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Species Leptomantispa pulchella

California mantidfly - Leptomantispa pulchella Small mantidfly - Leptomantispa pulchella Mantispid - Leptomantispa pulchella Mantisfly Gathering_2008 - Leptomantispa pulchella Mantisfly - Leptomantispa pulchella Neuroptera - Leptomantispa pulchella Which Mantidfly? - Leptomantispa pulchella Mantispidae: Leptomantispa pulchella - Leptomantispa pulchella
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies)
Suborder Hemerobiiformia (Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies)
Family Mantispidae (Mantidflies)
Subfamily Mantispinae
Genus Leptomantispa
Species pulchella (Leptomantispa pulchella)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Leptomantispa pulchella (Banks 1912)
Explanation of Names
Latin pulchella 'beautiful'
Identification
Small, yellowish, with brown and black pattern.
numerous fine setae visible in lateral view on the dorsal surface of the pronotum
pterostigma forming an angle of >40° with the end of the RA
body with yellow and brown tones
NB: can be easily confused with paler specimens of Dicromantispa sayi
Pronotum smooth (no appreciable transverse ridges), with short setae distributed uniformly throughout its entire length(1):
    (full-size)     (full-size)
L. pulchella is easily mistaken for Dicromantispa (and vice versa); differences are very hard to see in most images. In Dicromantispa, pronotum has evident transverse ridges(1) and very inconspicuous setae (small patches of very short, fine hairs at each end + at most very sparse ones in between).
    (full-size)
Range
Canada (sw. ON, so. BC(1)) to Costa Rica(2).
Detailed list of US states from (2):
    AL, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, KY, IL, IN, IA, LA, MS, MO, NV, NY, NC, OH, OR, SC, TX, UT, WA.
Food
Hosts are spiders commonly found on foliage (Anaphaenidae, Salticidae, Clubioidae, etc.) who also build silken retreats on leaves and under bark(1)
Life Cycle
First-instar larvae board spiders to gain access to freshly laid eggs; they will not feed on eggs unless they have spent some time on the dorsum of the spider pedicel, where they apparently feed on the host's haemolymph(1)
Works Cited
1.The Mantispidae (Insecta: Neuroptera) of Canada, with notes on morphology, ecology, and distribution
Cannings R.A., Cannings S.G. 2006. Can. Entomologist 138: 531-544.
2.Mantispidae (Neuroptera) of Mexico: distribution and key to genera
Reynoso-Velasco D., Contreras-Ramos A. 2008. Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 101: 703-712.