Review and images by Isurus; edited by bmathison1972
This figure today is “Living Thing Series No. 23 Chinese Mantis” from Fujimi Mokei. This figure is marketed as the Japanese giant mantis, Tenodera aridifolia, but was painted as the Chinese mantis, T. sinensis, since the species occurs here in Korea. The two species have a complicated taxonomic history, and for years T. sinensis was considered a subspecies of T. aridifolia. The material is made of polystyrene and polyethylene. Because it is a play-model, it needs to be assembled, and it only comes in simple, basic colors for each piece, so it needs to be painted. The figure is about 15 cm long (excluding the antennae) from head to abdomen, which is about 1.3 times larger than the actual insect.
The Chinese mantis is a large mantis that inhabits China, Japan, Korea, Micronesia, Thailand, and the United States, where it was introduced in the 1900s. The Chinese mantis is a large predatory insect that grows up to 12 cm long and is the largest mantis in Korea, where it was introduced. The Chinese mantis is a tough predator that eats grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, wasps, other mantises (cannibalism), and even small birds such as hummingbirds, and small mice, frogs, snakes, and lizards. In addition to the Chinese mantis, similar-looking narrow-winged mantis (T. angustipennis) inhabits Korea too, but there are some differences. First, the Chinese mantis is significantly larger than narrow-winged mantis. Second, Chinese mantis has a deep yellow spot on the prothorax between the front legs. Third, the narrow-winged mantis has clear hind wings, but the Chinese mantis has dark-patterned hind wings.
The antennae are quite thick in the original figure, so I did not like it, so I tried to replace the antenna with a fishing line. The result was quite good and more realistic, so I was satisfied.