Because of the anthropomorphism of most characters, I assumed that also meant we would be able to take a few creative liberties with anatomy. As such, her wings and carapaces(also thank you for actually telling me what they are) were moved to the arms. I can get rid of that if you really want me to and just give her two half-shields that can lock together into a bigger one, but I just thought the whole "using part of her body as a pretty decent shield" thing would give the race a unique ability.
And if anything, she could probably have armored coverings on them for better shield-ness as well., since that was another gripe you seemed to have with them.
I can try to come up with some other things, but considering we've already altered the anatomy of many bug species(specifically the antlion and, since you used them as an example, the mantis) to "change form"/metamorphasize, I figured a slight change like this could work as well.
Or maybe they evolved to where both had to use this ability to attract mates as opposed to just the males attracting the females, if that would work.
I blame being tired
In all honesty, yes. I think I started the sentence, got up to do something, came back to finish writing, forgot I was in the middle of the sentence and started a new thought, then came back to it. I must have missed it when proofreading, too.