Praying Mantis Catching the Sun

DSC_0003This large praying mantis (4 inches in length) was clinging to the foundation by a garden bed absorbing the sun. It was nervous about my taking the photo, pivoting its head to keep an eye on my movements. I believe this is a female (they are larger than males and in most species the males are brown). I hope that she lays an egg mass in the garden so that in the spring we will have a second generation to help maintain our organic garden. Earlier this summer (July 4th) I took a photo of a much smaller green praying mantis. Either a young female of the same specie or another specie. They only live for a year laying an egg mass in late summer/early fall. The egg mass surviving the winter hatches into nymphs in the spring which mature into adults throughout the summer months, mating and laying eggs at the end of summer and the cycle continues. (I just started singing “the circle of life” it must be nearly bed time!)

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