I did a bit of research on the praying mantis, trying to find out all about the one I saw behind my apartment building yesterday:
First, I found out it's a Chinese mantis.
Second, I'm pretty sure this one is male. He's long and skinny, like many of the males I saw in pictures. Female mantises (mantids?) are generally bigger and wider. As a male mantis, he'll be doing a great job keeping the back porch free of moths and whatnot, and won't be doing some of the terrifying things female mantises do, like eating hummingbirds or, you know, their mate.
I didn't see him when I came home from dinner last night, but he was back in his same spot this morning. If I see him again, I'll have to name him and consider him the unofficial mascot of my building.
In the interest of being prepared, what should his name be?