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Green Mantisfly (Zeugomantispa spp.)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Green Mantisfly

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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image of the Green-Mantisfly Thumbnail image of the Green-Mantisfly
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Image Credit: Wayne S. from New Windsor, NY
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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.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Adults Green Mantisflies eat insects and use their front pair of legs to capture a meal. Like a Praying Mantis, this pair of legs bends 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 spider 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Neuroptera
        Family: Mantispidae
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          Genus: Zeugomantispa
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            Species: spp.

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Zeugomantispa spp.
Other Name(s): Green Mantidfly, Mantispid
Category: Antlion or Lacewing
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 30mm (0.39" to 1.18")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; red; brown
Descriptors: praying; flying; long; mantis; mantid; lacey

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 30mm (1.2in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 20mm
Hi: 30mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Green Mantisfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Green Mantisfly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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