David Rentz 16 January 2014Euclimacia nuchalis(species)Taxonomy: Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Neuroptera: Mantispidae: Euclimacia: nuchalisCommon Names: Lacewings, Mantidflies, Mantispids, Mantid lacewings, Mantis-flies
Mantispids are members of the Neuroptera, the order that includes lacewings, ant-lions, sponge-flies and the like. They are fairly common in Australia. Greyish ones a usually found at lights were they prey on smaller insects. The mantis-like appearance of mantispids is because they both have raptorial forelegs that are used to capture insect prey. Mantispids have a complicated life history. Many are obligate parasites of spiders. They have an active triungulin larva that mounts a spider and enters her eggs sac to feed on the eggs. Some species retard the growth of their hosts by chemical interference. Some Australian species congregate at times in great hundreds laying small eggs on stalks. But for the majority of species, we really know nothing of their life history. To return to our story, shortly after E. nuchalis arrived, this darker coloured fellow appeared on the same light sheet. Is it the opposite sex of E. nuchalis, a variant or a different species? I have no idea. But it resembles another wasp. If is the same species, it has different genetic history to one that resembles the vespid wasp. This one looks a bit like some of the pompilid wasps that seek out spiders in our part of the world. What a complicated genetic history this little insect must have.0 votes
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