Question Answer
Were do you get the information about the species from? All information about the species are collected by our own experiences. By this, the information given here may differ from your experiences.
I want to start keeping mantids. What do I need in the beginning? After you have informed yourself about all the basics (general), you should look for a esay- keeping mantis. Accordingly an enough huge terrarium should be chosen, with two ventilation areas. To breed mantids, you will need more than one terrarium, because the majority can not be kept together.
The terrarium should be arranged with substrate, climbing- materials and if necessary with gauze at the ceiling. The temperature and moisture should be measured periodically and if needed a heating- lamp etc. procured.
Buy fodder and start!
Which size is needed for the terrarium? It depends on the species you want to keep. Recommendations can be found in our species- database.
What do you mean with the sizes for the terrariums? All sizes are mean length x width x height.
My mantis seems to puke (brown fluid out of its mounth). What is this and what can I do? The exact reason is not known, yet, but it seems to be a bacterial infection.
Possible reasons can be: mildew in the terrarium, stagnant moisture with high temperatures, "foul" fodder (often crickets).
If it is detected early, the mantid can be rescued. You should put it in a dry and good ventilated terrarium with a higher temperature. After 2- 3 days you can spray a little bit water in it. 2 days later you can try to feed it. The old terrarium has to be cleaned, the substrate and the fodder changed.
Which kind of fodder is the best? Cockroaches (like Shellfordella tartara), flys and firebrats (Thermobia domestica) are tolerated by nearly all species. Also crickets can be fed, but a feeding just with crickets has to be disadvised, because some species can puke (s.a., our experiences).
Species who are specialized to flying insects should be fed with those insects, otherwise there can be problems in building ooths etc. Also species from dry habitats need special food, like firebrats, because other insects can contain to much moisture.
How long live mantids. It differs depending on species and keeping, between 2 months and 1 ½ years. Basicly, (adult) females live longer than males.
Which mantis is the largest/ smallest? The largest we know is Ischnomantis gigas (16cm- 18cm),the smallest Bolbena hottentotta (1,5cm).
Is it possible to keep mantids together? Which ones? All mantids are carnivores, so if there is not enough food, they will eat each other.
It exist more and less compatible ones. Species like Phyllocrania paradoxa and Gongylus gongylodes can be kept together. Otherwise e.g. Sphodromantis should be single- kept, because of their aggressiveness. To all described species, we marked the aggressiveness. Nearly all nymphs up to L4 can be kept together (requirement of enough space and food!) independet of species.
Why do the most mantids just have latin names? The latin name is the real species- name. Other names, like in english, differ and are unexact. As an example, as a flower mantis are known: Creobroter elongata, Creobroter gemmatus and Creobroter pictipennis, but also Pseudocreobotra ocellata and Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii.
What is meant with the numerical data, e.g. 0,0,5? The numbers mark the quantity of males, femals and nymphs of unknown sex.
e.g.:1,2 = 1 male, 2 female
1,0,5 = 1 male, 0 female, 5 nymphs of unknown sex
Where can I buy mantids? If we have something to offer, you can find it at available. At sock exchanges or at the Internet you can also get some. At links we have some adresses added.
How often do I have to feed? It depends on species, size and keeping. Young nymphs need more often to be fed than older ones. Generally is to say, that the abdomen should be well filled (roundish). Mantids stop on its own, when they are full. But also it should not be to many food- insects in the terrarium (stress). As a guidline, mantids should be fed every 2- 3 days.
How long can mantids live without any food and what can I do in holyday? This also depends on species, size and keeping. Bigger nymphs and adults can hould out longer than youngers mostly. Also bigger species can bear a longer period without food than smaller ones. An adult Sphodromantis- female can bear 2 weeks without any problems after a good feeding. You can prepare the mantids ca. 1 week before the holiday, by feeding them every 2nd day or daily. Accordingly you can put flypupal of different states in the terrarium, which can hatch during the absence and serve as food.
Can I keep mantids free in the room on a plant or something? Some species can kept free on a plant or tree etc. Especially females of Sphodromantis and Hierodula are place- true, when the get their food regularly.
But we disadvise such a keeping, because you can not create the necessary climate conditions (esp. humidity).
Do females lay ooths without mating? Yes. After the last molt, females start to build eggs. So if no mating happens, the female has to lay the builded eggs, otherwise the eggs can digest in her body. From this ooth nothing will hatch, except of parthenogenetic species. Some females never lay an ooth, because the conditions were wrong. Those die because of eggbound or they burst (after a downfall).
Should I mate a fertilized female again? Females can contain the male´s sperm after the mating. Mostly, one mating is enough for several ooths. If you have the possibility, you should repeat the mating as often as possible. Especially smaller species and inbreeding strains should be mate oftentimes.
Are there species, who do not need a male for reproduction? Yes, less species are able to parthenogentic. These are (e.g.) Brunneria subaptera, Mantis religiosa und Miomantis savignii.
What can I use for decoration? Basicly, mantids do not need decorations. Just something to adhere, like branches and gaze at the terrarium- ceiling. As substrate cocos- humus is recommended. In our species- list, we described, what you can use.
Do mantids bite? In case of danger, they can bite and strike with their arms. Huge mantids can cause small injuries (e.g. Pnignomantis medioconstricta, Rhombodera, Sphodromantis).
But not all mantids struggle, many flew or feign death.
Can mantids go blind? As a symptome of old age, they can go blind. This often happens, when the light is to bright. Another possibility can be mechanical injuries after molting, by prey or by fighting against fellows.
The eyes of my mantis turn into another colour, why? On the one hand it can be a symptome of old age (s.a.) or it is a generic adaption to the night, e.g. Pseudocreobotra or Pseudoharpax.
How drink mantids? Do they need a water- cup? They do not need a water- cup. By spraying the terrarium with water regularly, they get their water. Sometimes they drink active water- drops. Several species take the needed water out of their prey, especially species from dry habitats.
Can extremites regrow? They can regrow after a molting. If it happens in a young nymph- state, it is very possible, that the extremity regrows till the adult- state. So if a whole extremity is lost, they need more than one molting for regeneration.
Which mantis is recommended for beginners? All easily keeping mantids are highlightened in green (species).
Is MantisOnline a business? No, this site and our breeding is all private and our hobby.
Are all described mantids available? No. All described mantids we have had kept. But it does not mean, that we still have this species. When we can offer some, than we have it at available.
How can I differentiate between males and females? A detailed description can be found here: sex differences.
What can I do against mildew in the terrarium? You need a good ventilation (2 ventilation areas!), mildew- inhabiting materials in the substrate (like charcoal) and keep the substrate clean from foodrests and dung (white woodlouse and springtails eat this).
What can I do for a succesfull mating? Efforts should be tried in the wee hours of the morning or in the evening hours. After you are sure that the female has sprayed pheromones and is well fed, you can put the male behind the female. When you be in luck, the male jumps on the female directly. Otherwise you should animate the females to move by blowing etc. Aggressive females should get food to avoid that she sees him as prey. The mating should occured in an enough huge terrarium or free in the room, thet the male can flew after the copulation. So if the mating does not work after several trials, you can increase the temperature slightly. But do not pass the maximum temperature far or for a longer time.
What means „sp.“ (e.g. Rhombodera sp.)? The abbreviation sp. means species (lat.) and is used when you do not know the exact species- name. An other often used abbreviation is cf. which means confer (lat.) - compare (e.g. Rhombodera cf. basalis). This is used for species who are similar to the indicated species (h.: Rhombodera basalis), but you can not say exactly and definitive if this is the species.
Why do I miss some species- descriptions on this site? All information about the species are collected by our own experiences. So we can not give information about species we do not have or had. If we have enough experinces about a species respectively we have the time for processing, we will publish it on our website. Because like we have mentioned, this is all just our hobby.
Are mantids venomous? No.