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Chinese Mantid (Tenodera sinensis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Chinese Mantid



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Image Credit: Mike I. from Chicago, IL
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Image Credit: Mark W. from Orleans County, NY
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The hard-working Chinese Mantid is an efficient killing machine, eating its way through pesky insects that damage gardens.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Chinese Mantis, or Mantid, is a member of the Praying Mantis family. The first pair of legs are thick and bent, looking more like arms than legs. The other pairs of legs are thin and twig-like. The body is mostly brown, though it can also be green and even shades of gray. Chinese Mantis' long slender wings always extend beyond the abdomen. Wings lay flat on the abdomen when not flying. The large eyes are on the sides of the head. Long, wiry antennae sweep the area like a metal detector. Females are larger than males and both genders can fly. Females are known for eating males after reproducing with them. Fertilized eggs are laid along the bottom of twigs and branches and look like flat disks, or pumpkin seeds. Adults can be found near flowers in gardens, parks, along the road, and in orchards.

The Chinese Mantid was introduced to this continent in the late 1890's. They have voracious appetites for garden insects and are extremely beneficial to have around. They are not discriminatory. The Mantid's natural diet often means insects typically known for destroying flowers and fruit are removed from the area. The Chinese Mantis and its relatives are so welcome in gardens that their eggs are often purchased in garden stores or online for deliberate propagation. Mantids have been kept as indoor insect pets, but serve such an important role in a garden ecosystem, they are more valuable outdoors. If captured in order to observe up close, releasing it at dusk allows it to get back to its useful work.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Mantodea
        Family: Mantidae
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          Genus: Tenodera
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            Species: sinensis
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Tenodera sinensis
Other Name(s): Chinese Mantis, Chinese Praying Mantis
Category: Mantid
Size (Adult; Length): 80mm to 105mm (3.14" to 4.13")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green, brown, gray
Descriptors: stick, slow, praying, arms
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 80mm (3.1in) and 105mm (4.1in)
Lo: 80mm
Md: 92.5mm
Hi: 105mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Chinese Mantid may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Chinese Mantid. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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