Part Dragonfly, Part Praying Mantis?
I found this very interesting insect in my backyard in Charleston, SC, on July 24, and it was ~1-1.5 inches long. When I found it, it was in the grass and looked like it had just ‘molted’/metamorphed because the wings were still kind of smooshed as if the bug had been crammed into a too-small container. I think it’s a praying mantis of some kind, but I couldn’t find any photos that looked like my critter! I know that mantids have wings, but these remind me of dragonfly wings in shape/coloration/vein pattern. And the kaleidoscopic eyes are something I’ve NEVER seen! Do you know what it is? Thanks,
This is a Mantidfly in the family Mantispidae, and probably in the genus Dicromantispa as evidenced by BugGuide. Despite their appearance, Mantidflies are not related to Mantids. We really love the close-up you have provided us. Your Mantidfly close-up photo looks like a glamorous Hollywood starlet portrait.