Crypsis (blending with the surroundings) is common among the Praying Mantises that can be difficult to detect when they perch on the flowers and leaves of plants that they mimic. On a still day, a cryptic mantis can wait motionless on a plant to avoid discovery by other predators or detection by unwary prey. However, when it moves, the motion can draw attention of prey and it approaches stealthily.
Plants are not always still. On windy days, plant leaves and flowers will sway in the wind. Hiroshi Watanabe and Eizi Yano* studied the behavior of a Praying Mantis, Tenodera aridifolia. The mantises will approach prey with a swaying body motion that resembles a swaying plant. They move more quickly and more frequently under windy conditions. On windy days, the motion of a mantis becomes less obvious because it mimics the swaying movements of the plants. Tenodera aridifolia, approaches prey more boldly and is more successful in capturing prey under windy conditions.
*Hiroshi Watanabe & Eizi Yano. Behavioral response of mantid Tenodera aridifolia to windy conditions as a cryptic approach strategy for approaching prey. Entomological Science 16: 40–46. January 2013