wasp mantidfly

(Climaciella brunnea)

Conservation Status
wasp mantidfly
Photo by Holly Clark
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to 13 16 (23 to 30 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Fields and savannas

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late May through October

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults come to lights.

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Wolf spider (Family Lycosidae) eggs

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Small insects

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  6/20/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widespread but considered scarce

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

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

Suborder

Hemerobiiformia (lacewings, mantidflies and allies)  
 

Superfamily

   
 

Family

Mantispidae (Mantidflies)  
 

Subfamily

Mantispinae  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Climaciella rubescens

Mantispa moesta

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

brown mantidfly

wasp mantidfly

western mantispid

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Holly Clark

 
 

saw one today near Eden Valley. Real docile just hanging out

 
    wasp mantidfly   wasp mantidfly  
 

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  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

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slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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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

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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  Dustin Y
6/26/2021

Location: Wirt Minnesota

Saw a bunch of them and had to figure out what I was seeing. Pictures are exactly what I was saw, wasp looking mantis thing called a mantidfly

 
  Holly Clark
6/19/2020

Location: Eden Valley /Stearns County

Saw one today near Eden Valley. Real docile just hanging out

wasp mantidfly  
  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  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Created: 7/2/2019

Last Updated:

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