Really bizarre/cool insect!

bugmankeith

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It's called the Mantis Fly, it's a lacewing (ok closely related to lacewings) that mimics mantids, and one even looks like a mantis/wasp hybrid!

Really cool, and really tricky to identify if your just starting to learn about common insects and how to tell them apart. (like when you were young)



Information on them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_fly
 
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cacoseraph

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i believe i saw a very thin, small, wispy version of this creature. it was about 1% as cool as the one in your pic! good stuff man :)
 

bugmankeith

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Some look like plain mantids, and others look like green lacewings, so their color varies greatly.
 

cacoseraph

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Some look like plain mantids, and others look like green lacewings, so their color varies greatly.
i meant more like it's raptorial legs/arms where considerably less robust, though the coloration *was* less dramatic than yours, too
 

P. Novak

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It's called the Mantis Fly, it's a lacewing that mimics mantids, and one even looks like a mantis/wasp hybrid!

Really cool, and really tricky to identify if your just starting to learn about common insects and how to tell them apart. (like when you were young)



Information on them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis_fly

That thing is awesome looking; it looks like it came from a fairy tale.
 

lucanidae

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It's called the Mantis Fly, it's a lacewing that mimics mantids, and one even looks like a mantis/wasp hybrid!
Mantispids are there own family within the Neuroptera (sensu stricto). So really it isn't a lacewing and it definitley does not mimic Mantids. Although the appearence may be similar to us, it is due to convergent evolution of a predatory lifestyle. Some do mimic vespid wasps in coloration which can confuse predators and protect the animal.

These are decently common in the Northeast, we have the wasp mimic and one that is mostly brown. I saw one live specimen caught in the fall but spring/summer is the good time to find them.

P.S. You might need to credit bugguide for their image or it might be a copyright violation.
 

HepCatMoe

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so they are predators. thats freakin awesome. they look like little dragons.
 

edesign

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...and it definitley does not mimic Mantids.
If you say so...it sure looks like it mimics a mantid to me (mimic can imply that it looks very similar...does not have to mimic every aspect such as movement), albeit a mantid that looks kind of like a wasp in coloration. Minus the wings and it would be pretty convincing at a quick glance :)
 

bugmankeith

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Minus the wings and it would be pretty convincing at a quick glance

The wings up look like a mantid in a defensive posture sort of, you know, how they raise their wings to look bigger if you surprise them.

But yes, if they remained flat at rest it would be more convincing.
 

Galapoheros

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I've seen a lot of pictures of those but never have seen a live one. To shorten up what I think lucanidae is saying, it looks like a mantid because it's a good design but this one mimics a wasp. Looking like a mantid really wouldn't protect it much, it just makes me want to catch it!
 

lucanidae

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Exactly Galapoheros; mimicking implies that evolution favored animals that look or behave like other animals in order to take advantage of traits they themselves do not have. It usually takes place among animals that overlap in macro and micro habitat and need protection from predation.

For example; some butterflies mimic monarchs because monarchs are chemically defended, and birds learn not to eat them. They associate the mimics with the model, and the mimic gains something.

Also, there are minimally two types of mimicry, Mullerian and Batsien, neither of which this Mantispid:Mantis relationship would fall into.

Convergence on the other hand occurs when two different animals end up with the same design, simply because it is efficient at whatever they are doing, example being wings on a bat and wings on a bird. It is convergent because these structures function the same but are not homologous, that is why Mantispids are not Mantid mimics. The two have simply converged on the efficient predatory design of raptorial forelegs (to catch prey) and a triangular head on a long pronotum with large eyes on either side (to get better depth perception.)
 

syndicate

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wow never seen these before.interesting looking.
another species to note on this topic would be the spiders that mimic ants.
there real cool
 
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