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UK Nature > Flies > Sialis lutaria
Scientific Name: Sialis lutaria
Common Name: Alder Fly
Sialis lutaria, more commonly known as an Alder Fly, is a megalopteran insect of the family Sialidae. All living Alder flies - about 66 species altogether - are part of the subfamily Sialinae. Sialinae have a body length of less than 25mm, long filamentous antennae and four large dark wings of which the anterior pair is slightly longer than the posterior. They lack ocelli and their fourth tarsal segment is dilated and deeply bilobed.
The females lay a vast number of eggs upon grass stems near water. The larvae are aquatic, active, armed with strong sharp mandibles, and breathe by means of seven pairs of abdominal branchial filaments.
When full sized, which takes between one and two years, they leave the water and spend a quiescent pupal stage on the land before metamorphosis into the sexually mature insect. Adult Alder flies stay near to the water, in which they had lived in when they were younger.
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