Mantisfly

MantisflyMantisfly — Mantispidae is a family of small (20–47 mm) neuropterous insects, known as mantid-flies, mantid lacewings or mantis-flies. Mantisflies (family Mantispidae, order Neuroptera) resemble the praying mantis in having a lengthened prothorax and the front legs fitted for grasping prey. They are generally less than 25 mm (1 in) long and have four membranous wings. The adults feed on other insects, and the larval stages are parasites of spiders.

The adults are predatory insects that are often nocturnal, and are sometimes attracted by porch lights, or blacklights. They actively chase their prey, which consists of small moths, caterpillars, and any other thing they can catch. They are usually green, brown, yellow, and sometimes pink, and have 4 membranous wings which may sometimes be patterned (especially in wasp mimicking species) but are usually clear. They lay small, green, stalked eggs in clusters. The larvae are parasitoids on spider eggs, bee larvae, or wasp larvae. Larvae undergo hypermetamorphosis, being campodeiform in the first instar and scarabaeiform in later instars. There are many genera and species worldwide, especially in the tropics and subtropics, but only 6 genera and 15 species in North America.

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