Subject: Dead Leaf Mantis?
Geographic location of the bug: Pollock Pines, California
Time: 03:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Bugman, we found this mantis in a pile of manzanita and other bush trimmings. It’s abdomen resembles a dead leaf, but is this a dead leaf mantis? Thanks in advance.
How you want your letter signed: ~ John
Dear ~ John,
This is an immature native Mantis in the genus Stagmomantis, and we believe it is a California Mantis, Stagmomantis californicus, but we would not rule out that it is the very similar looking Bordered Mantis, Stagmomantis limbata, as their ranges overlap in California. Both species come in brown and green forms, and the color tends to vary based on where they are living. Green individuals are often found on fresh green growth while brown individuals are better camouflaged on drier plants. Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.