brown wasp mantidfly

(Climaciella brunnea)

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

 
brown wasp mantidfly
Photo by Babette Kis
 
Description

Brown wasp mantidfly is a large wasp mimic. It occurs across the United States, in adjacent Canadian provinces, and in Mexico and Central America. It is widespread but considered scarce.

With its mantid-like front legs wasp mantidfly looks similar to a praying mantis but it is not even closely related. This is an example of convergent evolution, where unrelated organisms, adapting to similar environments, independently evolve similar characteristics. It also looks similar to a paper wasp. This is an example of Batesian mimicry, making it look like another species that is unpalatable or dangerous to potential predators.

The base of the abdomen is constricted and resembles the waist of a wasp. There are four transparent, membranous wings, all about the same size. The leading half of each wing is dark. Unlike other mantidflies, the wings of wasp mantidfly are held flat over the back when at rest.

 

Size

Total length: to 13 16 (23 to 30 mm)

 

Similar Species

 
Habitat

Fields and savannas

Biology

Season

Late May through October

 

Behavior

Adults come to lights.

 

Life Cycle

Adults emerge in late May through October. Males live less than a week, females up to a month. They can be found on flowers where they wait on and ambush small insects. During her time the female lays up to several thousand eggs. The small white eggs have short stalks and are attached to the underside of plant leaves. After an egg hatches the larva waits for and then attaches itself to a passing wolf spider. When the female wolf spider begins making an egg sac, the mantid larva crawls off the spider and onto the sac. It then gets wrapped up as the egg sac is completed and feeds on the spider eggs inside.

 

Larva Food

Wolf spider (Family Lycosidae) eggs

 

Adult Food

Small insects

Distribution

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

6/11/2024    
     

Occurrence

Widespread but considered scarce

Taxonomy

Order

Neuroptera (antlions, lacewings, and allies)

Suborder

Hemerobiiformia (lacewings and allies)

Superfamily

Mantispoidea

Family

Mantispidae (mantidflies)

Subfamily

Mantispinae

Genus

Climaciella (wasp mantidflies)

   

Subordinate Taxa

 

   

Synonyms

Climaciella rubescens

Mantispa moesta

   

Common Names

brown mantidfly

brown wasp mantidfly

wasp mantidfly

western mantispid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Babette Kis

Climaciella brunnea, brown wasp mantidfly

Out in the 85F, humid, breezy, and mosquito-infested weather, I spotted the subject critter, which appeared to be laying eggs. I took 136 photos, and got about 24 nice shots.

June 29, 2024, Barnes Prairie, Racine Co., WI. Brown wasp mantidfly on daisy fleabane, Erigeron strigosus. She appears to be laying eggs.

  brown wasp mantidfly
     
brown wasp mantidfly   brown wasp mantidfly
     
brown wasp mantidfly   brown wasp mantidfly
     

Brown wasp mantidfly Climaciella brunnea

I was fortunate to see this insect July 11, 2021 on Barnes Prairie Remnant, Racine Co., WI. On common yarrow, Achillia millefolium.

  brown wasp mantidfly
     
brown wasp mantidfly   brown wasp mantidfly

Holly Clark

brown wasp mantidfly  

brown wasp mantidfly

saw one today near Eden Valley. Real docile just hanging out

Bill Reynolds

wasp mantidfly  

brown wasp mantidfly

Mantidfly

Here is a Mantis-fly hunting on the blossoms of the Gray Dogwood. Wasn't able to get a profile image of it.

 

While taking the photos, it was more interest in it's reflection than the bug above.

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Other Videos

Brown Mantidfly (Mantispidae: Climaciella) on Leaf
Carl Barrentine

About

Published on Jul 4, 2009

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (01 July 2009).

Climaciella brunnea = WASP MANTISFLY
Rob Curtis

About

Published on Jul 6, 2017

Climaciella brunnea = WASP MANTISFLY. Very cooperative but had to deal with nearly constant wind that would move subject 4" or 5" out of the frame. Images in Neuroptera gallery at: http://theearlybirder.com/insects/neuroptera/index.htm

Climaciella brunnea
Nathaniel Long

About

Published on Dec 4, 2016

Wasp Mantidfly or Mantispid - Climaceiella brunnea
Colette Micallef

About

Published on Jan 20, 2015

Mantisfly or Mantispid - Climaceiella brunnea

Liberty County Texas

July 2, 2013

 

Camcorder

Visitor Sightings
 

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Babette Kis
6/29/2024

Location: Barnes Prairie, Racine Co., WI

Out in the 85F, humid, breezy, and mosquito-infested weather, I spotted the subject critter, which appeared to be laying eggs. I took 136 photos, and got about 24 nice shots.

June 29, 2024, Barnes Prairie, Racine Co., WI. Brown wasp mantidfly on daisy fleabane, Erigeron strigosus. She appears to be laying eggs.

brown wasp mantidfly

Kitt G.
6/10/2024

Location: Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

1 found in an in-town garden

Kathy Snow Stratton
7/29/2022

Location: Buffalo, Minnesota

Our grandson spotted what looked like a praying manthis on the patio but we looked it up and it was Wasp mantidfly.

Babette Kis
7/11/2021

Location: Barnes Prairie Remnant, Racine Co., WI

I was fortunate to see this insect July 11, 2021 on Barnes Prairie Remnant, Racine Co., WI. On common yarrow, Achillia millefolium.

brown wasp mantidfly
Dustin Y
6/26/2021

Location: Wirt Minnesota

Saw a bunch of them and had to figure out what I was seeing. Pictures are exactly what I was saw, wasp looking mantis thing called a mantidfly

Holly Clark
6/19/2020

Location: Eden Valley / Stearns County

Saw one today near Eden Valley. Real docile just hanging out

brown wasp mantidfly
Bill Reynolds
6/28/2019

Location: Pennington Co., MN

Here is a Mantis-fly hunting on the blossoms of the Gray Dogwood. Wasn't able to get a profile image of it. While taking the photos, it was more interest in it's reflection than the bug above.

brown wasp mantidfly
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Created: 7/2/2019

Last Updated:

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