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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Flying bug the size of small bird

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bug as big as small bird
bug as big as small bi  
Last week walking out the back door, my eyes caught the sight of something on the side of the brick garage. Walking up to it, thinking it was a bird, I noticed it was a large brown color flying insect with a T shape head (see Photo). We live in Michigan, in Saginaw area. In all my years I never saw such a thing. I looked it up on several sights that cover michigan bugs and it was no where to be found. Can you help identify it by the photo?  Regards,  Mike

Answer
Mike:

Thanks for including the image with your question.

The insect is an adult Chinese Mantis, Tenodera sinensis .  As the name suggests, it is not a native species, but it has been established in the U.S. for a long time.  Yes, they do fly.  Here is more about them:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/10098

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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