After they hatch, you must let them outside pretty rapidly. I kept them in the jar for 24 hour, so they could provide live entertainment at the lecture I was giving the next day. They got more applause than I did.
When I let them out, they seemed to disappear in my yard. Unfortunately, baby praying mantis top bird's lists of tasty treats. So, I was delighted when I found the first adult. I found him on a back lit leaf of my giant philodendron. See the first photo.
And, this incident got me looking around. My dog spotted one in my birch tree. I took a photo, and was surprised, pleased, and proud to note this mantis was gobbling a nasty plant chewing grasshopper for me! If you look closely, you can see it's wee mouth open to chomp.
Later, I was deadheading some nemesia, when a seed pod moved. There, in the middle the pale brown/tan pods and 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia, was a praying mantis. They change color to match their surroundings, and wait as still as a stick for their prey.
The very same day, I saw another disguised mantis. It was a still as the cedar tree trunk it was hiding on- somehow it made it's coloring several shades to match the textured bark.
This has given me faith that many of my little babies are still in my yard helping me get rid of the bad bugs. I love them for that, and for their adorable E.T. like heads. Next spring, I am going to buy more eggs to hatch- praying mantis make going green fun. Besides, it is like having little spies in disguise working with you to nail the plant eating bugs.
“We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics,” joked the American poet, Bill Vaughan. I hope my praying mantis remember me, and continue to populate my garden. I won't blow their cover.