This year we are raising a whole bunch of Tenodera sinensis nymphs. T. sinensis, or T. aridifolia sinensis, if you want to be taxonomically precise about it, is the “Chinese mantid,” native to Asia but now pretty well established here in California due to its use as a pest control agent. Our other common local mantid, Mantis religiosa, is also an “invasive species,” but they’ve both been here long enough to consider them at least naturalized citizens! Mantis religiosa, by the way, can even be used as “therapy insects”!

Our T. sinensis nymphs have gone through three or four molts so far, and are getting rather large, though they aren’t yet imagoes with wings. They’re quite catholic in their diet — a couple years ago we had a Mantis religiosa attack a snail! — and have moved on from fruit flies to crickets as they’ve grown larger. Here’s one of our nymphs stalking and then striking a house cricket.


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