Thursday, March 11, 2010

Agulla sp.
Order Neuroptera > Suborder Raphidiodea

Every spring I find at least one or two snakeflies resting in the early morning on our balcony. They never seem too eager to fly away; maybe it's chilly out for them or they're still groggy from a previous day's activities. I scooped this one up in my favorite flat container with plans to look at him under my dissecting scope and test whether a decent e-picture can be had through a scope lens. I kept him for a couple hours in the office until the sun came up, but he escaped through a miniscule hole in the container and promptly sat next to my computer. Unfortunately, the morning got away from me and I settled for taking a pic on a sheet of white paper as the sun was rising. I especially like the prehistoric-looking shadow in the second picture. I let him go, but by late afternoon, this fellow was back on the office window looking in on me when I returned to my computer.

Wikipedia says they are now in its own Order, but I'm old school and still consider it a neuropteran, aka nerve-winged insects. Jerry Powell and Charles Hogue state there are at least a dozen species in CA.

ps 04/07/10 - For a truth in advertising confession, the last pic was actually from the early morning (as evidenced by the direction of lighting) and not in the late afternoon. For a pic of another snakefly sighting, see today's post.

pss 03/25/11 - I spotted my first snake fly this year on our balcony today. Simply recording my observations.