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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/please identify this insect


Double set of wings
Double set of wings  
I was hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and this flew under my shirt and started to sting/bite me.  It was in the morning yesterday.  It flew.  It has a non-segmented body and two sets of wings.  The legs are not longer than the wings.  There appear to be short, antenae and eyes on the head and a brown band below the head.  Do you know what it is?  I would like to send you an image of it even though it is a bit mangled.  Thanks.

Sorry to submit again.  I didn't see how to upload image until now.  Thanks.


Ok, well, it is a "snakefly."  Here is more information:

I have never known them to bite, and even if you think you saw a long "stinger," that filament is the female's egg-laying organ, called an "ovipositor."  It is not used in self-defense.

These are harmless insects, indeed beneficial because the larvae are predatory on bark beetles and other pest insects.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

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One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

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Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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