Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar
Upcoming Events

Interested in a 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico?

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

National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.

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

Discussion, 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

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Previous events


TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Climaciella brunnea - Brown Wasp Mantidfly

wasp-like with strange front legs - Climaciella brunnea Big-armed, long-necked wasp - Climaciella brunnea Wasp Mantisfly - Climaciella brunnea - female Climaciella brunnea mantid/wasp ? - Climaciella brunnea Wasp Mantidfly on Cilantro - Climaciella brunnea Wasp mimic mantid - Climaciella brunnea Mantid Fly - Climaciella brunnea
Classification
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 (Mantidflies)
Subfamily Mantispinae
Genus Climaciella (Wasp Mantidflies)
Species brunnea (Brown Wasp Mantidfly)
Other Common Names
Brown Mantidfly
Western Mantispid, Western Mantidfly
Wasp Mantidfly (note: this name applies to most all members of this genus so isn't very useful outside of our area)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Climaciella brunnea Say, 1824
Climaciella brunnea var. instabilis Opler, 1981
Climaciella rubescens Stitz, 1913
Climaciella rubescens var. laciniata Stitz, 1913
Climaciella rubescens var. unicolor Stitz, 1913
Mantispa brunnea Banks, 1911
Climaciella brunnea var. occidentis (Banks, 1911)
Climaciella occidentis (Banks, 1911)
Climaciella varia var. occidentis (Banks, 1911)
Climaciella brunnea (Banks, 1911)
Mantispa brunnea var. occidentis Banks, 1911
Mantispa burquei Provancher, 1875
Mantispa denaria Taylor, 1862
Mantispa moesta Hagen, 1861
Climaciella varia (Erichson, 1839)
Symphrasis varia (Erichson, 1839)
Mantispa varia Erichson, 1839
Orig comb.: Mantispa brunnea Say, 1824
Explanation of Names
Climaciella brunnea Say, 1824
Climaciella brunnea Say in Keating, 1824
from the Latin brunnea ('brown')
Size
23-30 (35?) mm
Identification
A large mantidfly that's a hyper-variable Batesian mimic of the local species of paper wasps in the genus Polistes. compare:

Mimic of P. exclamans from Louisiana


Mimic of P. comanchus from Arizona


Mimic of P. carolina (center) / P. rubiginosus (right) from Louisiana


Mimic of P. aurifer from Colorado


Mimic of P. fuscatus from Ontario
Range
Southern parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec (Cannings & Cannings, 2006). Widespread in the United States. South to Costa Rica.
Habitat
Old fields, etc., on flowers in spring. May come to lights into summer.
Season
Spring (late May), into summer. Males short-lived, just in spring. Females live longer.
Food
Predatory on other insects (and other Mantidflies), especially those coming to flowers. Also takes some nectar and sap.
Life Cycle
Males and females found on flowers in spring, where mating presumably occurs. Larvae are parasitoids of spiders. Adults come to lights.

eggs; adult female; adult male:
Remarks
A bit of movement in a windy, grassy field: VIDEO #1 and VIDEO #2.
Print References
Arnett p. 349 (1)
Cannings and Cannings, 2006. The Mantispidae (Insecta: Neuroptera) of Canada, with notes on morphology, ecology, and distribution. Can. Entomologist 138: 531-544 (abstract).
Eaton and Kaufman, pp. 222-223, color photo (2)
Evans, p. 149--color photo (3)
Marshall, photo 255.1 (4)
Internet References
North Carolina State Univ. Entomology Collection lists for that state, with 41 pinned.
Resource Partitioning of prey in Mantispa, Climaciella
Invasive.org - Links to several images