Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school


Raphidia xanthostigma


Snakeflies are a group of insects in the order Raphidioptera. They are predatory, both as adults and larvae. Adult snakeflies are characterized by having an elongate prothorax but no modification of the forelegs (as in Mantispidae). They have strong and relatively unspecialised mouthparts, and large compound eyes. The females typically have a long ovipositor, which they use to deposit their eggs into crevices in bark or rotting wood. The wings are similar in size, with a primitive venation pattern, and a thickened costal margin (or "pterostigma"). The larvae have large heads with projecting mandibles. The head and the first segment of the thorax are sclerotised, but the rest of the body is soft and fleshy. They have three pairs of true legs, but no prolegs. However, they do possess an adhesive organ on the abdomen, with which they can fasten themselves to vertical surfaces. The final larval instar creates a cell in which the insect pupates. However, they do not create a cocoon, and the pupa is fully capable of movement, and often leaves its cell for another location before the adult emerges. The larvae can take up to two years to develop.


In the mountains close to Madrid, Sierra de Guadarrama, Puerto de la Fuenfría


Camera Model: NIKON D300. Exposure Time: 1/60 sec. f/32 ISO Speed Rating: 200. Focal Length: 90.0 mm. Flash fired

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Castilla y León, Spain

Spotted on Jun 20, 2012
Submitted on Jun 25, 2012

Spotted for Mission

Related Spottings

Snakefly snakefly Snakefly Snakefly

Nearby Spottings

Prunner's Ringlet, erebia temprana Small Tortoiseshell, Ortiguera Longicorn beetle Cattle, Vaca avileña negra ibérica


Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team