One of my games with the kids is to give a quarter to any of my children that finds me an interesting insect. Well my step-son Chris earned a quarter at Reddick Park this week with the discovery of a Mantidfly. At first I thought this small predatory insect was a small mantis, but I soon found out it is another species altogether.
Mantidflies are small predators that sometimes mimmick wasps in look. They have lacy wings and do not get as large as their mantis cousins. In fact, mantidflies belong to the Neuroptera order and are closer relatives to Lacewings than mantids. It is a mantis mimmick.
This mantidfly was around 1.5 inches in length.
Learn more about mantidflies at: