i5K: Green mantisfly
Green Mantisfly (Zeugomantispa minuta)
Image source: Patrick Coin
Contact: Spencer Johnston
Size (or size of nearest relative):
Keywords (and why important):Zeugomantispa minuta is a highly derived lacewing species (Insecta: Neuroptera: Mantispidae) whose adult morphology and behavior convergently resemble those of a small preying mantis (order Mantodea). Its larval stages are predators of spider eggs and display hypermetamorphosis – a specialized form of development in which successive larval stages have very different morphological forms. In this particular species, the first instar larva is active and mobile. Successive larval stages are inactive, immobile, and progressively lose all visible external appendages.
The Zeugomantispa genome will be the first complete genome for any species in the insect superorder Neuropterida (orders Neuroptera, Megaloptera and Raphidioptera). The completed genome will allow comparison of this particularly interesting form of metamorphosis, with other developmental forms, and greatly facilitate studies of insect systematics and genomics. At 197 Mb, the genome of Z. minuta is among the smallest known in an order with documented genome sizes ranging up to 1600+ Mb.