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".
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
. However they don't kill enough to have an impact on their populations.
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)
Introduced from China. Was first collected in Pennsylvania in 1896. Later it was introduced to other states to combat pests. It is thought to outcompete many of the native preying mantises, which are in decline.
It is sold as pest control, although its effectiveness is not proven. It is thought that Chinese mantis eats the smaller native mantids. This may have 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.
Egg cases are unmistakable
Compare with T. angustipennis
, the Narrow-winged Mantid, as both are similar in appearance. (2)
"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)
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.