno NV
Signature: Miss mack

Snakefly Larva

Snakefly Larva

Dear Miss Mack,
This is the predatory larva of a harmless Snakefly, and this image from BugGuide is a nice comparison.  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.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Creepy Bug
Location: Lake Oswego, OR
May 17, 2016 2:27 pm
Hello!
This little guy greeted me outside my car window today. Just wondering if its poisonous or I need to worry. This is the first time I have seen it. Thanks!
Signature: Thank you

Snakefly

Snakefly

This is a harmless male Snakefly.  We get numerous identification requests of female Snakeflies as the stingerlike ovipositor makes many folks nervous, though like her mate, the female Snakefly is also perfectly harmless.  They are predators that feed on small insects like Aphids.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Snakefly

Snakefly

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Snakefly?
Location: Glen Ellen, CA
April 15, 2016 1:06 pm
I was sitting on my back deck when this little bug crawled up next to me on my chair. I stared at it for a long time and couldn’t figure out what it was. Initially worried it was a termite, but considered it could be some kind of flying ant.
I found your site and it looks like it is most likely a female snakefly. Can you confirm?
Thanks!!!
Signature: Bug Rookie

Snakefly

Snakefly

Dear Bug Rookie,
You are correct that this is a Snakefly, and the pointed ovipositor at the end of her abdomen indicates she is a female.  You may be a Bug Rookie, but you did your research admirably, and your image is spectacular.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination