This design is from my original painting of a praying mantis. I find mantids fascinating, and this species has a well-earned reputation for being a powerful predator. Large mantids can and do hunt small birds, snakes and mammals. And unfortunately for the male, the female takes predation to the next level, cannibalizing him after mating. Not a pretty lifestyle, but a very impressive insect to behold, and a really cool subject to paint!