Chinese mantis

(Tenodera sinensis sinensis)

Conservation Status
Chinese mantis
Photo by Corey Anderson
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Chinese mantis is a large, exotic, predaceous insect. It is native to Japan, China, North and South Korea, Thailand, and Micronesia. It was accidentally introduced in Philadelphia in 1896. It is now common in the United States and southern Canada east of the Great Plains, in California west of the Rocky Mountains, and in most of Asia. It is uncommon in the southern third of Minnesota, where it is at the northwestern extent of its range, and is absent from the remainder of the state. It is found in grasslands, meadows, agricultural fields, and woodlands, and at the sides of streams and rivers. Adults are active in summer until fall, when they are killed by the first frost. They eat anything they can catch, including insects, small amphibians and reptiles, and hummingbirds.

Chinese mantis is the largest mantid in the United States. Mature adults can be 2 to 5 (51 to 127 mm) in length but they average just 2¾ (70 mm) long. They may be green, tan, or both in parts.

The head is triangular. There are two very large compound eyes and three small simple eyes (ocelli). The compound eyes are on the sides of the head and are bulging. In low light they appear black but in daylight they are the same color as the head. The ocelli are between and above the antennae bases. There is no raised projection (tubercle) between the eyes. The antennae are short, thin, and thread-like. The three facial shields covering the front of the face are distinctly vertically striped. The upper plate, the one between and below the antennal bases, is squarish, about as long as wide. The structures between the head and thorax are very flexible. The head can be swiveled 180°, allowing the mantis to look “over its shoulder.”

The first section of the thorax (prothorax) is greatly elongated. It is much longer than the first segment (coxa) of the front legs. It is widest behind the head then greatly narrowed ahead of the point where the front legs are attached.

The forewings (tegmen) are mostly thin, pliable, and somewhat transparent (membranous). They may be green or tan. The front (costal) area is green on both green and tan tegmen. The hindwings are heavily marbled and are much broadened from front to rear.

The front legs are adapted for seizing prey (raptorial). On the underside of the thorax, between the coxae, there is a large yellow spot. On each front leg the coxae are greatly lengthened. The third and fourth segments (femur and tibia respectively) are armed with spines. The tibia is more than half as long as the femur. It has several teeth on the underside and no teeth on the upper side. The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has five segments. The middle and hind legs are long and slender. On the rear legs the upper surface of the tibia is rounded.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 2 to 5 (51 to 127 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Grasslands, meadows, agricultural fields, and woodlands, and at the sides of streams and rivers

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Summer and fall

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active during the day. They remain stationary with their legs raised up as they wait for prey. Though they have wings, females do not fly. Males can fly only short distances.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Adults mate in September. About half of the males are snatched and eaten by the female after mating. The female produces a single, paper mache-like case (ootheca) with 50 to several hundred eggs. The ootheca is usually attached to a bush, small tree, or other vegetation. The eggs overwinter and hatch late in the following spring. Hatchlings are dispersed by the wind. Most nymphs die of starvation or desiccation. Those that survive moult seven times before becoming an adult.

 
     
 

Nymph Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Insects and small animals, including amphibians, reptiles, and hummingbirds.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82.

 
  10/8/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Mantodea (mantises)  
 

Suborder

Eumantodea (extant mantises)  
 

Infraorder

Schizomantodea  
 

Superfamily

Mantoidea  
 

Family

Mantidae (mantids)  
 

Subfamily

Tenoderinae  
 

Tribe

Tenoderini  
  Subtribe Tenoderina  
 

Genus

Tenodera  
  Species Tenodera sinensis  
       
 

Until recently, Chinese mantis was classified as Tenodera aridifolia sinensis, a subspecies of giant Japanese mantis, which sometimes goes by the same common name. In 2002 it was raised to species level based on differences in the male genitalia.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Tenodera aridifolia

Tenodera aridifolia sinensis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Chinese mantid

Chinese mantis

giant Japanese mantis (erroneously)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Ocellus

Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.

 

Tarsus

On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tegmen

The modified, leathery front wing of grasshoppers and related insects that protects the hindwing. It may also serve as a camouflage, a defensive display, or a sound board. Plural: tegmina.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.

 

Tubercle

On plants and animals: a small, rounded, raised projection on the surface. On slugs: raised areas of skin between grooves covering the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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David Sorenson

 
 

found it on our garage door

 
    Chinese mantis      
 

Nate Redig

 
 

My Science teacher said I should report the praying mantis, it is about 4 and 1 fourth inches long (not including the hand spike things) also here is a photo

 
    Chinese mantis   Chinese mantis  
 

Corey Anderson

 
 

Found today on the side of my mother’s house in Jackson….. is rather large 3+ inches.

 
    Chinese mantis      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

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slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
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David Sorenson

 
  Chinese Mantis 01
5/3/2021
 
   
 
About

Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis sinensis)
St. Paul near state fair fairgrounds
found it on our garage door
Video by David Sorenson
http://www.minnesotaseasons.com/Insects/Chinese_mantis.html

   
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Tenodera sinensis Short Educational Piece.
AngelMantis777
 
   
 
About

Dec 9, 2019

A short educational piece on the Chinese mantis for people who are curious.

 
  Praying Mantis Handling (Tenodera sinensis)
IloveSPIDERZ
 
   
 
About

Aug 26, 2019

This was filmed at 5 Rivers Environmental Education Center in New York. There were a bunch of these here, which makes me wonder if that explains why I haven't found any Black and Yellow Garden Spiders here. This is a Tenodera sinensis.

 
  Chinese Praying Mantis (Tenodera Sinensis) in action catching an insect
Diverse VE
 
   
 
About

Jan 29, 2015

A clip of Chinese praying mantis (Chinese Mantid) catching insects off the flower.

 
  Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis)
Dlium
 
   
 
About

Mar 13, 2021

#Dlium Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is an animal species in the Mantidae, winged and arboreal insects, active predators and cannibals, has a long and slender shape with varying colors, lives solitary in bushes and low trees in forests, agricultural land, abandoned lands and urban.

T. sinensis has a length of up to 11 cm, slender, color varies from overall green to brown, dorsal margins are white with green side stripes on the forewings in the form of brown. The head is triangular in shape with linear lines between the eyes.

A pair of eyes have a large size and dominate the head, black or green or gray. Between the forelegs are yellow or brown. The legs are long and have several joints. The forelegs are large and flattened with rows of spikes.

Females can produce several semi-spherical oothecae, 2 cm in diameter and contain up to 400 eggs. Oothecae are often attached to plants such as shrubs and small trees. The Chinese mantis feeds on bees, spiders, grasshoppers, cicadas, small reptiles, amphibians to hummingbirds.

 
  Chinese mantis (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis)
Squiblift
 
   
 
About

Dec 11, 2020

Filmed 18 Sep 20

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  David Sorenson
10/5/2021

Location: St. Paul near state fair fairgrounds

found it on our garage door

Chinese mantis

 
  Bobbie Lien
9/25/2021

Location: Moorhead, MN

Saw a Chinese praying mantis on our deck here in Moorhead this date. Never seen one here before and understand we should not see one this far north in MN.   Climate change?

 
  Corey Anderson
9/1/2021

Location: Jackson, MN

Found today on the side of my mother’s house in Jackson….. is rather large 3+ inches.

Chinese mantis

 
  Nate Redig
8/27/2021

Location: in the area in the middle between Winona and (small area) Wilson and the interstate going past Wilson.

My Science teacher said I should report the praying mantis, it is about 4 and 1 fourth inches long (not including the hand spike things) also here is a photo

Chinese mantis

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 9/6/2021

Last Updated:

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