August 16, 2009
I was on the back of a pickup when a friend of mine noticed a yellow jacket on the bed, so I stepped on it. It wasn’t dead, and my friend noted that it was an extremely weird yellow jacket. I took a closer look at it and noticed that it was not a yellow jacket, it was a praying mantis. They’ve been discovered around where I and my friends discovered this one before, and I could not find any information on this species on the internet. When I stepped on this insect, its claws came off, but I recovered them off of the bed of the pickup. Also, there was some damage done to the abdomen where a possible stinger may have been, if this is a crossbreed, but I cannot tell.
We hope that had your realized that this was not a Yellow Jacket, you would have refrained from stepping on it. It is a harmless Wasp Mantidfly, Climaciella brunnea, or perhaps a related species. It is related to neither wasps nor mantids, but is in the same insect order as lacewings and antlions. It is a beneficial predator and it cannot sting or otherwise hurt you.
Yes, had I known I would not have stepped on it. Since I realized that I made a mistake, I am attempting to preserve this insect. It died in the container en route home. That pin is not in the insect, it is keeping it standing strait so it does not curl when it dries, so I can put it in with my collection. Well, thanks for letting me know what it is. I’m off to type a label.