The Mantispids are in the same suborder Plannipennia with the lacewings (several families) and the unusual antlions (Myrmeleontidae) and owlflies (Ascalaphidae). This family is Mantispidae and it is a small one in North America with 6 genera (Mantispa 5, Climaciella 1, Drepanicus 1, Plega 4, Nolima 3, Entanoneura 1) and 15 species. All are in the south. I am told that the Mantispa genus may have been exploded and this green guy (or gal) is now in Zeugomantispa.

This family is a large group in the tropics. The above representative popped up in Norm Lavers' house during December. He kept it going with flies and mosquitoes. The larvae eat spider eggs and the larvae of wasps and bees (different groups). The adults feed like true mantises with high speed graspings with those extended front legs.

As mentioned above, the Owlfies, family Ascalaphidae, are also in the order Neuroptera and are closely related to the antlions. The antlion larvae are known for building pit traps in sand and soft soil. The owlflies do not do this but at least one species has leafy camouflaged larva that attack from hidden arboreal perches (Ascaloptynx). Others appear to attack or hunt inside leaf litter on the ground. The larva have large clamping jaws and have contact triggering mechanisms to grasp prey. They secrete a paralytic venom. This one above may be Ascaloptynx appendiculatus (see list below).

Adults are diurnal and nocturnal, flying up to 10 meters above the ground after full darkness with a very dragonfly-like flight. They spend much of the day resting in the position above, apparently mimicking a stem. The natural prey of the adults is unknown but, shockingly, in the lab, they will take and eat large robber flies. Must be some potent paralytic venom. This one of Norm's is likely an Ululodes species. There are six species known to me overall, mostly in the south.

Ascaloptynx appendiculatus Fabricius 1793 occurs in AL, AR, AZ, FL, GA, MS, OK, TN, TX, SC, VA

Ululodes floridana (Banks) 1906 occurs in Fl, GA, SC, TX 

Ululodes macleayana (Guilding) 1825 AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, NJ, TX

Ululodes quadripunctatus (Burmeister) 1839 AL, AR, AZ, DE, FL, IA, IL, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, NE, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

Ululodes bicolor Banks 1895 CA, Central America

Ululodes arizonensis Banks 1907 AZ

The face and eyes of likely the same species of Ascaloptynx in my shot above. This genus has an undivided eye.

And compare the divided eye of the Ululodes species.

This may be the same species in the other Norm shot above. Though it has more wing marking distally. Possibly making this a male. An interesting angle from below. Patrick Coin thinks this is Ululodes quadripunctatus, a different species (see list above).

The definite female and again of Ululodes quadripunctatus, caught in the act of making the final arrangement of the atrophic eggs that may be the first food the hatchlings eat. Note the true egg sequence to the right. See Norm and Cheryl Laver's bugguide series here as well. Note she does have some dark shadow spots in the wings. Some females apparently complete lack spotting.


And the distinctive and crazy egg line of the Owl flies as under production above. Note the semiprotective barb rows to the right also created by the female during egglaying. See bugguide for some beautiful shots of the newly hatched.  

 A species from Camp Robinson in 2011. May also be Ascaloptynx. Fluttered up in shaded woods and went into camouflage position.
And from Bell in 2017. Who can resist them? No split eye here either. Nice chocalates on the abdomen. Was very wary.  

The antlion (family Myrmeleontidae) adults have much shorter antennae than the owlflies and the antennae have that little looping curve at the end. The body is generally slimmer. They resemble damselflies in flight. They are attracted to lights. (As this one was.) The classic larvae make the sand trap pitfalls that we are all familiar with (only constructed by the tribe Myrmeleontini -- there are five other tribes, though only three of these occur in the east). Some species hunt atop the ground or bury themselves just beneath the surface for ambush. There are over 90 species in North America.

The wing markings may be distinctive here. Don't know. Extraordinary eyes. There were several of these on the loose at the prairie area of Craighead Forest park.

The antennae on this thing are almost as long as the owlflies shown above. But it still appears to be one of the antlion adults. Norm found it in NE Arkansas. Again, absolutely distinctive wing markings compared to every other antlion I have seen. Patrick Coin informs me that this is distinctive and it is Glenurus gratis. There are others pictured at the bugguide site.