On this map you see where there were observations of Snakeflies around the world. This will give you an idea of the global distribution of this class. Note that a class can have many different families, and thousands of species.
Years 2000 until now, source: GBIF
The insect class Raphidioptera, commonly known as snakeflies, consists of approximately 260 known species. These insects are characterized by their elongated bodies, resembling a snake, with a distinct prothorax and large, transparent wings. Raphidioptera is divided into two families: Raphidiidae and Inocelliidae, with several genera within each family.
Raphidioptera insects can be found primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, with the majority of species distributed across parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. Snakeflies typically inhabit forested environments, where they can be found on tree trunks, branches, and leaf litter.
The life cycle of Raphidioptera insects consists of three stages: egg, larva, and adult. Female Raphidioptera lay their eggs in tree bark or leaf litter, depending on the species. Upon hatching, the predatory larvae feed on small insects and other arthropods. Raphidioptera larvae undergo several molts as they grow, and once they reach their final larval stage, they pupate in a cocoon-like structure to become adult Raphidioptera insects.
Raphidioptera insects, due to their relatively low abundance and because they primarily live on trees, are not typically relevant to fly fishing. While both larvae and adult snakeflies are predatory, their primary prey consists of small insects and arthropods, which do not coincide with the diets of most fish.
Additionally, Raphidioptera insects are not known to be a significant food source for fish, as they rarely end up in the water.
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Each order has an indication of its relevance to fly fishing:
= Not so relevant
= Somewhat relevant
= Most relevant