I’ve heard all my life that killing a praying mantis/mantid in certain states like Kentucky and Indiana is illegal. Not so, but I wouldn’t kill one…not intentionally at least. I believe this bright green, four inch mantis sitting on my hydrangea is of the Chinese variety, but that’s just a guess. It doesn’t look like a native Kentucky or Indiana specimen, which are smaller and more gray or mottled gray in color, although I could be wrong. I was amazed at how well he blended into the bright green leaves. Being an ambush predator, I’m sure that ability comes in handy. It was a little different color while sitting on a hand.
Mantids don’t bite or sting, but when they turn that triangular head and look at you, they can be kind of creepy. Most people know they eat other insects and not just the pests, but beneficial ones too. They will also catch and kill hummingbirds. Go here for proof : Warning, if you love the little hummers, these pictures are hard to look at. http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/site/backyardbirds/hummingbirds/mantis-hummer.aspx