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Snakefly (Agulla adnixa)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Snakefly

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The non-aggressive Snakefly looks like a snake, but it does not act like one.

Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Long necks make this insect look like it has the head of a snake. Snakeflies have transparent wings that are longer than their actual body. A network of black veins cover all four of them. Both sets of wings are equal in length. Females have a needle-like ovipositor used to deposit eggs into tree bark crevices or dirt. It is not a stinger. Adults can often be seen cleaning their legs and antennae, a behavior that is also a part of their courting ritual.

The diet of both young and adult Snakeflies makes them beneficial to have around. Larvae live on bark or in the soil and eat soft insects like grubs. Grubs can destroy garden plants, turf, and flowers by eating away at the plant's roots. Occasionally, the long, segmented larvae are found hunting indoors if the wood they hatched on is brought near or inside a home. They molt more than ten times as they develop into mature adults. Adults also prey on insects and add pollen to their diet as well. This particular species is found in the western part of the continent.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Raphidioptera
        Family: Raphidiidae
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          Genus: Agulla
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            Species: adnixa
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Agulla adnixa
Category: Snakefly
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 22mm (0.59" to 0.86")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; red
Descriptors: flying
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 15mm and 22mm
Lo: 15mm
Md: 18.5mm
Hi: 22mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Snakefly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Snakefly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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