The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Faculty of Science and Engineering - Te Mātauranga Pūtaiao me te Pūkaha
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Science & Engineering > BioBlog
Staff + Student Login

a mantis? or a fly?

So, which is it? A mantis? Or a fly?

(Image by kind permission of Daniel Llavaneras)

In fact, the creature shown in this gorgeous image by Daniel Llavaneras is neither mantis nor true (Dipteran) fly, although its common name is 'mantisfly'. Instead, it belongs to the insect family Mantispidae (a group that includes lacewings and antlions). Like real praying mantids, matisflies walk on 4 legs, with the front pair folded as shown, and the head is somewhat mantis-like. The adults hunt as mantids do, shooting out those raptorial front legs to catch small insects, while the larval diets vary: some are also active predators, while others consume wasp & beetle larve, or spider eggs (later pupating in the spider's egg sac). In adult form & behaviour, the mantisflies are an excellent example of convergent evolution.

| | Comments (2)
Share via Email Share this on Twitter Share this on Google+ Share this on Facebook

2 Comments

What a critter! Never heard of them before.
~

Neither had I, until I came across the photo on (wait for it!) Facebook.

FB has a lot of flaws, but I have to say, it's an excellent source of outstanding biology photos! (& diagrams of kinky octopus sex, lol).

Leave a comment

March 2015

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Recent Comments

  • Alison Campbell: Neither had I, until I came across the photo on read more
  • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©: What a critter! Never heard of them before. ~ read more