This has been a great year for the mantids here. I saw many at the arboretum. These are a different species than the ones that live in my yard. They are smaller and a little slimmer. They have the little spot on the underside of the abdomen, like the one's I had when I was a kid.
I had rationalized that I would bring a few home, because the whole front area of the arboretum where I found them is going to be remodeled. The resulting landscaping changes would likely send too many oothecae into the chipper. I can keep the mantids unitl they lay eggs, then keep the eggs until they hatch and release the babies in just the right spot. (Yes, I could just move these mantids to a better spot in the arboretum, but you never know what plants those pesky groundskeepers will trim next.)
So anyway, there I was yesterday, staring into this one bush where I had previously seen two adult females. This time I found four of them. I took the 2 bigger ones. One of them was this beautiful, weirdly colored one.
I didn't have my camera with me yesterday, because I had my collecting stuff instead. (Didn't want to be too loaded down.) So I posed her this morning on one of my succulent plants that comes closest to matching her coloring.
Compared to her green sister.
Just a note: I don't know why the pictures don't look 100% sharp. They looked better viewed through the Nikon image thingy. They also look better when you click on them.