She is so awesome. Big and beautiful. I offered her three different males over the past few weeks. She ate two of them, without mating, as far as I know. The third male died mysteriously, (and frustratingly) also without mating. I kept her a little longer, hoping another male might show up at my porch light. A couple days ago, she surprised me with a beautiful ootheca. I fear it must be sterile, but there is always the possibility that she had already mated successfully before I found her.
Today, I took a few parting photos and let her go. The nights are starting to get just a little chilly, but she'll be OK for awhile. I would hate to see her decline, living in a jar, slowly deteriorating with age. I have kept mantids alive till Christmas, and beyond. It is bittersweet, eerie, and un-natural. This one needs to be free for the rest of her life.
A pretty face. Time to say goodbye.