The only insect that makes a great pet.
They hatch on Memorial Day, give or take a few days. About July 4 they are large enough to find in the wild. If you have an egg case in a terrarium, you'll be able to see them as soon as they hatch, but good luck finding these little guys outside.
They all have wings, but only adult males fly. Males are slightly shorter, a lot skinnier, and much more hyper. They are a lot harder to catch and somewhat more difficult to tame.
If well fed, they are much less cannibalistic than commonly thought. Yes, a small percent are Jeffrey or Jennifer Dahmers, but most are not.
Unfortunately they are short lived. In the wild they die between fall and winter. In captivity they still might die in fall, but some will make it almost to next spring.
It may seem cruel, but it's usually best to clip their wings in the fall, as they get a disease which starts out as brown spots on their wings but soon turns into holes. They die sooner if you let them get this, or let it progress. Cut the wings and put some Neosporin CREAM on them with a Q-tip.
FOOD: Katydids are their favorite. Small grasshoppers are good. Moths are excellent. You may have to buy crickets in the winter. Baby mantids eat flightless fruitflies (PETSMART).
Preying Mantis Kung Fu mimicks the fighting style of the Preying Mantis.