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Upcoming Events

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Genus Plega

Which Mantisfly? - Plega Mantidfly 5.10.17 - Plega Plega? - Plega - male Plega? - Plega - male Mantispidae - Plega Plega dactylota? - Plega - female Plega Male, Plega? - Plega - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Lacewings, and Allies)
Suborder Hemerobiiformia (Lacewings and Allies)
Family Mantispidae (Mantid Lacewings)
Subfamily Symphrasinae
Genus Plega
Explanation of Names
Plega Navás 1928
4 spp. in our area(1), 14 total(2)
1. P. banksi: AZ
2. P. dactylota: AZ, CA, NV, TX, UT
3. P. fratercula: AZ
4. P. signata: AZ, CA
20-22 mm (P. dactylota)(3)
Dependable species identification requires examining internal male genitalia, esp. number/form of the terminal processes of the parameres) (Rehn 1939).
Links to species descriptions in Rehn (1939), with pages: P. banksi 248-250; P. dactylota 250-256; P. fratercula 247-248; P. signata 241-247.

P. fratercula is notable as our smallest species in the genus (body length 4.5-7.0 mm, forewing 7.0-9.0 mm).
sw. US, south to Mexico and Costa Rica(1)(4)(2)
Wooded habitats in mountains, canyons, adults come to lights
Life Cycle
Larvae are generalist predators of insect larvae, like solitary bees, paper wasps, etc.(3)(5)
Females have a long, thin ovipositor
Print References
Rehn J.W.H. (1939) Studies in North American Mantispidae (Neuroptera). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 65: 237-264. (Full text)
Ferris G.F. (1940) The morphology of Plega signata (Hagen) (Neuroptera : Mantispidae). Microentomology 5: 33-56 (Full text)
Works Cited
1.Species catalog of the Neuroptera, Megaloptera, and Raphidioptera of America North of Mexico
Penny N.D., Adams P.A., Stange L.A. 1997. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 50: 39-114.
2.Neuropterida Species of the World catalogue (by J.D. Oswald)
3.National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Insects and Spiders & Related Species of North America
Arthur V. Evans. 2007. Sterling.
4.Mantispidae (Neuroptera) of Mexico: distribution and key to genera
Reynoso-Velasco D., Contreras-Ramos A. 2008. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 101: 703-712.
5.Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.