In the book, the mantises are described as being three times the height of Erin (which, given her age, would put them somewhere between twelve and fifteen feet high) with silvery exoskeletons. They possess a tongue, unlike real mantises, as well as the ability to spit sticky, hot tar-like substances, presumably to ensnare prey. As with every other horror in the book, the mantises are animatronic.
In the movie, the mantis is apparently the only one of its kind and considerably larger (At least fifty feet high when reared up). Its anatomy is more in-line with real insects, lacking the tongue, and sporting the green coloration typically associated with praying mantises. Though never stated one way or the other, the mantis seems to be biological now, suggesting that it's borrowed from the book's cover, rather than the text itself.
While in the Cave of the Living Creeps, Erin and Marty find themselves surrounded by a half-dozen giant praying mantises. The giant praying mantises spit hot sticky tar at the children, until Erin has the brilliant idea that to stop the giant praying mantises. They need to step on them, like with real insects.
- The Giant Praying Mantis appears in the 2015 Goosebumps film as the quinary antagonist. It is among the monsters released by Slappy. The Giant Praying Mantis chases the car that R.L. Stine, Zach Cooper, Hannah Stine, and Champ are in and manages to destroy it when they escape from it. During the monsters' attack on the school, the Giant Praying Mantis attacks a student that was closest to the window. During the final battle, the mantis knocks the Ferris wheel off with Zach, Hannah, and Champ in it, they survive. Finally, the mantis is sucked in the book with Slappy's monster army.