Tiny mantis

Brown mantis nymph
Brown mantis nymph

At first glance I thought this was an ant – it was about the right size, at about 8-10mm long, and colour – but no, it’s a baby praying mantis. I don’t know how big it will grow, but I do know it is very young because mantises, like grasshoppers, begin life wingless and develop wings after successive moults.

Most of us familiar with a green mantis which grows to about finger length, but there are lots of others. Here is a differently-shaped green one and here is a very large brown one. Wikipedia has a good article about the family.

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