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Species Dicromantispa sayi - Say's Mantidfly

Mantidfly - Dicromantispa sayi Mutant alien?? - Dicromantispa sayi Dicromantispa sayi? - Dicromantispa sayi Mantis Fly - Dicromantispa sayi ??? - Dicromantispa sayi large mantidfly - Dicromantispa sayi mantidfly - Dicromantispa sayi Dicromantispa sayi? - Dicromantispa sayi Dicromantispa sayi
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 Dicromantispa
Species sayi (Say's Mantidfly)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Dicromantispa sayi (Banks, 1897)
Orig. Comb: Mantispa sayi Banks, 1897
Syns: M. uhleri, M. fuscicornis (1)
Explanation of Names
Dicromantispa sayi (Banks, 1897)
sayi = named after Thomas Say, a prominent American entomologist and naturalist of the early 19th century
Dicromantispa sayi has dark brownish-to-black as well as lighter yellowish color forms(2). Note these characters:
D. sayi is usually smaller than D. interrupta, and has apex of forewing clear (D. interrupta differs in having apex of forewing with a dark spot);• Antennae can be either brown with yellow basal segments or tri-colored...see comments here, remarks here, and images below:
Caution! D. sayi and Leptomantispa pulchella are easily (and often) mistaken for each other! To tell them apart, see detailed discussion under the post below:
New World--s.e. Canada to Carribean and Central America (3)(4)(1) (5). Detailed distribution in our area below:
Canada: s. Ontario(1); USA: AZ, AR, CA, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NM, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI (5)(3) (6).
Lectotype Locality: Brazos Co., Texas
Life Cycle
Eggs; young-larvae; cocoon; pupa; pharate adult (sub-adult); adult female; adult male:
Dicromantispa sayi is comprised of two or more different color forms which are largely allopatric (see 2nd paragraph here). Those color forms correspond (more or less) to three previously named species that were synonymized in Hoffman (1989), namely: Mantispa sayi, M. fuscicornis, and M. uhleri (original descriptions here,  here, and at bottom of pg. 79 here). The dark forms of D. sayi, from east of the Mississippi River and northward, correspond to the former Mantispa uhleri...they have significant amounts of black coloration on the abdomen, pronotum and forelegs (especially in females). Much interesting life history, behavioral, and other information on M. uhleri (=D. sayi) can be found in the 1985 study by Redborg & McLeod.
Care must be taken in identifying D. sayi, as the dark "uhleri" forms can look very much like the the dark forms of Leptomantispa pulchella...and similarly for the light forms of D. sayi and those of L. pulchella. For extensive details on this topic, see remarks here.
Print References
Redborg, K.E. (1998). Biology of the Mantispidae. Annual Review of Entomology, 43:175-194 (Full Text)
Redborg, K.E. & E.G. MacLeod (1985). The developmental ecology of Mantispa uhleri Banks (Neuroptera: Mantispidae). Illinois Biol. Monogr. 53. 130 pp.
Rice, M. E. & W. B. Peck (1990). Mantispa sayi (Neuroptera: Mantispidae) parasitism on spiders (Araneae) in Texas, with observations on oviposition and larval survivorship. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 84: 52-57.
Hoffman, K. M. (1989). Taxonomic status of Mantispa sayi, Mantispa fuscicornis, and Mantispa uhleri (Neuroptera: Mantispidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 91:637–639. (Full Text)