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My daughter found a strange insect outside today. It 1 1/2 inches long and has the coloring of a wasp. The back part of the body looks like a very large wasp, but the front part and front legs look more like a praying mantis. Just wondering if you could tell us what kind of insect this could be. It was definitely interesting looking!

Answer(s)

A

These are some truly neat insects, the mantispids.  Take a look at some
pictures to verify:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/4796

Mantispidae are in the order Neuroptera, along with green lacewings,
snakeflies and others.  Their common name are the mantidflies.  These feed
on other insects and some feed on eggs.  They are considered beneficial
predators.

Good find!

Posted on 21 Oct 2008

Ryan Davis
Arthropod Diagnostician, Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

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