Wasp Mantidfly – Neither a Wasp, a Mantid, nor a Fly!

 

Wasp Mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea) 234mm focal length equivalent, f/16, 1/125 sec., ISO-640, with flash

That’s right, this special one visited my home garden one afternoon and allowed me to grab some shots. The mantidfly are categorized in the order Neuroptera along with the lacewings.

Probably obvious, this species is believed to mimic the paper wasps (Polistes) as a potential deterrent to predation. Without a close glance, it would be easy to mistake this species for a wasp with the potential to deliver a nasty sting.

As if their appearance wasn’t crazy enough, larvae of the Mantispinae, the subfamily this species belongs to, feed by paristizing spiders and their eggs!

Wasp Mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea) 234mm focal length equivalent, f/16, 1/125 sec., ISO-640, with flash

-OZB

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