I couldn't resist taking a few photos before picking up the Praying Mantis, still holding onto what was left of the butterfly, and placing it outside the enclosure in a garden a small distance away.
Imagine that - mama Praying Mantis giving birth and now there are dozens of praying mantis inside the Monarch enclosure.
The interesting shape of mantids makes them easy to recognise. Often found in gardens the mantids are much admired, especially by children (personal observation). The praying mantis is a large bright green insect with an adult body length of approximately 40 mm (Parkinson, 2001) (Figure 1). It has a small triangular head with large compound eyes and also a smaller pair of less obvious eyes. The head is moved about and rotated by a flexible neck and thorax. Forelegs are long and powerful; lined with sharp spines for catching prey. A purple spot can be seen on the inside of the femur (mid section) of the foreleg. As well as being part of the mantis’ ear (tympanic organ), it may also be used as part of a defensive stance (Miller, 1984). The mid and hind legs of the mantis are long and thin. Two pairs of wings, which mostly remain safely tucked away on top of the abdomen, are attached just below the thorax: the front pair thick for protection, the hind pair larger and gauzy (Child, 1974). The female mantis is noticeably larger; especially when laden with eggs (Grant, 1999).
REF: Canterbury Nature Org
When I looked back later, the Praying Mantis had gone and all that was left was the butterfly's wings. We butterfly lovers always find this a sad sight to behold however do concede that it's a great example of nature's food chain in action.