Xanthostigma xanthostigma


    The snakeflies in the Raphidiidae family are terrestrial insects that live mainly in the tree canopy. Females can be distinguished from males by the presence of a long ovipositor. Head narrows posteriorly, coarsely punctured above and below; pterostigma pale yellow. 

    Identification difficulty

    Thought to spend most of their time in the tops of trees but can be seen on tree trunks from time to time, especially Willows.

    When to see it

    The adults emerge from early May onwards.

    Life History

    The larvae live on or under loose bark and feed on other insects.

    UK Status

    Snake Flies seem poorly recorded insects but they are certainly some of the strangest and most difficult to find. This species seems to be widespread and fairly frequently encountered in England at least, with fewer records from elsewhere in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Status in Leicestershire and Rutland is not known but thought to be fairly frequent.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map