I spotted this Praying Mantis on Saturday at Huntley Meadows Park as it was crawling about on a nesting box for birds in one of the remote areas of the park. I am pretty confident that the nesting box, which was used by Tree Swallows earlier in the year, was no longer in active use—otherwise the mantis probably would not have survived for long. I was struck by the size of the insect, which seemed to be about six inches (15 cm) in length.
I think this may be a Mantis religiosa, one of the more common types of mantises, though Wikipedia notes that there are over 2400 species worldwide, so I could easily be incorrect in my identification.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.