omg! I just got home from this wonderful experience of seeing a praying mantis with it's (very large green) wings spread!! I had no idea they had wings!
I was walking my dog Jersey, and she must have disrupted it's safe space. I'm not sure how my eye caught it in the weedy raw open-space area, she blended in so well, but also she was so BIG I couldn't believe it. It was startling! She must have been standing 5 inches tall! The wings were HUGE, and bright bright green all the way. (I just finsihed reading that they can also and often be bright colors, though none of the pics I could find even resembled the size of the wings I saw.) It looked like an angel, not kidding!
I immediately searched in my hiking-pack for my cell-camera, but by the time I had gotten it out... she was gone! I couldn't find her anywhere. Must have gotten away from there fast and I can't say I blame her, but oh, how disappointed to not get the shot. I have NEVER seen anything like it! Pure magic. And so grateful she stood that way for so long if even for my eyes only. I saw her every detail and got an up-close long look at her winged-self and inquisitive, exquisite face.
And I'm sure it was a female. She had a large bulb underneathe the very sheer but surprisingly large wings. This is the closest photo I could find on google as to how she looked underneathe her wings. But the wings, her open wings jet out from her back blanketing the ground like a gown. They were full like a butterfly's wings only pointed, and the wings came up too above her head. She was standing upright in the standing position twisting and turning her lovely face.
I also just got finished reading that in this position, she was probably ready to fly. Which I'm sure she did after I stepped away to retrieve my camera. And how she totally vanished so quickly, as I turned only for a quick moment to get the camera. Praying mantis do fly, but just a bit here and there, and only for short spurts to get away from predators.
What a blessing.