Whether you call them "praying" mantis or "preying" mantis, one thing is for sure: they are difficult to find.
Tucked away in vegetation and as quiet as "the proverbial mouse" (except praying mantids are more quiet than the "proverbial" mice), they are an eye exercise in "Find me!"
As autumn approaches, our little bee garden is nearing the end of its life. The Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and lavender are fading rapidly. However, honey bees and other pollinators continue to forage, and the mantids are still hungry. The female mantids, mothers to be, need more high-quality food. Ootheca!
We're all accustomed to seeing praying mantids grab their struggling prey with their spiked forelegs and munch away. Usually that movement alerts us to their whereabouts.
But have you ever just searched for mantids in their habitat? See if you can find them in these photos.
Find the praying mantis!
Author - Communications specialist
Late afternoon sun gives away the location of this praying mantis hidden in a bed of lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Dead Tithonia leaves camouflage this praying mantis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A very gravid female hanging out in the lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
These are all green leaves, right? No, there's a green praying mantis here, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)