Superkingdom Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Superclass Hexapoda
Class Insecta
Subclass Pterygota
Series Neoptera
Order Raphidioptera

Common name(s): snakeflies

Description: Medium in size. Prognathous mouthparts, mandibulate. Antennae are multisegmented. Compound eyes are large and separated. The prothorax is much longer than the meso- and metathorax. Fore wings are longer than similar hind wings, however, they do not have the anal fold. Immature larval stages are terrestrial, prognathous with pointed legs only on the prothorax, without abdominal legs. Females have a long ovipositor.

Fun facts: There are approximately 200 species in two families (family Inocelliidae and family Raphidiidae). Adults and larvae are terrestrial predators. Adults have a mantid-like appearance with a rather elongated and mobile prothorax. The head is used to strike at prey, snake-like, hence the name. Snakeflies are somewhat rare, and information on them is scarce (especially compared to more widespread orders like Coleoptera).

Raphidioptera are sometimes included with Neuroptera and Megaloptera in classification. No matter the nomenclature, the grouping is monophyletic and is a sister group to Coleoptera

sourced, in part, by The Insects: An outline of entomology, second ed. Gullan, P.J. and P.S. Cranston. Blackwell Science, Great Britain, 2000.

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