Our largest Tenodera sinensis praying mantises are nearing their final, adult size — the darker one has only one molt left, while the paler one probably needs two more molts to become an imago. I got some close up shots of the darker one engaging in the thorough personal grooming mantises do every day — here you can see it chewing on its feet to keep them clean.

In these photographs you can also see the details of their coloration and the mottling on the ventral surface of their abdomens. Although they are siblings, their coloration is different, though both have green eyes.IMG_2741IMG_2736IMG_2727

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The lighter morph also has green eyes.

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Markings on the inside of the front legs are used to startle predators in deimatic displays.

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Details of the heavily spiked raptorial front legs, used to seize prey.

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Mottling on the ventral side of the abdomen. Note the similar pattern, but different color, in the lighter morph.

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Cerci at the end of the abdomen.

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The lighter morph’s legs shade between pale brown and green in places.

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Grooming behavior — the mantis chews its feet clean.

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Here it chews the tarsal segments of a rear leg.

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