Thanks to an alert reader for snapping this shot in White Post! Perhaps our area has had a bit too much rain this fall?
According to Wikipedia, mantodea (or mantises) is an order of insects that contains approximately 2,200 species in 15 families. A colloquial name for the order is “praying mantises”, because of the typical “prayer-like” stance, although the term is often misspelled as “preying mantis” since mantises are predatory.
In Europe, the name “praying mantis” refers to Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera (termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder.
They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.
Of course, a larger mantis, like the one pictured here, may need more than a cricket to quench its hunger. White Post residents are asked to keep close track of their small dogs and cats.