Image Credit: Paul and Kellie T. taken in West Tulsa County, OK
Image Credit: Wayne S. from New Windsor, NY
In a natural mash-up, Green Mantisflies have the head and front arms of a Praying Mantis, but the abdomen and wings of a Lacewing.
Adults Green Mantisflies eat insects and use their front pair of legs to capture a meal. Like a Praying Mantis, this pair of legs bend in a way that resembles praying hands. This insect is not quite as fluid and agile in flight however. Though typically green, some species of Mantisfly, or Mantidfly, are brown, yellow, or orange. The Green Mantisfly may have red speckling on its abdomen, head, and/or neck. The intricate vein pattern on the wings is similar to their distant relation, Lacewings.
The small larvae of Mantisflies are parasitic predators, sneaking a ride on an adult spiders immediately after hatching. If it's a male spider, the larva waits until it can move over to a female during mating. Once on the female begins laying fertilized eggs in a silken egg sac, the Mantisfly larva makes its move, hiding among the freshly laid eggs. It gets sealed inside the egg sac where it will feast on the spider eggs until it is ready to pupate. It emerges as a winged adult.
Scientific Name: Zeugomantispa spp.
Other Name(s): Green Mantidfly, Mantispid
Antlion or Lacewing
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 30mm (0.39in to 1.17in)
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