Here are a few of the mantids that I encountered over the summer:
This little guy was really dark. 75% cacao dark chocolate dark.
I fed him a fly, which he ate, and then he went on his way.
This guy lived on the same low-hanging branch for several weeks. I fed him a fly, skewered on the end of a grass-stem every day. I'd like to think he's one of the bachelors I saw hanging out with his buddies on my porch the other day. (down at the end of this post)
I thought this girl was resting when I found her on my screen door, but there was something wrong with her. She was virtually paralyzed. I don't know if she had somehow come in contact with some pesticide, or maybe she was stung by a bee or something, but I kept her for a few days and fed her droplets of honey, and she recovered. I released her back into the yard and saw her for several days until she disappeared (up into the trees, I hope).
Brice called me from school the other week to tell me there was a large praying mantis that he thought "I would want to see". He was right. She was beautiful. Strangely yellowish, kind of "lemon-lime" colored.
She also acted strangely, and she wouldn't eat, which is very unusual for a large female. I let her go, too.
These "Three Caballeros" were on my porch light a few nights ago, when it was so hot. I like how they all stopped their partying for just a second to look at the camera.