A praying mantis makes its way through a batch of oregano at a home on the city's West Side. A mantis can change its color to match its surroundings but often becomes a pale, washed-out color just before it molts because
the outer layer of skin
is detaching from the
Unlike most insects, the mantis does not go through a larva stage. Instead, mantis babies hatch
as miniature versions of
the adult and then shed their skin multiple
times throughout their approximately six-month lifecycles.
The mantis is extremely vulnerable during the hours it takes to molt and can even become stuck inside its own molting skin and die.