Science Fiction or an Insect? A Wasp Mantisfly!

Posted by David Moskowitz on July 30, 2010 at 1:44 PM

A few weeks ago I was extremely lucky to find this wasp mantisfly at my mercury vapor light at about 3 AM. Although you cant tell from the photos, it is only about 3\4" long. This was the first time I had seen one. While it looks like a small preying mantid, it is actually closely related to the lacewings. This particular species is probably Dicromantispa sayi. The common name is really interesting, combining a wasp (which it is apparently a mimic of, a mantid and a fly). I would not want to be a smaller insect when this thing came trekking around. It reminds me of an insect from those old Japanese Saturday afternoon science fiction flicks or the thing at the end of Men in Black that scales up the tower in New York. In any case, what an incredibly cool insect...enjoy.

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Reply Richard Wolfert
2:15 PM on July 30, 2010 
Looks like it was put together by a committee.
Reply David Moskowitz
4:06 PM on July 30, 2010 
or an insane entomologist messing around with spare parts from the bottom of a knocked around Cornell drawer!
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