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Praying Mantis Coloration

We have an abundance of praying mantids in Newport, OR this fall. Yesterday we found 5 brown mantids--3 females and 2 males. After doing some research on coloration, I have still not found a thorough explanation for the green vs. brown color. One reference mentioned that it could be a result of age and immediate environment. What is the time scale that their color can change by--does it occur during growth or can they change daily? Also, what is the home range size of mantids?

Wildlife Expert - David Herlocker

The coloration of mantids is genetically controlled, the mantids found in your area come in green and brown forms, and except for the tendency for green individuals to become a dull grayish-brown as they get old, they donít change color during their lives. Natural selection usually dictates the ratio of colors in any given population, in habitats with a predominantly brown background, this form will prosper by escaping the notice of visual predators (mainly birds), and in lush green situations, more of the green mantids will survive to reproduce. I donít know if anybody has studied the home range of mantids in the wild, but they are likely to travel very little if there is food and shelter where they are, but they can walk, jump and fly to a new location if competition or starvation are a factor.

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