The Chinese mantis belongs to the praying mantis species and were initially brought from China to North America around 1895 as a method of pest control management. Soon after that the species quickly spread through out most of the southern area of New England and the Northeast section of the United States. The ootheca or egg sacks can be easily purchased from plant nurseries across the country nowadays.Praying Mantis Eggs
The Chinese mantis often looks like a longer version and slimmed down version of the regular praying mantis we are used to seeing. It is ordinarily bigger than the majority of mantises, growing up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and are the largest mantis species in North America. The Chinese mantis colors will vary from total green to brown with a green lateral stripe on the edge of the front wings. In reduced light the eyes of the mantis look black, but in sunshine resemble transparent, matching the color of the head.Praying Mantis Nature Kit
For those interested in the scientific name of this insect. This particular species is often erroneously given the taxonomic name of Tenodera aridifolia sinensis. When it was first categorized, it was believed that T. sinensis was a subspecies of T. aridifolia, however this is not true at all.
The Chinese mantis diet is composed mostly of other insects, though adult females will often eat small vertebrate prey such as amphibians and reptiles. It has been reported it may eat hummingbirds if they get too close. Just like the other various mantids, they are regarded as cannibalistic. The female can produce several spherical ootheca or Praying Mantis Eggs approximately the dimensions of a ping pong ball and may be filled with as many as 200 eggs. The ootheca are often attached to vegetation for instance shrubbery and small trees.
The Chinese mantis make great pets and require little care. A small two and a half or a ten gallon tank makes a great home for Chinese Mantids. Feeding is easy, because they only require a cricket every other day for food. Providing water for these pets is also very simple, just sprinkle some water on the leaves on the plants that you have provided for them inside the tank. After a few handlings, your Chinese Mantis will get used to being handled. However a word of caution! Do not pick them up by their forelegs as this disturbs them and they may bite you. Once tamed this particular mantis loves to hang out on houseplants, lamps or whatever else you might have in your home for many hours at a time. During this time your mantis will put his or her time to good use by cleaning themselves. It has been reported that Mantis may actually feed on moist cat food.
The Chinese Mantis makes a great predator against pesky garden insects and makes a wonderful pet. Buy one today while they are still available!