What to feed your baby praying mantis

Praying Mantid caresheet - Amateur Entomologists' Society (AES)

A Praying Mantis (Hierodula patellifera) in typical 'praying' posture.
Photograph by OpenCage licensed under Creative Commons.

The Mantids are a group of 1,800 carnivorous insects (Order: Mantodea). Most mantids are from tropical countries although a few do occur in cooler climates. Their closest relatives are the stick insects, grasshoppers and cockroaches. Like their relatives the mantids undergo simple or incomplete metamorphosis; they do not have a maggot or caterpillar but go through several stages all of which look like miniature, wingless adults.


Young mantids should be fed on fruit flies (Drosophila sp.), aphids or other small insects. They do well if supplied with as much food as they can eat although they can last quite a while without food.

As they grow they can be given larger prey, almost any insects (for example, blue bottle flies, grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches) will be eaten. Some species will happily tackle prey as large as themselves. However, you should make sure that any insects that are not eaten (especially grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches) do not chew the legs or wings of your mantid.

If you keep live food for your mantid then you should also ensure that the live food is kept in appropriate conditions (adequate space, correct temperature and humidity and access to food and water).


Many species are very aggressive towards each other and if kept in groups they will eat each other especially as one or two become slightly larger than their brothers and sisters.

Mantids can be kept in a variety of containers but many keepers use plastic fish tanks (these can be positioned vertically to provide a tall enclosure). Whatever type of cage is used a stick or branch should be provided for the insect to hang from when it sheds its skin. As a result it is very important that the distance from the top of the branch to the floor must be at least four times the length of the insect. As a result mantids need to be kept in tall cages. As the mantid grows it should be moved to larger containers.

Many Praying mantids are from tropical origins and therefore need to be kept warm, as a general rule 20°C to 25°C will be ideal. The temperature should be kept as constant as possible and this can be achieved using a heat mat and thermostat.

Spraying the cage once a day with fresh, clean water will provide the mantis with water and will also raise the humidity of the enclosure. Humidity is very important when mantids moult but large amounts of water droplets should be avoided as smaller mantids can become trapped and drown.


Sexing mantids is difficult when they are small but fairly easy when adult, eight segments can be counted on the underside of the abdomen of a male and six on that of the female (in some species the end segments are difficult to see and only seven or five may be counted).

After two or three weeks as adults the mantids can be mated. Both should be fed as much as they will eat for several days before the male is introduced to the female's cage. It is advisable to use a large cage for the mating and feeding them well beforehand is essential otherwise the female will eat the male. Mating may occur immediately or it may take the male a day or so to make his approach. Mating may last a day or more so it is a good idea to keep the cage supplied with food so the female can eat while mating. The male should be removed as soon as mating has finished.

The eggs are produced in an eggcase called an ootheca this may produce 30 to 300 young mantids depending on the species. The ootheca is a frothy mass created by the female, the froth hardens to form a tough case for the eggs. Hatching usually takes between 3 and 6 months. The young may hatch all at once or in batches over a period of several weeks.

The ootheca should be suspended at least 5cm above the floor of the cage. When the young hatch they hang by a thread from the ootheca until their skin hardens off. The female will eat a lot and become very fat before laying an ootheca on a branch or side of the container if she is already fat she may well lay her first ootheca the day after mating.

She will lay several oothecae, usually about six, but only needs to be mated once. The young nymphs can be housed together for a time but the cage must be very large with plenty of hiding places and an excess of live food must be provided to prevent cannibalism. The mantids should be housed separately after the second or third moult.

Mantids will live for 12 to 18 months and the oothecae can also take several months to hatch.

Some species of mantis are parthenogenic so can produce a viable ootheca without mating.

Overwintering mantis oothecas (egg mass)

If you live in a location where mantids occur naturally you may find mantis oothecas (see the photograph on our Mantodea page) in the wild. People sometimes wonder how the eggs within the egg mass survive over winter. In the case of the mantis, the eggs will be buffered from extremes of temperature by being in the protective egg case (or by the position of the oothecae).

However, people occasionally bring mantis egg masses indoors to "protect" them over winter. Unfortunately the warmth can cause the nymphs to emerge early and be unable to find any food. Instead, if you want to keep and observe the ootheca, you should keep it in an unheated building (like a shed) and let the nymphs emerge at the correct time.

Lost limbs

Praying mantids undergo incomplete metamorphosis. Sometimes, often if their cage is too dry, a mantis may have trouble shedding its old skin and will lose a limb in the process of moulting. If this happens it is possible for a mantis to regrow the lost limb but only when they moult again. This means that, if your mantis is an adult (i.e. if it's got wings), then it won't be able to regrow the lost limb.

Suggested species

Sphrodomantis viridis from West Africa is an easy species to keep, very suitable for beginners. They are about 8 cm long and either bright green to light brown in colour. They will happily take food of their own size and they will also take pieces of uncooked meat if it is offered on a pair of tweezers. Their ootheca can contain up to 300 eggs.

Further information on Praying Mantids.

Remember: it is important that you know the needs and requirements of your pet before you obtain the animal. You should never, ever obtain an animal before researching its needs and preparing the housing and conditions.

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What Do Baby Praying Mantis Eat?

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A Baby Praying Mantis

It’s possible to have a lot of fun with a praying mantis as a pet. You may observe them develop through different periods without spending an arm and a leg on their upkeep. Although they are easy to care for, praying mantises require special attention in order to survive and develop.

What is the proper way to care for a baby praying mantis? Healthy feeding, appropriate enclosure, and monitoring are all part of caring for a newborn praying mantis. Aside from that, the phases in a praying mantis’ life cycle are important factors to consider while maintaining them.

In this post, we’ll go through all you need to know about raising baby praying mantises, from their needs to how to care for them. This article focuses on the living conditions of baby praying mantises and how to maintain them.

What Do Baby Praying Mantis Eat?

The diet of a baby praying mantis is similar to that of an adult. This implies that the majority of the time, it’s insects. What they eat, on the other hand, will be considerably less. You may also want to give them food that doesn’t move around as much.

You should also avoid feeding your praying mantis, baby or adult, whatever a wild praying mantis would eat, such as frogs, bees, wasps, ants, or even spiders. Praying mantises only develop the ability to use certain weapons and defenses after they reach maturity.

However, you can attempt to feed the following to your baby praying mantis:

Small InsectsBaby Praying Mantis Fruit Flies

A baby praying mantis will make a fun science project. However, make sure they’re relatively young fruit flies. They shouldn’t be larger than the praying mantis. Fruit flies that are a few days old are ideal for this purpose.

Another advantage of raising your own feeder insects. It assures that you have the appropriate sizes on hand to feed your praying mantis. You may also offer a mealworm diet to the baby praying mantis aphids. Fruit flies, on the other hand, are likely to be a lot simpler for you to raise.

Crickets Also Make Up A Healthy Diet for Baby Praying Mantis

A few fruit flies will be sufficient to fill the baby mantis enclosure. Two to three fruit flies per baby praying mantis should be enough. This is one of the major reasons why we propose that you utilize fruit flies instead of crickets. Because they will find no prey, other insects would not try to attack or consume your baby praying mantis. This implies that you may keep them inside for days, allowing the baby praying mantis to consume them whenever it’s hungry.

Raw Meat

Raw Meat

There are some folks who have fed their baby praying mantis with raw meat, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

However, do bear in mind that you will have problems. Unless you give it their illusion that the meat is alive and moving, the baby praying mantis may not consider eating the meat altogether.

Some people have used a piece of string to move the meat from side to side in an attempt to solve the problem. However, there is no assurance that the praying mantis will eat the meat.

What Do Baby Praying Mantis Eat in The Wild?

The praying mantis in the wild is a natural weapon against the summer’s swarms of annoying insects. They will consume almost everything, including each other, but their cricket, fly, moth, and mosquito pest control make them unrivaled natural allies in the landscape.

The life cycle of the mantis is complex, with cannibalistic mating as its first stage, followed by an egg rest period and then a nymph stage before reaching adulthood. You may find praying mantis egg sacs throughout North America, but in colder regions, you may need to resort to purchasing them for use in your garden.

Praying mantis egg sacs may help you discover the sacs in your landscape. When do mantis casings hatch? In the spring, as temperatures rise, these predatory insects begin to crawl out of their shells. That means you should be looking for cases from late fall through early spring.

Do Baby Praying Mantis Drink Water?

Water is not required for a baby praying mantis. In fact, you don’t even need to give adult water to an adult. They should be able to get all the water they require from the food they consume.

It’s critical that you don’t place a water dish inside the praying mantis cage. If you do, your praying mantis is likely to drown, especially if they’re still learning how to get out of the water dish.

To sidestep this, some people place water-soaked sponges in the praying mantis cage. However, there is still little need to give the insect more water.

How To Feed Baby Praying Mantis? A Very Small Baby Praying Mantis

When it comes to caring for any sort of pet, feeding is a priority, and a baby praying mantis is no exception.

Baby praying mantises start feeding as soon as the eggs hatch and they emerge. Baby mantises feed primarily on tiny insects and flies, unlike adult mantises. As they get older, they widen their diet to include bigger prey.

Praying mantises have a distinct feeding schedule in that they do not consume every day. They may go without food for up to four days in a row. You should feed them at least once every three days, however, even if they don’t require it.

The fruit fly is one of the favorite meals of baby mantises. The newborn mantis may be fed with aphids, grasshoppers, midges, and other insects that are comparable in size. To feed a praying mantis, you must use an insect or fly that is still living.

When it comes to feeding the mantises, you should make sure they eat what you offer them. The prey may flee or conceal itself from time to time. If this happens frequently, the baby mantis may starve as a result of his or her diet not being adequate.

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Praying Mantis?

Praying mantes, generally, are quite fast and deadly, with amazing green eyes that dominate a triangular head-turning 180 degrees to each side. It’s hard to imagine the praying mantis becoming food itself, but many predators appreciate having a mantis for supper because of its flight ability and strong fighting skills.

The praying mantis is cautious of a variety of insects. A baby mantis taken in a web will be devoured by spiders, as long as it is not larger. Praying mantises and tarantulas battle each other, with the victor’s dinner generally ending up being the bigger one.

The 2-inch thick body of the Japanese giant hornet is topped off with cutting jaws and long stingers, making it one of the world’s only insects to kill the praying mantis.

Flying Insects

A praying mantis spends much of its daytime hours perched on plants, waiting for butterflies and other insects on the menu to land on a nearby blossom. The mantis’ light-sensitive eyesight is very acute. When the mantis sees a tiny motion, it becomes active, swooping down and plucking the insect from its perch. The mantis becomes more active at night, fluttering about lights in order to catch insects for a meal and making itself vulnerable to nocturnal bat pred

Ground Insects

Mantises are also adept in defense in the air. On the ground, their opponents should think twice before attacking. Mantises may grow up to 6 inches long, and pregnant females have been observed consuming mice, scorpions, snakes, and lizards. Snakes, lizards, and scorpions will typically avoid small mantids because they are wary of the quick spiky front legs and savage battling tactics. Frogs are another natural enemy that can kill or be killed depending on their size.

Other Insects

Praying mantises are helpful predators that may collaborate with other insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, to keep garden pests under control. Chemical pesticides can harm both bugs and the praying mantis. Garden chemicals may wipe out an entire mantis species, including egg cases, nymphs, and adults, with just one blanket application. While the pests you were attempting to destroy will be back in a few weeks, mantises may take years to recover.

How To Protect Baby Praying Mantis from Predators?

Praying mantids are beautiful, frightening-looking insects with thin legs and bulging eyes. Praying mantids are unquestionably formidable hunters, but they also have some of the most efficient anti-predator mechanisms imaginable. Camouflage is one such defense. That’s precisely what camouflage does: it largely protects praying mantis from predators. Let’s have a look at one of nature’s most powerful predators amazing power.

The majority of praying mantises have a green textured body and their skin is colored in a way that gives out an illusion, making it difficult to spot one even if it’s perched right in front of you. Mantis prefer to sit on top of green grass or leaves, which provides them with excellent camouflage. The praying mantis almost vanishes into the tall grass.

The mantis female is said to threaten predators by standing up on her abdomen and raising her front legs. They have claws on their front legs, as well as a shield-like plate behind the head. These stick insects, on the other hand, use camouflage to defend themselves.

Some mantis, on the other hand, is brightly colored. Some of the mantes have a mix of brown and green hues with varying degrees of gray. Ground-dwelling species will generally stay on the bare ground, but they make sure that their bodies do not cast shadows on the ground to notify predators of their presence. Instead, they most likely flatten their bodies and eliminate any possibility of shadows.

Flowers are the preferred pastime for flowers mantis. Some types, on the other hand, can change from white to black after molting. This is especially true for species that live in Africa or Australia, where the dry season is common. They may conceal themselves among bush fires thanks to their transformation to black-colored bodies.

What Is The Difference Between Praying Mantis and Grasshoppers?

Grasshoppers are herbivores, eating vegetation rather than animals. Praying mantises, on the other hand, are carnivorous predators that will consume other insects, arachnids, small mice, and even hummingbirds if they get the opportunity. There are also differences in species and body structure.

Praying mantis have a clever hunting technique: their head swivels completely around, so they don’t miss anything, and their legs have spikes that help them catch food. It’s common to see a few grasshoppers or praying mantises, but if you spot one, keep your eyes open for many more. A grasshopper will dig a hole and deposit up to 100 eggs.

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What and how to feed baby praying mantises — bogomoldoma.ru on DTF

Did you know that newly hatched newborn praying mantises and baby nymphs need to be fed completely different food than adults? It is important to understand that the food must be smaller than the pet itself, so that he can easily catch it and keep it at the meal. Let's figure out which food insects should be chosen as food for little pilgrims and how to properly feed them.


It is important to add that the insects that you will give to the praying mantis during his meal should not harm or injure him. Therefore, nymphs up to the 3rd stage of growth are not recommended to give cockroaches, even small ones, as they can resist and harm your pets. As soon as the nymph reaches stage 3 of development, she can be given cockroaches, while pressing down on her head so that the pet is not bitten.

If we talk about the smallest praying mantis, then up to 3 stages of development, your pets should be given exclusively flightless fruit flies. Starting from the 1st stage of pet growth, they need to be fed only fruit flies. This species is quite small in size and is perfect as food for both newborn praying mantises hatched from the ootheca and for small nymphs up to the 4th stage of development. nine0003

If the pets have grown up and are in the 2nd stage of growth, then they can be fed with flies, which are slightly larger in size. These varieties include Drosophila hidea. This fruit fly would be ideal, as it requires fewer flies to feed your pet than fruit flies. Praying mantises can feed on such insects up to the 5th stage of development.

Starting from the 3rd stage of growth, praying mantises can be fed green blowflies, wax moths and feeding cockroaches. These insects are quite nutritious and useful for growing pets, they will be an excellent replacement for small flies. In addition, it is worth noting that your pet will be able to perfectly cope with these insects when he hunts them and grabs them with his paws. nine0003

As for the process of feeding the little pilgrims, you will find that it will be difficult to catch the flies. In fact, there is one wonderful way to catch them and feed them to your pet. To do this, you will first need to pour a small amount of flies into a glass of water. Next, you need to take a toothpick, catch the right amount of insects and just run them into the terrarium to the praying mantis.

In addition to all of the above, it is important to pay attention to which insects can be fed to praying mantises, and which are strictly prohibited. It is also important to know how to properly and how often to drink a pet, what kind of water you need to give him so that he does not get poisoned and lives happily ever after with you. To understand these and other issues of diet and nutrition, read the article https://bogomoldoma. ru/info/1-chem-kormit-i-poit-bogomola/

Friends, thank you for your attention! We hope this information was useful to you. If you are interested in getting acquainted with the catalog of rare exotic praying mantises and learn more about them, you are welcome to https://bogomoldoma.ru/. Subscribe to us here and on social networks to know more useful information about praying mantises!

How and what to feed the praying mantis? Diet of a small predator

Mantises are known to be predatory insects. Praying mantises are fed with almost any insect, provided that the size of the victim does not exceed the size of the predator itself. nine0003

What to feed praying mantises? Feeding insects

In the summer, food for the praying mantis is usually not a problem. In the garden, in nature, you can catch butterflies, moths, locusts, grasshoppers, etc. In their natural habitat, praying mantises do not disdain even bees and wasps, but, probably, not every owner of a praying mantis will dare to contact stinging insects.

In winter, you can buy praying mantis food from pet shops. Crickets, locusts, mealworm larvae and wax moth larvae will do. The most suitable food for adult praying mantises are marble (ash) cockroaches. They, like crickets, can not only be purchased in specialized stores, but also grown independently at home. Prussians (domestic cockroaches) are not suitable as food for the praying mantis, since they may well be poisoned by pesticides. nine0003

If there are any difficulties with the purchase of the indicated feeds, you can buy a suitable praying mantis according to the size of the bloodworm.

Be careful when including spiders in your mantis diet - they can be poisonous to your predator.

It should be noted that the nutritional requirements of your pets will vary depending on the stage of growth. At an early age, praying mantises are fed with small insects: aphids, moths, mosquitoes, fruit flies (they are easily bred at home), small flies. Recently, a wingless fly has appeared in pet stores - it can also be fed to young individuals. As the praying mantis larvae grow, they can be given newborn cockroaches and crickets. nine0003

The process of feeding the praying mantis

It must be said that the eating praying mantis is a curious sight. The process of swallowing a praying mantis is similar to eating small parts of a chicken by a person. The pet slowly chews the pieces very carefully and spits out solid chitin.

There are two options for feeding mantis:

  1. Run fodder insects into the dwelling of the Mother of God
  2. Feed the pet

If you throw “food” to the terrarium, and not feed from the tweezers, then a large insect before how to treat a praying mantis, you need to lightly press down - so it will be easier for your little predator to cope with prey. nine0003

It is best to feed the praying mantis with tweezers or place it as close to the pet as possible. Be sure to check whether the praying mantis has eaten the treat - the bloodworm dies and dries out very quickly. The fact is that it is very important for the fastidious praying mantis that the victim is alive. Be sure to control the eating of crickets. Since it is very difficult to predict when a praying mantis will begin to molt, it can begin to molt right at the time of eating. In this case, the cricket will damage your praying mantis, which can lead to the death of the pet. Therefore, as soon as the praying mantis is full, the remaining crickets are immediately removed from the terrarium. nine0003

Mantis feeding schedule

Nymphs are fed every day, adult insects - after 1-2 days. For one feeding, an adult praying mantis is given 2-3 fodder insects. Young praying mantises are fed until full, while adults should not be overfed. Usually. praying mantises are quite gluttonous. An overeaten praying mantis can hardly move, but most importantly, overeating can lead to the death of a pet (there is a chance of a rupture of the abdomen). It is also necessary to know that the more an insect eats, the faster it ages and the shorter its life.

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