Raphidioptera - The Snakeflies AKA Camel-neck Flies

Considered by some scientists to be a suborder (Raphidioidea) within Neuroptera, snake flies (also called camel-neck flies) are amongst the most primitive of insects, probably arising as early as 300 million years ago. They get their common name from their long prothorax, at the end of which sits the head. They are small insects with a wingspan of 1-4cm (0.4-1.6") and generally dark in coloration. Adults and larvae are both predatory. Females use their long ovipositor to lay eggs beneath bark, usually in masses of 40-50. Larvae are free-living and hunt on the bark of trees, devouring all sorts of tiny arthropods by day, while hiding away at night and in bad weather. They pupate inside small chambers that they superficially gnaw out in rotten wood or under bark. They are found on all the continents except Australia and Antarctica. There are about 80 known species.

8_11 thumb.jpgSnakefly (Raphidiidae sp.)