Geographic location of the bug: Corpus Christi, Texas
Time: 11:49 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello! Can you help me identify this flying bug? I THINK it only has 4 legs, so it’s not REALLY an insect, is it? It was on a friend’s porch last week.
How you want your letter signed: B. McCray
Dear B. McCray,
Though it resembles a Mantis, this Mantispid is a member of an unrelated insect order, the Neuropterans that includes Lacewings and Antlions. Both Mantids and Mantispids are predators that have adapted to using raptorial front legs for capturing prey. We believe your individual is Dicromantispa interrupta based on this BugGuide image.
One quick question, tho – I know this isn’t a “praying” mantis – but I see “mantis” in the title “Mantispid” – so, are they related?
We repeat: “Though it resembles a Mantis, this Mantispid is a member of an unrelated insect order, the Neuropterans that includes Lacewings and Antlions.”
Isn’t it odd, then for the word “mantis” to be part of the official word of what it is? It just seems confusing.
Common names are often descriptive, and the resemblance between true Mantids and this Mantispid is being acknowledged in the name. P.S. Your submission is Bug of the Month for June 2018.
Oooo, that’s cool!! I just moved out into the Tecas Hill Country, wo we have a LOT of odd looking bugs I may ask you about.
Is that okay?