African praying mantis vs North American praying mantis

On a typical lousy, rainy, damp day in Cape Town on a June morning, I was doing laundry, and, when hanging up my clothes on the line outside to dry, I saw this guy lurking on the patio.

Last week I heard my mom shrieking in her New Jersey kitchen. I got the picture of this critter. After much fussing, exclaiming, and more shrieking, we managed to get him under a cup onto a paper birthday cake plate, and we released him into the back yard.

The tragedy is that yesterday afternoon my mom and I were taking a stroll about the neighborhood, and we stumbled upon a dead praying mantis squashed on the sidewalk, presumably by a bike tire. I could see the back of my parents’ yellow house somewhat far off in the distance towards the horizon. Poor little bugger. He made it so far. Only to fall victim to a little kid on a bike ride (presumably).

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