Fun Chinese Mantis Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Chinese Mantis Facts For Kids

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The Chinese mantis is a mantis species endemic to Asia to places like China, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, Thailand, and Micronesia. It is also a widespread introduced species in the United States where it poses a threat to other species like the Carolina mantis. The Chinese mantis prefers perching on trees and on vegetation in grasslands, agricultural lands, pastures, and other open habitats. It is mostly a brown or green color and its two front limbs are more developed than others so that it can catch prey. The Chinese mantis is a deadly predator capable of striking at speeds that are too fast for the human naked eye to see. Its mating process is also famous since larger female mantids sometimes eat the males. The nymphs are also known to be cannibalistic. The Chinese mantis is also common in the pet industry since it is harmless to humans, can control pests, and is easy to care for. Since it is a common, domesticated animal, exists in the wild, and was once a subspecies of the Tenodera aridifolia species, it has not been separately evaluated by the IUCN.

For more relatable content, check out these termite facts and Carolina mantis facts for kids.

Fun Chinese Mantis Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects, reptiles, amphibians, hummingbirds, and other Chinese mantises

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

100-400 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.1 oz (3 g)

How long are they?

Up to 4.3 in (11 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Green, tan, brown, and blackish

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Birds, And Jumping Spiders, Other Mantises, Asian Giant Hornets

What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?

Grasslands, Agricultural Areas, Pastures, And Open Areas


North America, Asia, And Oceania









Chinese Mantis Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Chinese mantis?

The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is a mantis and an insect.

What class of animal does a Chinese mantis belong to?

The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) belongs to the Insecta class of animals.

How many Chinese mantises are there in the world?

The total number of Chinese mantises in the world is hard to determine. They haven't been evaluated or quantified and they are popular as pets.

Where does a Chinese mantis live?

The Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is native to the continent of Asia. It is endemic to regions like China, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, Thailand, and Micronesia.

The Chinese praying mantis species was accidentally introduced to the Mount Airy neighborhood in the American city of Philadelphia. The mantis now occurs throughout the northeast parts of the United States.

What is a Chinese mantis's habitat?

Chinese mantids like to perch on tall plants or trees. They prefer areas that have a view so that they can lie in wait of prey that passes by. They are seen near vegetation and around houses. Chinese mantises like to inhabit grasslands, agricultural areas, pastures, and other open habitats.

Whom do Chinese mantises live with?

Chinese mantids are fierce and solitary predators. Outside of breeding activities, they live alone.

How long does a Chinese mantis live?

The Chinese mantis lifespan lasts for six to nine months. They may live up to a year sometimes.

How do they reproduce?

Chinese praying mantises reproduce via mating and laying eggs. As this species lives for a short time, it has to go through an entire life cycle quickly. The spring season is for hatching and the remaining part of the growing season sees them eat, grow, and molt. Chinese mantids mate in the late summer and lay eggs before they die by freezing. The eggs of this mantis species are contained in cases called ootheca in the winter.

When the growing season ends, the abdomens of female mantids are enlarged and full of eggs. These ootheca egg cases are deposited on barks and twigs. One Chinese mantis egg case may contain 100-400 eggs. The ootheca egg cases are tough and young mantids hatch out from them in the coming summer, all at once. The young eat one another if they cannot get out of the ootheca egg case right away.

The mating practices of the Chinese praying mantis species are now famous. The overall larger female mantids seldom eat their male mates during copulation. Female mantids can produce multiple fertilized ootheca egg cases with just one mating session. Three to seven ootheca egg sacs are produced throughout their lifetime.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) species is Not Evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Chinese Mantis Fun Facts

What do Chinese mantises look like?

The Chinese praying mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is mostly colored green, brown, or tan. This provides it with the perfect camouflage. The head of the Chinese mantis is triangular and can swivel. The swiveling head enables the mantis to track its prey without changing its position. The facial shield of the Chinese mantis is square and shows vertical stripes. The front wings' borders also have a lateral green stripe and this is seen more in brown-looking mantises. The eyes of a brown or green Chinese praying mantis look black in low-light conditions and clear in broad daylight. Male mantises tend to have longer antennae than female mantids. However, the female Chinese mantis size is bigger compared to the males.

The front wings of Chinese mantises have green-colored borders.

How cute are they?

Chinese mantises are beautiful little insects and they look like carefully put-together stick figurines. They are delicate and easy to keep as pets. Due to their singular appearance and predatory instincts, they are relevant in culture as well. There are not one but two martial arts that draw inspiration from the stealth and speed of Chinese mantises. These are the praying mantis kung-fu and the southern praying mantis. Also, a character in the popular 'Kung Fu Panda' movie was a Chinese mantis voiced by Seth Rogen.

How do they communicate?

Chinese mantises are known to have very keen vision. They can see their prey and other mantises with much clarity. They also have mobile, swiveling heads. Female mantids are known to emit pheromones for a mating male to detect. These pheromones are detected by the antennae of males. Female mantids are known to stroke the males' raptorial forelimbs as a part of courting. Young nymphs use their antennae to identify pollen grains through touch and chemical sense. Adult mantises can also smell their prey.

How big is a Chinese mantis?

Chinese mantises (Tenodera sinensis) can be up to 4.3 in (11 cm) long, which makes them 11 times bigger than Bolbe pygmaea mantids.

How fast can Chinese mantises fly?

The Chinese praying mantis (Tenodera sinensis) is one of the few mantis species that can fly. Female mantids are clumsier fliers because of their size and they fly to escape from predators. The males can fly further than female mantids, usually for food and mating. The exact flying speeds of these insects are not known.

Chinese mantises can move very fast when striking prey, even more than 1.5 mph (2.4 kph). Sometimes these predators move too fast for the human naked eye to observe.

How much does a Chinese mantis weigh?

Chinese mantises weigh 0.1 oz (3 g) on average.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female Chinese mantises.

What would you call a baby Chinese mantis?

A baby Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis) would be called a nymph or a juvenile.

What do they eat?

Chinese mantises are deadly predators and are known to eat insects, small vertebrates, hornets, grasshoppers, spiders, small reptiles, amphibians, katydids, hummingbirds, other Chinese mantises, and monarch butterflies.

They themselves get preyed upon by birds, Asian giant hornets, other Chinese mantises, and jumping spiders.

Are they dangerous?

No, Chinese mantises are not particularly dangerous. They rarely bite and when they do it is harmless, but one should still wash their hands. They are nonvenomous as well.

Humans can easily damage the delicate bodies of Chinese mantises. They may walk on human hands if coaxed properly. Hold your hand out and touch the rear of the mantis gently and it may walk on your hand.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they do make good pets and they are handy in reducing pest populations. Chinese mantis care is very easy. A medium or large aquarium and live insects every alternate day prove sufficient.

Do not house mantises together because they resort to cannibalism. The ideal temperatures for a Chinese mantis pet are between 71.6-86 F (22-30C). Temperatures below 46.4 F (8 C) may prove fatal. The enclosure should be properly ventilated and sprayed with water twice a week.

Did you know...

Mantises are not the only animals known to indulge in cannibalism during copulation. Larger females in several spider species feed on the mating males too.

Are Chinese praying mantises dangerous?

Chinese praying mantises are absolutely lethal to their prey but harmless to humans.

Are Chinese praying mantises invasive?

Yes, the Chinese praying mantis (Tenodera sinensis) species is invasive in North America and the United States. The California mantis is the one that is most affected since the Chinese mantis outcompetes it for food sources. The Chinese mantis vs Carolina mantis is a battle that the California mantis is losing since it often falls prey to the Chinese mantis too.

Pet and garden stores have also contributed to the invasion by Chinese mantises, selling them as pest control and garden pets. Chinese mantises are also harmful to important pollinators. The Carolina mantis is the most affected native species in the USA.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our common wasp surprising facts and hag moth fun facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable common chinese mantis coloring pages.

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