Originating from China, they were first introduced to North America around 1895 as a source of pest control. Since then, the species has spread throughout much of southern New England, and the Northeast United States, and ootheca can be purchased from plant nurseries nationwide. Their diet consists primarily of other insects, though adult females can sometimes take down small vertebrate prey such as reptiles and amphibians (some have also been documented predating on hummingbirds). Like some other mantids, they are known to be cannibalistic. The female can produce several spherical ootheca roughly the size of a table tennis ball, containing up to 200 eggs.
The Chinese mantis looks like a long and slender praying mantis, with different shades of brown. The adult has a green lateral line down its front wings. It is typically larger than most other mantises, growing up to 10 cm (4 inches) in length, and are the largest mantis species in North America.
Commonly found in grassy fields. The ootheca are often affixed to vegetation such as bushes and small trees.