|Adult male Chinese mantis|
The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is a species of praying mantis native to China and other parts of Asia and islands of islands off of mainland Asia. At around 1896 this species was accidentally introduced by a nurseryman at Mt. Airy near Philadelphia, PA. Tenodera sinensis often is erroneously referred to as Tenodera aridifolia sinensis because it was at first described as a subspecies of Tenodera aridifolia, but Tenodera sinensis is now established as a full species.
Tenodera sinensis feeds primarily on other insects, though adult females in particular sometimes catches small vertebrates. For example, they have been documented as feeding on small reptiles, amphibians and even small species of hummingbirds. Like most mantids, they are known to be cannibalistic. Also like most mantids they do not generally avoid toxic or venomous prey, however they have been observed eating the larvae of monarch butterflies, but discarding the entrails.
The Chinese mantis is a long, slender, brown and green praying mantis. It is typically longer than most other praying mantises reaching just over 11 centimeters, and is the largest mantis species in North America (spread throughout much of southern New England, and the Northeast United States). Its color can vary from overall green to brown with a green lateral stripe on the borders of each side of the front wings in the brown color form. In low light the eyes of the mantis appear black, but in daylight appear to be clear, matching the color of the head. Chinese mantids and narrow-winged mantids of the same color morph are slightly different in color and Chinese mantids are usually larger than Tenodera angustipennis which were introduced to the United States of America as well. One way of telling Tenodera sinensis and Tenodera angustipennis apart is by looking at the spot in between their front legs. If it is yellow then it is a Chinese mantis but if it is orange then it is a narrow-winged mantis. The female can produce several spherical ootheca roughly the size of a table tennis ball, containing up to 400 eggs. The oothecae are often affixed to vegetation such as bushes and small trees.
China, Japan, Micronesia, Thailand.
First instar nymphs that eat less take a longer time to molt to the next instar and are smaller at the 2nd instar than first instar nymphs that have been fed more.
Chinese mantids are a common pet for mantis enthusiasts, and oothecae can be purchased from plant nurseries across the US. They are notable for quickly adapting to the presence of humans. They can become tame enough to perch on one's hand and even be hand-fed.
The Chinese mantis should be kept in a terrarium roughly three times its body size. The Chinese mantis is an aggressive carnivore that will tackle and eat large insects. In captivity the Chinese mantis' diet can consists primarily of cockroaches, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets and spiders. During early life (called "instar"), Chinese mantids will eat Drosophila melanogaster and similar small flies in captivity. As they grow larger, mantids will accept house flies, blue bottle flies, moths, small roaches and small crickets.
Mantids drink dew from leaves, so a gentle misting every other day is required. In the terrarium, mantids require sticks and other foliage for climbing and molting. Mantids will thrive in temperatures ranging from 20 to 38°C.
Although formidable, the Chinese mantis is preyed on by other mantises, birds, and the Asian giant hornet in its native range (although the roles have been known to reverse, with the hornet falling prey to the mantis).
There are two martial arts styles created to mimic the movements of the Chinese mantis. Developed in the Shandong province of China in the mid-1600s, Praying Mantis kung-fu is based on the quick movements and techniques of the Chinese mantis. An unrelated style of kung fu that was developed by the Hakka people in Southern China is known as Southern Praying Mantis.
Adult female Tenodera sinensis eating a long-horned grasshopper
- List of mantis genera and species
- Northern Praying Mantis (martial art), a Chinese martial arts style based around the movements of a mantis.
- Southern Praying Mantis (martial art), a southern Chinese martial arts style developed by the Hakka people, and unrelated to the northern Chinese martial art style of Northern Praying Mantis.
-  Texas A&M University
- Blatchley, Willis Stanley (1920). Orthoptera of northeastern America: with especial reference to the faunas of Indiana and Florida. The Nature Publishing Company. pp. 122–123.
- Ehrmann, R. 2002. Mantodea: Gottesanbeterinnen der Welt. Natur und Tier, Münster
- "Chinese Mantis".
- Duss, K.; Hurd, L E (1997). "Food limitation reduces body length in mantid nymphs, Tenodera sinensis Saussure (Mantodea: Mantidae): Implications for fitness" 99. Washington, etc. :Entomological Society of Washington. pp. 490–493. ISSN 0013-8797.