The largest praying mantis species are the Chinese mantis, Tenodera sinensis, and the African mantis, Sphodromantis viridis. The Chinese mantis is the longer, reaching up to 4.3 inches in length. The African mantis is slightly shorter but is not quite as slender.
Praying mantises are predatory insects. They normally eat other insects, but large females have been observed taking small reptiles, mammals and hummingbirds. They also eat one another, and a female mantis sometimes eats her mate following copulation. Both Chinese and African mantises are sometimes kept as pets, and the Chinese mantis often becomes tame enough to perch on an owner's hand and accept hand feeding.