Subject: WTB?
Location: Hollywood, FL
April 5, 2016 4:19 am
Just saw this very odd bug on the front of my house. It looked like a fly with a stick on it at first. I’m 54 years old and have never seen anything like this one. Do you know what it is? My neighbor’s 6 year old grandson wants to know as well! Many thanks!
Signature: Bambi Davidson


Dear Bambi,
Though it is commonly called a Mantisfly, this unusual insect is neither a Mantis nor a Fly.  Though they are not related, the Mantis Fly and the Preying Mantis have both evolved raptorial front legs for capturing prey, and grasping the prey while feeding.  Mantisflies or Mantidflies are classified in the family Mantispidae, and they are most closely related to Lacewings and Antlions which are all in the order Neuroptera.

Dear Mr. Marlos-
Thank you so much for identifying that insect. I told the 6 year old that it looked like a cross between a fly and a preying mantis.
You’re the best!!!

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