Orchids And A Praying Mantis Pet

Praying Mantis Pet

Phylum , arthropod; Class , Insect; Order , Mantodea
Identification Characteristics Morphology Three different regions of the body: head, thorax (where the legs and wings are), abdomen. A part of the thorax is long creating the illusion of a distinguished. The modified front legs with strong spikes to grab and hold their victims. Compound and large eyes on the head which turns easily (up to 180¼) and three simple eyes between the compound eyes. Incomplete or simple metamorphosis (hemimetábolo). Males and Adult Females
Generally, females are larger than males and have the largest abdomen. Immature (different stages)
A very different pouch, which looks like polystyrene, protects Mantis eggs during the winter. Up to 200 nymphs can emerge from the egg sac. Nymphs resemble adults, although they are not the same size or sexual definition. It is possible that the colors and designs in the nymph stage are different from those in the adult stage. Natural history Food
The Praying Mantis are predators and eat a variety of insects, including moths, crickets, grasshoppers and flies. They remain lying down with the front legs in an elevated position. They watch and stalk their victims resolutely. It is possible that they eat each other. Natural environment
Very often the praying mantises are of a color similar to the plant in which they live and this protects them. This camouflage color facilitates their predatory behavior. Usually mantids are found in plants where there are also other insects around. Some mantids live in the grass. Adult mantises, with wings, are attracted by ultraviolet (UV) light in late summer and early fall. Predators
Spiders and other predatory insects (including other mantids) eat immature mantids.Birds eat adult mantis. Interesting Behaviors
In general, the adult female eats the male during or after mating. The speed of the mantis in the grasping reaction is so incredible that you only see it before it catches the insect and then when the insect is already caught between the front legs of the mantis.If you come to perceive the movement is like a blurry action for being so fast. Compound eyes have the ability to see images and colors. The three simple eyes distinguish between light and darkness. The simple eyes are placed in the form of a triangle between the antennas. The compound eyes are formed of many facets built with two lenses. These focus light by a structure that have sensitivity to light (rabdoma) that is attached to the optic nerve. Impact on the Ecosystem Positive
Mantis are active predators and eat other insects. They are good predators in the gardens, but they can not maintain the growth of the populations of some insects and they do not know how to discriminate between insects that help the garden and those that damage it. Negative
None known. Capturing Live Insects Where to Find Them?
It is very difficult to find the praying mantises and / or their egg sacs only by observing the plants because their camouflage color hides them very well. To find adult mantis, look for plants that are in bloom and in the lights of the courtyards during the month of August and until the end of September. Adult males frequently fly towards the court lights in late fall. It would be a good idea to look at organic home gardens of flowers and vegetables where no insecticides have been used. How to capture them?
To pick up an egg pouch, carefully cut the branch where the pouch is located a few inches below the pouch. If the bag is attached to a wall or a board, it can not be removed without damaging the bag. To capture immature or adult mantids, you can carefully place your hands around the insect or persuade it to enter a container. It may be useful to use a network to capture adults with wings. Lay the net, carefully, on top of or next to the mantis and with one hand carefully move the mantis into the net. Then transfer the mantis to a large enough container where it has enough room in which it can move.
  1. Praying Mantis

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Arthropoda 
Class: Insecta 
Order: Dictyoptera 
Suborder: Mantodea 
Family: Mantidae 
Genus: Mantis 
Species: M. religiosa 
Binomial name: Praying mantis 
Common name: Tatadiós, orchid mantis, religious mantis, praying mantis, santateresa, campamocha, mamboretá, comepiojos, matapiojos …

The praying mantis in an insect with a thin and elongated body, up to twelve centimeters long, the females and eight males, with two anterior legs, clearly differentiated from the four hind legs, powerful and endowed with a sort of spines or thorns that it uses to imprison and kill their victims, which usually begins to devour them by the head. 
With a great capacity for mimicry, its hunting technique is based on waiting for its potential prey in almost absolute immobility, with a barely perceptible rapid movement, capturing it when it is within reach. It feeds on all kinds of insects, including butterflies, and arachnids.The name of this voracious creature is given by the way in which it keeps the previous legs bent in front of the head in a characteristic pose, similar to that used by the believer in prayer. Over the head, which can rotate one hundred and eighty degrees, has two thin antennas. 
Its life cycle is one year. Until reaching the adult stage, the mantis makes six changes, adopting the color of the environment at the time of the last moult, which can be earthy or grayish, if it occurs between dry plants, or green, if it is between fresh plants. 
The implementation is done in October. In an ootheca (a sort of bag or deposit of eggs) that hangs from a branch or placed between the stones, it deposits more than two hundred eggs that hatch in spring.
Its habitat is the dry and sunny spaces of the meditérraneo contour, being scarce in the center of Europe, where it is considered a protected species. 
The female is very aggressive at the time of mating, sometimes reaching to devour the male after intercourse, it seems that to obtain the necessary vitamins to put the ootheca.

praying mantis pet

The Praying Mantis

Here is a brief introduction about the basic notions of the mantis morphology.

EXTERNAL ASPECT: Body divided into 3 parts (head, thorax and abdomen), with 6 legs (2 catchers, 2 anterior legs and 2 posterior legs) and 2 antennas.

In it is the buccal apparatus, eyes and antennae. The mantids have 2 compound eyes at both ends of the head, these eyes are eyes composed of a series of cells called omatidia. 
On the other hand in the central region of the head they have 3 simple eyes called ocelli, they are noticeably smaller than the previous ones; The mission of these ocelli is to discriminate between various intensities of light and provide the mantis with visual information of lights and shadows, it does not intervene in the capture of the image of an object or in the chromatic information.
The antennae are the olfactory organs of all mantids, in males they are notably more developed than in females, since they must be guided through them to follow the olfactory trace left by the pheromones of the females to try to mate with them.

goes after the head and is subdivided into 3 parts: prothorax, mesothorax and metathorax. From it come 3 pairs of legs, one pair per segment and the wings that they acquire when they reach the adult stage. The wings are usually more developed in males. They have 2 pairs of wings, one on each side of the thorax and two more sclerotized wings called “tegminas” that cover the true wings. The legs of the mantids have several segments (proximal to distal): trochanter, coxa, femur, tibia and tarsus. The captor legs are legs modified and different from the rest of legs that have motor function. The capturing legs are designed to be projected at high speed by the mantis, to catch a prey and to retain it while the buccal apparatus of the mantis is eating it.

Following the thorax. It is divided into several segments, this is variable in males and females, the females usually have 1 or 2 less than the male. In these abdominal segments is where the vital organs of the insect are located. 
At the end of the abdomen there are a couple of appendages that are used by the mantids for the preparation of oothecae when they are going to lay eggs.

The wings are part of the exoskeleton with joints at the base, reinforced by longitudinal veins throughout the structure. The joints allow movement thanks to the contraction and relaxation of the flight muscles.


Mantis are predatory insects that feed on other insects and sometimes on small birds, small mammals and reptiles. 

They are born from egg sacks covered by foam called “oothecas”, oothecas are placed by the adult females of each species after a time after having mated with the male.
They can put more than one ootheca usually put several ootheca separated during a time interval of several days or weeks, this is variable between species.

The mantis can put a ootheca without having mated with any male, but this resulting ootheca will not be fertile and will not leave offspring; this does not happen in some species of mantis called “parthenogenic”, in these species the female, although it has not been fertilized by any male, will leave oothecas from which a few nymphs will emerge (not as many as if it had been fertilized) and the nymphs will be practically all females, this way they make sure that there is always a next generation although there has not been a male to copulate it. 

The ootheca with its foam protects in the nature the eggs of the adverse temperatures and of the predators and parasites, although sometimes the ootecas can be parasitized by insects like some species of wasps or by microorganisms like the fungi.

They have a very variable incubation period according to each species and the number of nymphs that are born is equally variable, there are species such as Oxythespis dumonti that can be born from an ootheca 6-8 nymphs and there are species such as Tenoderas sp. that more than 200 nymphs can be born from each ootheca.

Once they are ready to be born, the nymphs leave the ootheca and upon leaving they make their first moult and they detach from a primary cuticle that covered it while it was developing inside the ootheca, as they move out of it, they expand their body and They open the legs that were close to the body and begin to move to finally detach from the molt and get free and start moving. At this time the nymphs are called L1, this means that the nymph has only made the change they do with the procedure of birth, once this nymph after the time and have fed back to move, will move to L2 and so successively until arriving at the adult state in which generally they acquire the wings,

The wings are usually more developed in the males since they will be the ones that will have to use them to move around to find the females and fecundate them. 

The basic care of all mantis requires a control of the temperature of the place where the mantis is, of the humidity and of the place where the mantis is, since they need to be in a place which is as a rule three times as tall as the height of the mantis so that it can be hung down to make the change correctly and there is nothing that hinders it. 

Small mantids and nymphs usually feed on drosophila melanogaster or drosophila hydei, as the mantis grows, eating larger prey such as crickets, moscones, cockroaches, lobsters, etc.

When they are ready to move, they stop eating 1 or 2 days before and then do the moulting, so when it is felt that they are going to move, we will raise the environmental humidity of the container where the mantis is. 

The humidity is usually kept spraying the mantis container with water with a spray, the frequency with which spray will depend on the humidity required by the mantis depending on the species that is and also as a rule all mantids of nymphs require more moisture in the first nymphal stages than adults.

When sprinkling on the mantis we can observe how it licks the micro drops of water that fall on it to drink. The temperature can be controlled in various ways, either by having the mantis in a room through which we maintain a controlled temperature with air conditioning, etc. or based on lights, spots, heating cables, thermal blankets, etc .; that’s what each breeder likes. 

The mantids are usually well at temperatures between 25-30 degrees Celsius, there are demanding species that require a little more temperature; below 25 degrees can reach 20 degrees but it is advisable that they are not at that temperature or at lower temperatures for very long periods of time.


Blepharopsis mendica

This mantis, called imp of the flowers is one of the most beautiful mantis of which they exist, with a thorny body and combination of white, blue, orange and green colors is really spectacular, with a very widened thorax and eyes with vertical stripes of orange color, in the males the antennas are plumed and of the same color of the eyes.

MAINTENANCE: It is a mantis complex to maintain, usually has problems of molting in low shedding, and any small blow can be fatal to their exoskeleton forming wounds that the molting can not fix, it takes experience to maintain this mantis. 
It needs about 30-35 degrees of medium temperature, it is a mantis that can be a long time without eating, but this slows down excessively its next moult, arriving to have more than 2 months of separation between molt and molt if it is not well fed. 
This mantis needs very little moisture, almost nil with 50% will be perfect, it should never be sprayed, neither in time of change or in any part of its life.

BEHAVIOR: It is a really aggressive mantis, attacking anything twice as big as itself, we do not recommend putting several specimens together in nymphal states, as there is a risk of cannibalism, in adult stages there are no cases of cannibalism of any kind. 
Its defense position makes it joining the clamps and giving a bluish tone. 
When they move, they are 2 days away from the place.

BREEDING: This mantis is not easy to mate, the female is usually not always receptive, so the male often will not approach it, although if the female is receptive, there should be no problem, there are no cases of known cannibalism through or after copulation. 
It is a very fertile mantis, getting to put more than 7 ootecas with only 2 times fertilized. 
From them will be born about 40 nymphs of 1 cm. In size, cannibalism is not frequent.

FOOD: This mantis being aggressive does not usually have feeding problems 
L1: Drosophila melanogaster 
L2: Drosophila hydei 
L3: Drosophila hydei, cricket, housefly or runners 
L4: Fly, hydei, cricket, housefly or 
L5 runners : Moscarda, hydei, cricket, housefly or runners 
Bluebottle , crickets Subadult: Bluebottle or crickets 
Adult: Bluebottle or crickets


Deroplatys dessicata

Mantis of large size with elongated pronotum terminations, legs and wings, its coloration varies from gray tones to various shades of brown. It has great grasping forceps, although its femur is not very thick if compared with mantis of a similar size. 
The male and female are distinguished because the male is more stylized and less bulky than the female. Likewise, its development until adult is faster and its durability in this stage is short.

MAINTENANCE: It is a large mantis, and therefore needs a terrarium of large dimensions, as from L5 stresses easily in small places. Also with the intention of avoiding stress, in the terrarium, brown areas should predominate and it is advisable to introduce dry leaves as a substrate. You will need a high relative humidity, around 80% and about 25/30 degrees of daytime temperature and 20 or even less at night. 
It is not very good climber, so it is advisable to provide means of attachment as branches and similar, and essential, a high mesh so you can move, otherwise it is easy to rush to the floor of the terrarium while moving. When they are adults they are usually on the ground, mimicking the litter.

BEHAVIOR: It is an aggressive mantis with its claws, and above all with a lot of corporal strength, although it is not usually very aggressive with humans. It is not convenient to have them together to avoid cannibalism.

BREEDING: The mating difficulty is of medium level, as in all mantids, after 2 weeks after the last moult they will be ready to copulate. The male will approach slowly by the back of the female and will end up being mounted, the copulation can last several hours. After several weeks of feeding will put a large ootheca of about 70 individuals, which will be born large and strong, this mantis can put about 6 ootecas in all their life.

FEEDING: Unlike many mantids, from L4 and L5 prefer to be in the ground camouflaged with the leaves or the substrate that we provide them and do not pay much attention to the flying prey; although sometimes they will hunt them, they prefer terrestrial prey, because it is not very fast but very strong. In addition it is inclined to hunt prey less voluminous than other mantis of its same size.

L1: Drosophila hydei 
L2: Drosophila hydei 
L3: House fly 
L4: House fly / fly / small cricket 
L5: Fly / subadult cricket 
L6: Fly / cricket 
L7 subadult: Locust / cricket 
L8 adult: Lobster, cricket, small vertebrates (rodents, lizards, etc).


    Deroplatys lobata

    Mantis of large size with elongated endings in pronotum, legs and wings, is usually grayish or brown and has great grasping forceps which it uses to hunt and catch its victims, the male and female are distinguished because the male is more stylized and A little smaller, the mantis tries to mimic a large dry leaf.

    MAINTENANCE: It is a large mantis, and therefore needs a good terrarium, to be preferable with brown or gray areas to avoid the stress of the mantis, you will need 80% humidity and about 25/30 degrees of temperature of day and 20 o even less at night.

    This mantis usually has good changes, but it is best to have a high mesh to make it better. Once adults are usually on the ground, resembling even more with a dead leaf.

    BEHAVIOR: It is an aggressive mantis with its claws, and above all with great body strength, it is not usually very aggressive with humans. It is not convenient to have them together, we will avoid cannibalism.

    BREEDING: The mating difficulty is medium nival, as in all mantids, after 2 weeks after the last moult they will be ready to copulate.

    The male will approach slowly by the back of the female and will end up being mounted, the copulation can last several hours.

    After several weeks of feeding will put a large ootheca of about 70 individuals, which will be born large and strong, this mantis can put about 6 ootecas in all their life.

    FOOD: Unlike many mantids, this mantis prefers terrestrial insects, it is not very fast but very strong

    L1: Drosophila hydei

    L2: Drosophila hydei

    L3: Housefly

    L4: Moscarda / grillo

    L5: Moscarda / grillo

    L6: Moscarda / grillo

    L7 subadult: Lobster / cricket

    Adult L8: Lobster, cricket and all kinds of insects and small rodents.


Euchomenella heteroptera

A huge mantis resembles a stick, and its defense system consists of dropping to the ground with its legs upright and not moving, it has a curious head, with large eyes and very long captor legs.

MAINTENANCE: This mantis usually reaches a large size, so it needs a large terrarium, with a temperature of 25/30 degrees of day and 20 at night and 60% humidity. 
In the moult does not usually have problems and is quite quiet. 
This mantis can be had with other specimens, but it is not recommended, because you must have plenty of food to have them always satiated and avoid cannibalism.

BEHAVIOR: It is an extremely calm mantis, it never attacks the human and hunts small prey in comparison with its body. The male will not be eaten, although there may be exceptions.

BREEDING: This mantis is relatively easy to mate, as soon as they reach adulthood, after about 2 weeks, they are put in the same male and female terrarium, after a few minutes they will end up copulating. 
This mantis can put more than 8 ootheca in their life of 40 individuals each, the L1 nymphs at birth are usually quite large.

FOOD: As I mentioned before, eat small prey. 
L1: Drosophila Hydei 
L2: Drosophila Hydei 
L3: Drosophila Hydei 
L4: Drsophila hydei and house fly 
L5: House fly and blowfly 
Bluebottle Subadult: 
Adult Fly : Moscarda


Gongylus gongyloides

This mantis, also known as mantis violin, is a large and delicate looking mantis, is one of the most prized in the world of mantids, usually has large tweezers and extensions on the legs, also consists of an extremely thorax fine and really delicate, it is almost always brown although there are cases of curious colorations in black tones.

MAINTENANCE: It is a mantis with complicated care, needs about 35 degrees of temperature per day and 20 at night; In addition to 65-70% humidity and good mesh to move. 
They can be kept together, especially in the first nymphal stages, although adults can also be kept together, but it is very possible that they can not copulate if they are always together, because sometimes the males are not attracted to the females. 
We have to treat this mantis very delicately, because any injury will end up killing them in the short or long term. This mantis will become really big, 15 cm. which we must have in a very spacious terrarium. 
It is a mantis of extremely slow growth, although it lives much as an adult, sometimes reaching more than a year and a half.

BEHAVIOR: It tends to swing many times to look like a leaf moved by the air, it tends to go up and stay always upside down, it is not aggressive with the human in any of its stages.

BREEDING: Perhaps one of the most difficult to get mantis to copule, the male usually looks for the female, but at the time of jumping to the thorax, often interrupted and ends up losing the desire and move away, usually copulation with a lot of temperature and at sunset. 
You can put more than 15 oothecas, of small size, of about 30 nymphs each approximately. With a single copulation you can put fertile ootheca for most of your life.
The male lives 5 months less than the female.

FEEDING: A little aggressive mantis that will only accept moscon and hydei during its life, it is not advisable to throw crickets, because a small wound in the thorax by the bite of them can be fatal. 
L1: Drosophila melanogaster 
L2: Drosophila melanogaster and hydei 
L3: Drosophila Hydei 
L4: Drosophila hydei and housefly 
L5: Bluebottle 
L6: Bluebottle 
Bluebottle Subadult: 
Adult Bluebottle: Bluebottle or any type of flying insect.


Hierodula membranacea

This huge mantis has a curious light green, a great head and incredible size claws. The females reach up to 15 cm. of length; such is its size that the male in mid-flight looks like a bird.

MAINTENANCE: It is a very resistant mantis, so it can be said that it is perfect to start with these insects. He usually moves without problems and eats almost anything that moves, but he will need a large terrarium for all his changes. 
With 20 or 30 degrees of temperature and 60% humidity will live perfectly; but as we have said, it is very resistant, therefore, it will resist the fluctuations of temperature and humidity, provided they are not too drastic.

BEHAVIOR : It is very aggressive with the prey but not much with the humans, also avoid taking it with the bare hands without it being left to avoid accidents. 
You can not have with his fellows, he is really cannibal from L1.

CRÍA : The mating is really simple; When a week passes since the two sexes reach their adult stage simply put the male behind the female and will mount without hesitation. Copulation can last up to 10 hours. 
In the great majority of occasions, the female ends up eating the male, so it will be advisable that the female eat much before and during copulation to try to avoid it. 
During its life it will put 5 ootecas of approximately 400 nymphs each one that will be born of 60 to 80 days after the putting.

FEEDING: It is a very aggressive mantis, and will eat virtually anything in motion.

L1: Drosophila hydei 
L2: Drosophila hydei and house fly 
L3: House fly 
L4 : Fly / cricket 
L5 Fly / cricket 
L6 Fly / cricket 
L7: Lobster / cricket 
Subadult: Any insect and small mammal 
Adult: Any insect and small mammal.


Hymenopus coronatus

The orchid mantis is a really beautiful mantis, with white colorations and huge extensions on the legs, camouflage perfectly with the flowers from which it has inherited the name. They can be yellow, white and pink. Between the male and female there is a clear difference, because the male is much smaller than the female.

MAINTENANCE: It is not an easy mantis to take care of, since one has to have enough experience. Usually has problems of molting both externally and at the level of internal organs. You will need 90% humidity especially in low nymphal stages and about 25/30 degrees of day and 20 of night. For decorative aspects and especially for the welfare of the mantis it is preferable to place a plastic or real orchid, or some type of white flower so that it can be camouflaged and prevent stress. A good mesh to move will be essential and above all keep the males with less temperature and food, because they move much earlier than the females to adults and can die before copulating the female.

BEHAVIOR: It is a really aggressive mantis being able to hunt prey of up to 2 times its body size, especially when they are nymphs. It has an aggressive behavior with its congeners, for which we should not have them together from L3. 
The adult females are quite aggressive and by touching or moving them against their will, they will not hesitate to hit us with the tweezers.

CRIA: It is a difficult mantis to mate because the male usually reaches adult before the female, so if this is exaggerated we can lose the male before the female is fecund and therefore lose the opportunity to mate them. 
The female will be receptive in a week. The male will approach slowly, tap on the wings to let him know that it is not another little insect and flutter with his wings (throwing him through the air) or that he will eat it and then copulate. During all the time the copulation lasts, the male will frequently give him the same taps. They do not usually eat the male as this is very quick and agile to flee. 
A fecundated female will have 4 to 5 ootheca, from which 40 to 70 nymphs of each will be born.
The nymphs have red and black tones to look like toxic bedbug nymphs that inhabit the same places as them and prevent any larger predator from killing them. 
It is a mantis with a fairly rapid development.

FOOD: It is a very aggressive mantis, so eat almost anything in motion. We recommend not feeding it with crickets, because it has some delicate jaws and any damage could cause an infection and, therefore, a slow death.

L1: Drosophila hydei 
L2: Drosophila hydei 
L3: House fly / Burn fly 
L4 : Fly L5 : Fly 
bugs and other flying insects 
Fly bugs and other flying insects Subadult: Any type of food. The females, preferably flying. 
Adult: Any type of food. The females, preferably flying.


Devilishly idiotic

This mantis is one of the most precious on the planet, due to its large size and color, usually having different colorations in adult stage, from light green to white, with purple and reddish eyes is usually a precious species.

MAINTENANCE: It is a mantis difficult to maintain, they need 80% humidity and quite high temperatures, so in the fall, spring and winter a Spot can be useful. The temperature can vary from 35 degrees to 20 at night, but never fall below these values. 
It needs a big terrarium because in the moult it is usually stretched a lot, touching in accidental occasions the floor of the terrarium, causing them a death. 
To maintain humidity, a substrate is usually taken into account to keep it longer, but you will also need to spray the terrarium once or twice a day. It is not an aggressive mantis with humans or their peers, so they can live together with food and space.

BREEDING: It is a difficult mantis to mate, in low mutes it is usually very delicate, and the birth has to have optimal conditions for the mantis to be born without having secondary problems, from L1 to L4 they are quite delicate, they need a lot of temperature in these seasons of your life, then it is a mantis easy to maintain moderately with your necessary conditions. 
In adulthood it becomes an extremely large mantis, measuring up to 15 cm. in length, there is not much size distinction between female and male, but otherwise has a clear difference, the male has more vivid colorations and very large and plumed antennas, sometimes red.
The female will be receptive about 2 weeks after doing the last moult. It is a mantis with a really difficult breeding, because many times the males are very clumsy and can not mate with the female. The copula can last a long time, especially because the male will take a long time to mate. 
If you are lucky enough to mate, the female will have enough genetic material to complete two whole ootheca, with 40 individuals in each ootheca more or less, the ootecas are one of the largest on the planet reaching the diameter of two ping pong balls . 
This mantis can put more than 5 ootecas in your life.

FOOD : They are mantids that need a very strict feeding of only flying insects, like Callyphora vomitoria or similar flies. 
Here example of what they eat in each change

L1: They eat drosophila hydei 
L2 They feed on drosophila hydei 
L3: Domestic fly 
L4: Bluebottle 
L5: Bluebottle 
L6: Bluebottle 
L7: Bluebottle 
L8: Bluebottle 
L9: Bluebottle and large moths 
L10: Any large flying insect if possible.


Miomantis paykulii

The Egyptian mantis is a small mantis that is considered the most aggressive on the planet, reaching prey to 3 times its body size, usually measuring about 6 cm. and its coloration tends to be of yellowish and greenish tones, it has a triangular head and powerful jaws.

MAINTENANCE: They are suitable mantis for beginners, although in low mudas they have enough mortality rate, they can be kept together with enough food, in a large terrarium they can live more or less 10 specimens. 
With about 25 degrees of day and 20 of night, and a 70% of humidity they will live well.

BEHAVIOR: They are extremely aggressive mantids, although they are very afraid of the human, they are extremely aggressive with the prey, they usually chase them to hunt them as soon as they are within their reach.

BREEDING: They are easy to mate mantis, the male fecundate the female 2 weeks after having made the last moult, in many cases the male will die in copulation. 
Two weeks or so later, he will put the first ootheca with about 70 eggs that will be born after a few weeks. 
The nymphs in L1 are quite difficult to breed because of their high degree of mortality rate, they have to be given a temperature and a lot of food, once they move they are no longer in danger.

FOOD: As I mentioned eat anything that is put before them: 
L1: Drosophila melanogaster 
L2: Drosophila hydei 
L3: Domestic fly 
L4: Domestic fly 
L5: Bluebottle 
Bluebottle Subadult: Bluebottle / cricket / Grasshopper 
Adult: Bluebottle, crickets, grasshopper , lobsters


Oxythespis dumonti

The African mantis of the bushes is a curious mantis stick, which resembles a twig, has a great capacity for camouflage and a pretty tipped eyes, the males are excellent flyers, being able to stay still in the air, they have some long antennae, the females do not have very small tegmins.

MAINTENANCE: It is a small mantis, easy to maintain from L2, before it has a very high level of mortality, with a small tupper can be kept until adult, they need a lot of temperature, with about 30 degrees enough, at night 25 and 50% moisture.

BEHAVIOR: It is a mantis very nervous as soon as it is threatened and will not hesitate to take a big leap and get out of sight with a terrible speed, another defense tactic is to make the “stick” by falling with the tweezers upright, they are quite curious, They are not aggressive with man. They are very aggressive with their congeners when there is a shortage of food.

BREEDING: It is a mantis easy to mate, without any problem copulate with the male 2 weeks after the last moulting and then end up eating it in 80% of cases. 
The female lives a long time, can cases of copulas between mother and children, can live about 8 months as an adult. 
The female will put about 20 ootheca in her life, of 20 nymphs each, and a copula will suffice to fertilize half of the ootheca.

FEEDING: This mantis is not very aggressive, and hunts small prey 
L1: Drosophila melanogaster 
L2: Drosophila melanogaster 
L3: Drosophila melanogaster and hydei 
L4: Drosophila hydei 
L5: Domestic fly 
L6: Domestic fly 
Adult Fly : Moscarda


Pnigomantis medioconstricta

Of the largest maids in captivity, it has large claws with very prominent spines, strong jaws and a perfect vision that make it one of the mantis that can give more joy to its breeder. 
The nymphs present a range of colors the less curious; from green with red eyes to red completely. Adults are all grayish with hind wings of dark coloration (usually black). This variability means that they can be camouflaged in their natural habitat with many types of vegetation. 
It is characterized for being the only mantis that has the thorax in the form of double rhombus and for having a long life; the females can live more than 1 year perfectly, feeding on a true brutality when they are adults.

MAINTENANCE: It is a relatively easy to maintain mantis because it does not have too many problems in the molts and it is usually very aggressive with the prey, for which reason their feeding and care are quite simple. We could perfectly say that it is a mantis for beginners in terms of maintenance and breeding. 
The temperature can oscillate from 20 to 30 degrees, being able to vary 2 or 3 degrees to the low or rise, although it is not recommended. Temperature and humidity have to rise directly proportional so that they do not have problems in the molt.
Its development is relatively fast, being able to reach the adult stage approximately in 5 months, although as we know it can vary clearly by food and temperature issues. The two sexes reach the adult stage at the same time, with predilection in the male of one or two weeks. 
It is basic to keep this mantis in the adult stage and subadult in a large place because, as we have mentioned, it is very large, being able to reach the females 14 cm. of length. We would be worth a small terrarium or modified large tupper had hoc, since in small places it is easy to be stressed or lose tarsi and therefore mobility.

BEHAVIOR: It is a very aggressive mantis, both with prey and with people, so it is not convenient to take it with your hand without it being left, since it will grab us with the tweezers and bite and may make small wounds. 
The size of the spines of its femurs and its great grip force makes it one of the quintessential hunters of large insects, amphibians, reptiles and small mammals.
In nymphal stages, its aggression is denoted from L2; perhaps a problem to maintain it with other individuals, because if the food is not the correct one it will attack its congeners from L1. Although they are very fighters, some nymphs will become serious injuries, such as loss of limbs or bites by the exoskeleton, which is why it is not convenient to keep them together. In adult states there are also cases of cannibalism, both between individuals of the same or different sex.

BREEDING : Although the nymph mortality is high, it is a quite fertile mantis and easy breeding in general. From 2 weeks after reaching the adult stage, both females and males will be prepared for intercourse. It is necessary to supercharge the latter so that it does not devour the male, because it is tremendously aggressive and can eat it before the copulation. Although the males of this species are quite rough and aggressive, females with 3 cm. of difference of size and a lot of corporal amplitude, will not take in destroying them and, later, to eat them. It will also be advisable to feed the female during copulation to avoid beheading the male. After about 3/6 hours the male will let go and try to flee and we must be there to prevent the female from hunting him.
They can get to put more than 8 ootecas in their life, all fertile with only 1 copula; although generally the last 2 come out with lower genetic quality. 
After 1 month the nymphs will be born very strong and agile. It is essential to put them in a large tupper, because the movement between them can make them stress and can not hunt quietly, dying of starvation. Therefore, the indicated will be one of the most important premises for breeding. 
On the other hand, sufficient food is essential from L1 and L2, because they do not hold up well for long periods without eating and, although they tend to eat each other, if they are separated they will also die of starvation.

FOOD: One of the most prepared for the hunting mantis, being able to feed almost any insect or small vertebrate thereof and up to twice its size. He will not back down easily when hunting and will try to devour even individuals of his same species larger than her.

L1: Drosophila Hydei or Melanogaster, although this last one can be a ruin, since they eat a lot and daily. 
L2: Drosophila Hydei 
L3: Domestic fly 
L4: Bluebottle 
L5: Bluebottle / cricket / cockroach 
L6: Bluebottle / adult cricket / Cockroach 
L7: Adult cricket / Cockroach 
L8: Adult cricket / Adult 
bluebottle Subadult: Pinkis / lobster / 
Adult adult Blaptic: Pinkis / lobster / young mice and almost any live food raised in stores.


Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii

These curious flower mantis are undoubtedly the best known for their beauty, for the spiral they have in the tegmites, their broad thorax, long antennae and curious abdomen. All this characterizes them as one of the model species among the flower mantis.

MAINTENANCE: You will need a terrarium, not very large, but that has space so that you do not stress when you walk, with a good plastic cloth on the top so that it moves well, especially in the last stages, because being very heavy, in some cases, have problems in the last few changes. 
It requires a high humidity, of 80% approximately, and a moderate temperatures, 25/30 degrees of day and 20 of night. You need, like most, good ventilation

BEHAVIOR: They are not aggressive neither with the man nor with each other, for which, in very few cases the male can die during the mating. 
The males of this species, tend to become the dead when they feel cornered, which qualifies as tanatosis; in many cases pretending more than 3 hours in a row, and as usual, give us a good scare. Another curious observation about this species is that they communicate with each other through movements with their legs.

BREEDING: It is a mantis easy to mate; after 2 weeks the male should be placed very close to the tegmites of the female and he will quickly pounce on her. Characteristic of this species is that they can copulate, separate, spend a few hours and go back to copulate, even for a whole day. During all matings the female will not attempt to attack the male. 
At about 2 weeks, he will put an elongated ootheca of about 50, and up to 100 eggs. You can put more than 5 ootecas during your life. 
The nymphs at birth have orange and black colorations, so that their predators confuse them with toxic bugs and thus escape from their attack

FEEDING: This mantis will hardly accept land prey; mainly prefers flying insects.

L1: Drosophila melanogaster 
L2: Drosophila melanogaster 
L3: Drosophila hydei 
L4: Drosophila hydei and housefly 
L5: Bluebottle 
Bluebottle Subadult: Flyfly and other flying insects 
Adult: Any flying insect smaller than itself.


Sphodromantis sp.

It is a really aggressive mantis and great hunter. It has big clamps with which it tightens its victim immobilizing it ipso facto. It has a very voluminous body, a large head compared to the body and a large abdomen in the females. 
Its characteristic coloration is green, although you can also find yellow, brown, blackish, pink and even reddish. They also have ocelli in the tegmites of a lighter color that characterize them.

MAINTENANCE: It is an easy-to-maintain mantis, which is why it is advisable for beginners, but it has a great weight and in the molts it usually suffers from falls problems. After leaving the molda have legs still weak and difficult to support them, so they usually suffer falls, being able to damage. To avoid this, you can place several branches in the terrarium, but without exaggerating so as not to obstruct too much. 
You will need a temperature of about 20-30 degrees, a humidity of 50-60% that we will get by spraying once or twice a week to adults and every 2 days when they are nymphs.

BEHAVIOR: It is a really aggressive mantis; You can perfectly grab a human finger and bite it to tear tissue. If she feels scared, she will not hesitate to attack you with quick releases of her captor clamps. 
Cannibalism is present in all its stages, so it is advisable not to join them, except mating.

BREEDING: They reach sexual maturity in 12 months and live 3 or 4 months more females and 2 males. 
The mating is simple to perform, because the male when he sees the receptive female (at 2 weeks of adulthood) is quickly released to ride, although afterwards they are somewhat clumsy to copulate (some are slow to attach). The copulation will last about 12 hours, in exceptions more than 24. The male will die in 80% of cases after intercourse, as the female becomes very aggressive. To avoid it, it is advisable to feed it in the meantime. 
After copulation they will place a large ootheca depending on the amount of food they are given; the more fed it is, the sooner it will be put, although as a general rule it will take about 2 weeks.
You can put more than 5 ootheca during your life, from 250 to 400 nymphs that will be extremely cannibal on the third day of your birth, being able in a week to decimate the population of congeners. 
This mantis is one of the few that defend their ootheca after the laying, therefore avoid starting or removing the ootheca with the mother in front, because she will not hesitate to defend her offspring. There have been cases in which the births take place while the mother is present in captivity and this, instead of killing and eating the nymphs, has been removed from them without damaging them.

FOOD: This mantis can eat any type of food that moves and does not exceed twice its body size, here are some examples.

L1: Drosophila hydei 
L2: Drosophila hydei 
L3: Drosophila hydei and Housefly 
L4: House fly and flyfly 
L5: Flyfly 
L6: Adult crickets and blowfly 
L7: Adult crickets and blowfly 
Subadult: Crickets, pinkis, blowfly and any type of insect. 
Adult: Crickets, pinkis, mouse and any type of insect.


Sybil expensive

This mantis, as its name suggests is beautiful. It is brown with splashes of beige, which makes a nice contrast with its tegminas of emerald green (some with the bluish tone and others more green). It has long, thin legs with small ends and a horn on its head. This beautiful morphology makes it one of the most sought after by breeders. 
The male and female are different because the male is smaller.

MAINTENANCE: This mantis can be kept in a large terrarium with others, because they are not cannibals and are usually tolerated quite well, yes, with enough food for all. 
They will need about 30 degrees of day and 25 of night, and a 70% of humidity. 
They usually climb a high place to move, so it is convenient to put some mesh on the top of the terrarium and introduce twigs that facilitate the rise to the Maya, because they climb badly by glass and plastic.

BEHAVIOR : They are delicate mantis and quite docile, they do not attack the human being, and they eat small prey in comparison to their body. Among them, as has already been mentioned, they are not usually aggressive and with the male there have been no cases of cannibalism.

CRIA: It is a mantis moderately easy to mate due to its low aggressiveness; at 2 weeks of adults, male and female will meet at high temperatures and it will be observed that the male slowly approaches the female (we recommend feeding the female at the time of copulation). He will be coupled simply riding or by a small flight, staying coupled for several hours. At 3 weeks he will start to put ootecas, up to a maximum of 10 ootecas in his life.These are not very big; of about 20 individuals each. 
The nymphs in L1 are very fragile and until they move for the first time there is usually a considerable mortality. Later it will continue being a mantis of weak aspect by its structure.
Its development is very slow and its energy consumption low, so it will make us wait until we reach adulthood.

FOOD: They tend to feed on insects smaller than her. 

L1: Drosophila melanogaster 
L2: Drosophila melanogaster 
L3: Drosophila hydei 
L4: Drosophila hydei 
L5: Domestic fly 
Bluebottle Subadult: 
Adult Fly : Flyfly and other flying insects.


Zoolea sp.

Superfamiliar: Mantidae 
family, Valin 
Subfamilia Bandyleg 
Género: Zoolea

DISTRIBUTION : The genus zoolea is composed of 7 species known to date. Due to its external morphology it is very similar to species of the genus empusa and similar but the truth is that they belong to different families, this is sometimes cause for confusion among breeders not very experienced.

MAINTENANCE: The species of the Zoolea genus are not usually recommended to people with little experience, it is preferable to have previously kept exotic species less demanding than these mantids. 

The zooleas need a diurnal temperature that oscillates between 25-30 ºC and a humidity that can oscillate between 60-70%, the most advisable thing is to spray the terrarium in the afternoons once a day, if it is observed that the baby mantis can be spray again as this is a sign that our mantis was thirsty, if you do not drink the mantis is indicative that it does not need to hydrate and it will be unnecessary to spray again until the next day.

Its external appearance is composed of an appendix on the head and three foliar expansions, one in the proximal and distal section of the femurs of the two pairs of hind legs and in the proximal stretch of the tibias of the two pairs of hind legs. The wings are long and functional in both sexes and the ends are turquoise green, the eyes are usually brown with vertical beige stripes. The male is identical but more slender and with longer antennae (it does not have plumed antennas like the genus empusa with which it is sometimes confused, this is an important differential fact as well as the foliar extensions of the legs in the genus empusa only is present in the distal section of the femurs of the two pairs of hind legs).

The terrarium should be somewhat spacious since it is a mantis that can reach wingspan of 12-14 cm females and a couple of cm less males. 
They do not usually have problems of molting, the molting is quite fast compared with other species and injuries or intramural accidents are not frequent.

BEHAVIOR: It is a very calm mantis, in the terrarium it moves little and is not aggressive with the prey unless it is very hungry; Flying insects are of choice for the feeding of this mantis.

BREEDING: Adults are usually not very receptive until they have passed about 20 days after the moult, if they are not receptive, the male should be removed and try again after 5 days. 

In this species some cases of cannibalism have been described, so it is convenient that the female is well sated before starting the copulation. 
After a few days the female puts the first ootheca, from each ootheca can be born about 20-40 nymphs, depends on the size of it and the quality of the male’s sperm and the time of copulation or the number of copulations that have been made the female with the male or with different males. 

The small nymphs are dark and quite active.

FEEDING: Flying insects are the choice but they can also accept medium sized crickets when they are adults.

L1-2 Drosophila melanogaster
L3-4 Drosophila hydei
L4-5 Drosophila hydei/Musca domestica
L6-7 Moscon (Calliphora vomitoria)


Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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