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Mantispidae (mantid flies; subclass Pterygota, order Neuroptera) Family of insects whose common name refers to their mantidlike appearance. The prothorax is elongate, with raptorial forelegs arising from its anterior end. The predacious adults have large, transparent wings, up to 35 mm in span. The larvae are parasites on the egg sacs of wolf spiders, and one subfamily is parasitic in the nests of vespoid wasps. Mantispids are widely distributed, but are commoner in southern regions.