wasp mantidfly

(Climaciella brunnea)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

wasp mantidfly

 

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread but considered scarce

Flight/Season

Late May through October

Habitat

Fields and savannas

Size

Total Length: to 13 16 (23 to 30 mm)

         
         
         
         
          Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

Wasp mantidfly is a large wasp mimic. It occurs across the United States, in adjacent Canadian provinces, and in Mexico and Central America. It is widespread but considered scarce.

With its mantid-like front legs wasp mantidfly looks similar to a praying mantis but it is not even closely related. This is an example of convergent evolution, where unrelated organisms, adapting to similar environments, independently evolve similar characteristics. It also looks similar to a paper wasp. This is an example of Batesian mimicry, making it look like another species that is unpalatable or dangerous to potential predators.

The base of the abdomen is constricted and resembles the waist of a wasp. There are four transparent, membranous wings, all about the same size. The leading half of each wing is dark. Unlike other mantidflies, the wings of wasp mantidfly are held flat over the back when at rest.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Wolf spider (Family Lycosidae) eggs

 
Adult Food

Small insects

 
Life Cycle

Adults emerge in late May through October. Males live less than a week, females up to a month. They can be found on flowers where they wait on and ambush small insects. During her time the female lays up to several thousand eggs. The small white eggs have short stalks and are attached to the underside of plant leaves. After an egg hatches the larva waits for and then attaches itself to a passing wolf spider. When the female wolf spider begins making an egg sac, the mantid larva crawls off the spider and onto the sac. It then gets wrapped up as the egg sac is completed and feeds on the spider eggs inside.

 
Behavior

Adults come to lights.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Neuroptera (antlions, owlflies, lacewings, mantidflies and allies)

 

Suborder:

Hemerobiiformia (lacewings, mantidflies and allies)

 

Family:

Mantispidae (Mantidflies)

 

Subfamily:

Mantispinae

 
Synonyms

Climaciella rubescens

Mantispa moesta

 
Common
Names

brown mantidfly

wasp mantidfly

western mantispid


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Bill Reynolds


Mantidfly

Here is a Mantis-fly hunting on the blossoms of the Gray Dogwood. Wasn't able to get a profile image of it. While taking the photos, it was more interest in it's reflection than the bug above.

  wasp mantidfly   wasp mantidfly

       
       
       

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Other Videos

 
  Brown Mantidfly (Mantispidae: Climaciella) on Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 4, 2009

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (01 July 2009).

 
     
  Climaciella brunnea = WASP MANTISFLY
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 6, 2017

Climaciella brunnea = WASP MANTISFLY. Very cooperative but had to deal with nearly constant wind that would move subject 4" or 5" out of the frame. Images in Neuroptera gallery at: http://theearlybirder.com/insects/neuroptera/index.htm

 
     
  Climaciella brunnea
Nathaniel Long
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 4, 2016

 
     
  Wasp Mantidfly or Mantispid - Climaceiella brunnea
Colette Micallef
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 20, 2015

Mantisfly or Mantispid - Climaceiella brunnea

Liberty County Texas

July 2, 2013

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

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Bill Reynolds
6/28/2019

Location: Pennington Co., MN

Here is a Mantis-fly hunting on the blossoms of the Gray Dogwood. Wasn't able to get a profile image of it. While taking the photos, it was more interest in it's reflection than the bug above.

wasp mantidfly


     
     
 

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