Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Subspecies Tenodera sinensis sinensis - Chinese Mantis

Defensive Chinese Mantis 1 - Tenodera sinensis - female Chinese Mantis late instar nymph - Tenodera sinensis - female Orange Mantis - Tenodera sinensis Chinese Mantis - Tenodera sinensis China Mantis - Tenodera sinensis Chinese Mantid - Tenodera sinensis Praying mantis in Carrollton, Georgia - Tenodera sinensis - male Chinese Mantis  - Tenodera sinensis - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Mantodea (Mantids)
Family Mantidae
Subfamily Mantinae
Genus Tenodera
Species sinensis (Chinese Mantis)
Subspecies sinensis (Chinese Mantis)
Other Common Names
Chinese Mantid and Chinese Praying Mantis.
Explanation of Names
At Words by William Whitaker, one translation of "aridi" is "green dragon", while "folia" translates to "leaf".
58+ mm
Tan to pale green. Vertically striped face. Forewings tan with green along front margin. Compound eyes chocolate-brown at sunset, pale tan soon after sunrise and during the day. (1) A yellow spot between the raptorial arms distinguish T. sinensis from T. angustipennis, which has an orange spot.
Widely distributed in the U.S. due to the availability of commercially purchased egg-cases.
Meadows and gardens, on tall herbs, flower clusters and shrubs.
Carnivorous, eats other insects, both pests and beneficials. Also capable of eating small animals like frogs, lizards and even hummingbirds!
Life Cycle
Overwinters in egg-masses along tree stem exposed above snow (fig. 1)
Nymphs hatch in late spring, disperse in the wind, and thereafter are solitary (fig. 2)
The nymphs look like small, wingless adults (fig. 3)
The nymphs undergo six to seven molts before adulthood (fig. 4)
Mating usually takes place in September. (1)
1 2 3 4
Introduced as pest control and sold for that purpose. However Chinese mantis also eat the smaller native mantids. This has led to declines in population numbers of the native mantis species in some areas, but none of them are listed as threatened at this time.
See Also
Compare with T. angustipennis, the Narrow-winged Mantid, as both are similar in appearance. (2)
Print References
"Peterson's Field Guide to Insects" p.86-87.(3)
"Garden Insects of North America" p. 554-555.(4)
"National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders" p.398, pl.298. (1)
Internet References
Check out online Key to Florida Mantids which can also be downloaded as a pdf file.
The USDA's Systematic Entomology Lab has a photo of T. aridifolia.
The USDA site of Forestry Images has numerous photos.
Works Cited
1.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.
2.Florida Preying Mantids - Insecta - Mantodea
3.A Field Guide to Insects
Richard E. White, Donald J. Borror, Roger Tory Peterson. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Co.
4.Garden Insects of North America : The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs (Princeton Field Guides)
Whitney Cranshaw. 2004. Princeton University Press.