Mantis religiosa is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa. It was introduced to North America in 1899 on a shipment of nursery plants from southern Europe. Now it is found from the Northeastern United States to the Pacific Northwest, and across Canada.
The European mantis is usually 5–7.5 cm (2–3 inches) in length, and has shades of bright green to tan. It can be distinguished easily by a black-ringed spot beneath the fore coxae.