I've been seeing loads of mature mantids lately, mostly at the arboretum, but a few around my house, too. I don't know why I keep taking pictures of them. Sometimes even I feel like if I've seen one, I've seen them all. But all to soon they will be gone, so I still say "hello" to every one I see, and take their picture if I have a chance.
Here's a male S. Californica that came to my porch light.
This Iris oratoria nymph is well camoflauged. This species predominates at the arboretum right now, and the next few pictures are all Iris.
Also at the arboretum, S. limbata (I think) male and female encounter one another. They spent at least a couple hours checking each other out. By the next morning, the female had retreated under a leaf, but the male was still nearby. 2 days later, the male was still hanging around, but I couldn't see the female. I'm wondering if she was still there and I just couldn't see her, otherwise why would he still be there?
A pair of S. Californica mating in a clump of grass. The 2 males in the picture below were on a structure nearby, probably wishing it were them.
Meanwhile, back at my house, this fellow was not so lucky. I mean, he still got lucky, but lost his head in the process.
So often when I approach a mantid up close, it will turn its head and look right at me. Such was the case this time as well, and she gave me such a look, I had to caption it.