A few weeks ago I noticed there was a little cheeto-sized praying mantis inside the Japanese Pavilion’s Bougainvillea tree. A week later I noticed the little critter again hiding safely within the same tree’s shady canopy during an exceptionally hot day. Then, yesterday, I saw what looked like an adult mantis nestled inconspicuously inside this same bougainvillea. I had considered that a bird might seek refuge in one of these trees, but it did not cross my mind that a praying mantis would.
It has been extremely interesting studying and watching it grow, as it never seems startled whenever I get up close to it. These insects are a great way to keep away harmful pests, as they are master hunters. The downside is they do not distinguish between harmful insects like scale or aphids, and good insects like ladybugs or assassin bugs.