We found a mantis egg case in April, and now we’ve found an adult (or near full grown) mantis. I know that these insects are very small when they hatch, but I never notice them until late summer, after they have grown quite large. This one is about three inches (75 mm) long. It’s setting its ambush in a milkweed plant.
What are you lookin’ at, pal?
One antenna seems to have disappeared, but it appears in later photos, so perhaps it’s pointed straight at the lens in this photo. These insects will sit still for long periods, so they make ideal subjects for macro photography. I limited my time spent photographing this mantis to a few minutes, though, so as not to stress it.
Mantises are fearsome predators. They’ve even been known to catch and eat hummingbirds. An amusing and informative (but not suitable for all viewers) video about mantises by zefrank is available on youtube.