We have known about orchid mantises for more than 100 years. Famous naturalists such as Alfred Russell Wallace have speculated about their extraordinary appearance. Eschewing the drab green or brown of most mantises, the orchid mantis is resplendent in white and pink. The upper parts of its legs are greatly flattened and are heart-shaped, looking uncannily like petals. On a leaf it would be highly conspicuous—but when sitting on a flower, it is extremely hard to see. In photos, the mantis is often shown in or next to a flower, challenging the reader to spot it.
Generally we get two or three in the yard over the summer but none as pretty as this.