Mantis Armed Pony Bug
Location: Huntington, NY
September 2, 2011 5:05 pm
This interesting character showed up inside our house on Long Island a few days after Hurricane Irene blew through our area. He or she stayed close to the ceiling, wandered around a bit, and seemed to eat some charcoal off a drawing on the wall. We are extremely intrigued by this little bug, and were rather disappointed when we couldn’t locate him/her this morning. We would very much appreciate some assistance in identifying this particular insect. Thank you kindly! (photos taken by B. and may be published or reproduced by What’s That Bug only, please)
Signature: B & T W
Dear B & T W,
You have already noted the physical similarity, the raptorial front legs, between your insect, a Mantidfly or Mantispid, and a Preying Mantis, but they are not closely related. The Mantispids are Neuropterans that are related to Lacewings and Antlions. Some Mantispids mimic wasps, but they do not sting. We believe your species is Leptomantispa pulchella based on images posted to BugGuide.
Thank you so much for your quick and informative identification!
We very much appreciate what you do!
B & T