Praying Mantis

This elegant lady, a female European Mantis (Mantis religiosa), was checking me out with her 10,000 eyes on the terrace of our place in Tuscany a couple of mornings ago while enjoying the October sun.
According to Mr Wikipedia: ‘Originating in southern Europe, the European Mantis was introduced to North America in 1899 on a shipment of nursery plants. Now they are found all over the north-eastern United States and Canada to the Pacific Northwest. The European Mantis is usually 5–7.5 cm (2–3 inches) in length, and has shades of bright green to tan. It can be distinguished easily by a black-ringed spot beneath the fore coxae. It is one of several different insects for which a name used within Europe to refer to only a single insect species (in this case, “praying mantis”) has become adopted throughout the globe to refer to the larger group of insects to which that one species belongs (e.g., compare “hornet” to European hornet, or “wasp” to common wasp).
Despite being an introduced species, it is the official state insect of Connecticut.’
Although not visible in this image, the black-ringed spot was there in this insect, confirming the identification.

Canon 40D with Canon 28-70mm L f2.8L lens at 70mm. ISO200 1/250 at f10
Original RAW image cropped and processed in Lightroom
Image taken 4 October 2012