Subject: Tiny praying mantis?
Location: Gilroy, CA, Watsonville Road near Uvas Creek: 37.02912ºN, -121.65475ºW
March 1, 2017 2:07 am
My grandson and I found this tiny bug dragging a moth across the screen of my tent. Although it looked like a praying mantis, it was so tiny that I wondered if it really was one. Could it be an instar? I I remember instars from Entomology at Cal Poly, but I couldn’t tell if it had wings. I released it after the photo shoot, but, alas, the moth was dead.
My grandson and I caught it October 3, 2010 around 5 pm and I have always wondered about it. I just ran across the pictures about the same time I received notification that there was a new comment about the Pacific Green Sphinx I submitted 1/17/2015, which reminded me to get in gear and find out about my tiny friend.
This is actually an Assassin Bug in the subfamily Emesinae, a group known as Thread Legged Bugs. The moth appears to be a Geometer. We are happy to hear the notice you received on the Pacific Green Sphinx triggered this new submission.
Thanks for your super fast reply. Wow! An Assassin Bug? I would not have ever guessed that! The way it held its front legs made it look like a praying mantis to me, but I knew something was amiss because the rest of it looked more like a walking stick.