Here’s a neat mantis seen on the middle fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. I was on a bit of a rampage against yellow jackets and almost squashed it before recognizing it as a "friendly". Is this a distinct species or a color variant?
This is not a true mantis. It is a Brown Mantisfly, but that is neither a mantis nor a fly. Though it looks like a wasp, it is not related to wasps either. Mantisflies are Neuropterans, and are related to lacewings and antlions.