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Wasp Mantidfly

Wasp mantidfly, Climaciella brunnea
Katja Schulz [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr
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Wasp mantidfly, Climaciella brunnea

Climaciella brunnea look like a mantid (mantis) cross with a wasp. It is found in Canada and the United States. As with most mantidflies, this species is parasitic to spiders as larva: the eggs of wolf spiders are their preferred host and larva will get themselves wrapped up with the eggs in the sac by the spider, since they cannot break into the sacs themselves. If the spider hasn't yet laid eggs, the larva will subsist on the spider's blood until then. Once inside the sac the larva will feast on the eggs until it pupates.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.