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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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Image Credit: Josh B. from San Marcos, CA
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Image Credit: Amber from Spokane, WA
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Image Credit: Joe M. from MT
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Image Credit: Josh B. from San Marcos, CA
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Image Credit: Rachel H. from CA
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Image Credit: Nan B. in Marin County, CA
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The non-aggressive Snakefly looks like a snake, but it does not act like one.



Updated: 07/13/2021; 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 covers 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


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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
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 15mm (0.6in) and 22mm (0.9in)
Lo: 15mm
Md: 18.5mm
Hi: 22mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
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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