Yeah mantis are cool bugs..we used to play with them as kids...they're a pretty well seeing bug..that'll follow your finger when you move it around.Wife is scared of them but i cannot help liking any living thing that HUNTS for its food. Call it mutual respect.
I see you guys have bigger stick insects over there... ours are about 20-25 cm max (the girls are biggest)I like the bugs or at least some but they are not plentiful like they used to be . Praying mantis , walking sticks , butter flies and dragon flies , seem to be disappearing .
Every year I could find a cicada shell on a catalpa tree and now it is rare .