Subject: preying mantis that mimics a wasp?
Location: Helena, Montana
August 3, 2012 8:38 am
We found 2 of these in our backyard in the late afternoon on August 2. One was in the grass and one was on our porch. It appears to be some kind of mantis with the front appendages and the head, but has the body appearance of a wasp. We haven’t seen anything like it before. How about you?
Signature: Sue Taylor

Wasp Mantidfly

Hi Sue,
Though it isn’t closely related to either a wasp or a mantis, this Wasp Mantidfly,
Climaciella brunnea, owes its common name to its physical resemblance to those other insect orders.  Mantidflies or Mantispids are actually related to Antlions, Lacewings and Owlflies.  This particular species is thought to resemble Paper Wasps as a means of protective mimicry.  They do use their raptorial front legs to capture and hold prey the way a mantis does.  You can read more about the Wasp Mantidfly on BugGuide.

Location: Montana

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