This mantis is relatively small compared to other species. Their nymphs are barely bigger than fruit flies. This species is also unusual in the fact that they can be kept together with a minimal amount of cannibalism. As long as they are well fed, they will not resort to eating each other. Their color ranges from straw to brown to light green and even light blue.
Sexing: Females grow up to 3.5 cm long while males can get up to 4 cm. After the 3rd molt, 8 segments can be counted on the male’s abdomen while 6 on the females. In adults, the females have a broader abdomen and the males have longer wings. The males fly very well and precaution should be taken when handling them.
This species of mantis relatively easy to keep. Keep these at 25-30 C (77-86 F)…room temperature will be just fine. Cooler temperature will slow the mantids’ metabolism and give them a bit of a longer lifespan. Keep their humidity maintained at around 60%.
Their cage should be well ventilated with lots of twigs and branches. They are relatively small so a medium sized tank is enough. The general rule for caging is 3x the mantis’ length for the height and 2x for the width and length dimensions. Increase the parameters if there will be more than one mantis living together. When keeping these mantids in groups, I suggest you separate the sexes. Males may end up being eaten by the larger females.
This species is a generalist feeder. Start out with fruit flies for nymphs and move to small crickets, house flies, moths, and larger crickets for larger nymphs and adults. They have been observed to eat anything and everything…ie ants, stinkbugs, bees…but I suggest staying away from these. These do not need any further coaxing to eat. If they are hungry and they see something crawling around, they will catch it on their own. Feed them as much as it will eat in one day and do not feed it for another 2 days. Watch their abdomen, if it is hugely inflated, then stop feeding them. As for watering, mist nymphs lightly everyday and two to three times a week for adults.
A mantis will stop eating a few days prior to its molt. Mantises molt about every 2 weeks as babies and the time in between each molt increases as they get older…so their last molt into adulthood can sometimes take as long as 3 weeks. It takes about 7 molts for females and about 6 for males. To pair up a pair of male and female, speed up the growth rate of the females while slowing down the males’ with cooler temperature and less feedings…once the female has molted, speed up the male’s growth to molt him out. During molting, it is vital that you do not disturb them and also make sure that the humidity is at a safe level…the suggested level is fine. The mantis will hang upside down from a branch or the screen lid and will sometimes shake or spasm violently. Then after a while, it worms out of its old skin and will hang out to dry. Once it’s dried, it will resume eating and being its normal self.
This species can be easy to breed. After 2 weeks since their last molt, introduce the female into the male’s enclosure near him. A mature male will respond quickly. It could take hours before the male does anything though. He will jump on her back and hold onto her lower thorax. The female can be distracted with food prior to this to make it easier on the male. While she is busy eating, she wont be able to grab him as he mounts her. After a while of holding on (this could take hours), the male will bend his abdomen down to connect with hers and mating will commence.
After two weeks or so, the females will be depositing her oothecae (plural for ootheca), each every 10 or so days. The oothecae are small and are about 1 cm or less. This species can lay around 4-6 oothecae. Remove the females from the oothecae or the oothecae from the females afterward. After 5 weeks or so of incubation at 30 C (86 F) and 70% humidity, 40-60 nymphs will hatch out. These can be fed on fruit flies a day or two after hatching. They are quite small so fruit flies might even be too big for them, but if they are hungry enough, they should be able to catch them for themselves. Then continue to care for them as this care sheet suggests.