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Mantispids have the most amazing lifecycle of any creature on earth. Period. – Marlin Peterson
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Mantispids have the most amazing lifecycle of any creature on earth. Period.

newly hatched mantispid larvae await the ride of their lives

..but I would love to be convinced that there is something even cooler.  The larvae of the order Neuroptera have the most incredible repertoire of ambush predation…someday I hope to illustrate the best of them!

This illustration was by far for me the most fascinating to research and I learned about this creature in so many ways, on so many disparate levels.  It could very well be the coolest creature on our planet today.

I feel bad for the spiders, but all life on the planet is preyed on from microbes or fungus on up at some point in their existence.

let me know what you think!  or if you know of other crazy relationships among insects and spiders!

tenderly feeding from within the protected eggsac 


  • Michael Ohl

    Hi, I stumbled over your great illustrations when searching the web for images of mantispid larvae ‘aboard spider’! I am a neuropterologsist working on mantsipids, and I have recently described a mantispid larva right on the back of a clubionid spider in Baltic amber. Try to google spider-rider, your will soon find a link. I have recently given a talk on this finding on an international conference, and it is a pity that your great illustrations were unknwon to me then!

    June 20, 2011 at 8:14 AM

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