Sialis lutaria

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Sialis lutaria
Sialidae - Sialis sp..JPG
Sialis lutaria. Side view
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Megaloptera
Family: Sialidae
Genus: Sialis
S. lutaria
Binomial name
Sialis lutaria

Hemerobius lutarius Linnaeus, 1758

Sialis lutaria, common name alderfly, is a species of alderfly belonging to the order Megaloptera family Sialidae.[1]


This species is mainly present in Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Romania and Switzerland.[2]


Adults of this species usually inhabits ponds and slow-flowing streams, while the larvae live in mud and detritus under water.[3]


Dorsal view

Adults can reach 20 millimetres (0.79 in) of length, with a wingspan of 22–34 millimetres (0.87–1.34 in).[4] They have a stocky body with a black or dark brown basic coloration, including head and legs. The wings are greyish, membranous and translucent, with pronounced dark venation. At rest they are held roof-like over their body.[3]

The flat larvae reach approximately 17 millimetres (0.67 in).[5] They have large heads, powerful jaws and three pairs of legs. Furthermore they show feathery gills on the abdominal segments. The abdomen terminates with a long gill.[3][4]


Adults are most often encountered from May through June on vegetation near slow-flowing streams or close to ponds. They are bad fliers and never leave the waters where the larvae have developed.

Females lay a large quantity of eggs on plants overhanging the waters, where larvae will fall after hatching. Larva are aquatic predators of small invertebrates and usually wait for their prey in silt or under stones just emerging from the water. The life cycle in this species lasts about one-two years, but the adults live two-three days only, without feeding.[5][6][7]



  1. ^ Biolib
  2. ^ Fauna Europaea
  3. ^ a b c "Arkive". Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2011-05-06.
  4. ^ a b Olsen, L., Sunesen, J., & Pedersen, B. V. (1999) Small freshwater creatures. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  5. ^ a b Macan, T. T. (1959) A guide to freshwater invertebrate animals. Longmans, Green & Co Ltd., London.
  6. ^ O'Tool, C. (2002) The new encyclopedia of insects and their allies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  7. ^ Giani, N., & Laville, H. (1973, January). Cycle biologique et production de Sialis lutaria L.(Megaloptera) dans le lac de Port-Bielh (Pyrenees Centrales). In Annales de Limnologie-International Journal of Limnology (Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 45-61). EDP Sciences
  • Xingyue Liu, Fumio Hayashi and Ding Yang (2009). "Sialis navasi, a new alderfly species from China (Megaloptera: Sialidae)". Zootaxa. 2230: 64–68.

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