California Mantis

Subject:  Dead Leaf Mantis?
Geographic location of the bug:  Pollock Pines, California
Date: 08/10/2018
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

Probably California Mantis

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.

You’re amazing. I knew it couldn’t be a dead leaf, but what I couldn’t think of anything else to call it!  We’ve only ever found green ones in Pollock Pines.  This brown one fit right in with the bush clippings.  Thank you for your time and ID.  We love finding Mantises.
~ John

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