Mantis religiosa – European Praying Mantis
We estimated this one was 5-6” long.
Although he is non-native, mantids are very helpful with certain types of insect control such as gypsy moth caterpillars and aphids. They do feast on other insects as they are carnivores and successful predators. They hunt by camouflaging themselves among plants and ambushing their prey.
Most mantids are tropical with no species common north of the United States. They overwinter in the egg stage. Most mantid rely on their coloration to obscure them from predators.