Length: typically 12-14 mm
Leptomantispa pulchella ranges from Canada to Costa Rica; it has also been recorded from Cuba.
The mantisfly shown on this page is a state record for Tennessee (determined by Dr. Kevin Hoffman). Two or three individuals showed up at a BugGuide gathering at the University of Tennessee Field Station near Gatlinburg in 2008, and at least ten of us photographed them, thus providing a new (photographic) state record.
Entomologists have reported success in collecting this species with mercury vapor lamps, with malaise traps, and from vegetation. The only specimen found in eastern Canada was collected by Stephen Marshall in a relict tallgrass prairie (Cannings and Cannings, 2006).
Leptomantispa pulchella hatchlings board spiders, riding on the dorsum and feeding on the spider’s haemolymph. The preferred spider hosts are Ghost Spiders and Jumping Spiders. Eventually the mantisfly nymphs leave the spider and enter the spider’s egg case, where they pass their developmental period feeding on spider eggs.
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