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fly Snakeflies

Identify It >   Fly Section >   Snakeflies >

Scientific name:  Raphidia notata

Size:  Up to 15mm long.  Wingspan 28mm

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  April to September

Habitat:  On the bark of oak trees.  Other similar snakeflies prefer coniferous trees

Food:  Adults and larvae feed on aphids, scale insects, springtails and other small invertebrates

Special features:  Snakeflies get their name from their long 'necks' and broad flat heads which can be raised above the rest of their body giving the appearance of a snake about to strike.  There are four species of snakefly in the UK, three are confined to conifer trees (Raphidia confinis, Inocellia Crassicornis and Raphidia maculicollis) and this one Raphidia notata which is found on oak trees.

Female snakeflies have an ovipositor (egg-laying tube) which is as long as their abdomen.  They lay their eggs beneath the loose bark of oak trees during the summer months.  The eggs hatch within three weeks and pupate in the autumn or the following spring.  The adult flies usually emerge in May.


2001 - Lamberhurst, Kent - G. Bradley
2013 - Runneymede, Surrey - G. Bradley

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