At first glance, I thought this was a rather odd looking member of the praying mantis family. However, the biologist who posted these pictures clarified that this mean looking bug (bug in the popular, not entomological sense) is in fact a mantispid, also known as mantis lacewings or mantisflies, which belong in the family Mantispidae, subfamily Mantispinae, order Neuroptera.
The latter means veined wings in Latin, referring the venation of the wings of the imago, which are held in a roof-like position when not in flight. The order also includes scorpion flies and ant-lions, the latter of which is known for large-mandibled larva which hunt by lying at the bottom of a self-made pit of sand and flinging particles at insects that wander into the depression to force them down to the jaws below.
As depicted, adult mantispids consume fellow insects (and probably any other creature small enough to be tackled). Proportionate to its body length, its first pair of modified legs appear smaller than true mantids, but the similarity of their heads, thorax and raptorial forelimbs is an uncanny case of evolutionary convergence. Mantispids, which reach 25 mm, are smaller than most mantids.
The larva are also blood thirsty little beasts which prey on the egg sacs of spiders, by either seeking out the eggs independently, or climbing on board female spiders (which they are able to determine somehow) prior to brooding. They may also feed on spider blood in the meantime (they may remain on the spider for as long as a year before reaching an egg sac) as well as shift from host to host during spider mating. Almost every family of hunting spiders (i.e. non-web weaving species) are potential targets, although web-spinners are also known to be hosts.
The Malesia biogeographical region has at least 63 species of mantispids (and a total of 450 neuropterans) while Wallacea (which spans the Philippines, Sulawesi and the islands east of Bali, though not New Guinea) has 27. Singapore is also home to this group of insects, but unfortunately I could not find any records, except for this photo by Joseph Lai.
There is a even a poem about the mantispid, which I reproduce for the amusement of poetic apes and prosaic ducks:
One night I spied a mantis-fly
Midst leaves upon a tree.
The mantis-fly to me did cry
“Why spiest thou on me?”
So thus I did to her reply:
“Art thou Mantispidae?”
“I am” she said, “for I have fed
When young on spider's eggs,
“But now, instead, for daily bread,
“Gnats catch I with my legs -
“My claws embedded `til they're dead -
With mantid spine-like pegs.”
So I was right on yester night
She was a mantid-fly -
Mantispid slight, mantispid wight,
That reached toward the sky
And in my sight, her eyes quite bright,
Prayed to the Lord on High!