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Let us pray — A salute to our favorite mantis

Stock photo of a praying mantis on a purple flower.
Patti Cearley
Getty Images
Stock photo of a praying mantis on a purple flower.

This legislative session, local students lobbied Connecticut lawmakers to change our state insect, which is currently the praying mantis. This hour we are focused on the praying mantis. We'll learn about the insect, why students think it should not represent the state, and what praying mantises of the future could look like.


  • Katherine Dugas (below): Entomologist and research technician at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station 
  • Liz Alter: Professor of Evolutionary Biology at California State University Monterey Bay
Photographed April 08, 2024, Katherine Dugas, an entomologist for the state, displays a Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis) before her appearance on the Colin McEnroe show. The Chinese Mantis was discovered in Connecticut in 1902 and is larger than the European Mantis or Praying Mantis that appeared was discovered in North America in the late 1890's, first found in Connecticut in 1951 and was designated the official state insect in 1977.
Mark Mirko
Connecticut Public

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Colin McEnroe and Dylan Reyes contributed to this show.

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Lily is the senior producer for The Colin McEnroe Show. She first worked at Connecticut Public as an intern in 2014. She has previously worked for WBUR, KUNC and as a producer for the New England News Collaborative's weekly show Next. Lily can be reached at ltyson@ctpublic.org.