The dry hot summer doesn’t appear to have made significant impact on the population of native mantids. Early September is typically the best time to observe and photograph the larger, predatory insect and spiders in east central Illinois because they are at their largest and reproductive activities dominate much of their time.
Male Carolina mantids are streamlined, strong flying active predators, while the larger, weak flying females are more likely to sit on vegetation, ambushing prey as it appears.
Carolina mantids are smaller than the introduced Chinese mantids (Tenodera aridifolia). Carolina mantid wings do not extend to the end of the abdomen. Mature Chinese mantids of both genders possess wings that extend beyond the end of the abdomen.
A brown female Carolina mantid with her egg case (ootheca) can be seen at https://thingsbiological.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/mantids-mantids-and-more-mantids/.