Introduction: How to Feed Your Praying Mantis

Picture of How to Feed Your Praying Mantis

Praying mantises are a great predatory insect to own, although there are some questions that can be worrisome or even troublesome. Here is a simple, easy to follow instructable that answers how to feed your mantis, and what to feed it.

Step 1: What You Need...

Picture of What You Need...

It's simple and dirt cheap to find what you need for your mantis. All you will need is a pair of cheap tweezers and bugs, and of course your praying mantis. Make sure not to give your mantis food that is much bigger than it's self, it will frighten your mantis and it will refuse to eat. I will also recommend using grey tweezers, as they are shiny and praying mantises will almost find them 'invisible' Your mantis may be frightened at the tweezers at first, but it will get used to it.

Step 2: Bugs and Feeding Times

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So what is you feed your mantis? Well mantises are predatory insects, meaning they feed on insects and if big enough, small amphibians, birds and reptiles, don't worry they only attempt to catch these in the wild, so you don't need to worry going around looking for frogs and birds. When a young nymph it is best to feed them 'pinhead' crickets, fruit flies or earwigs. When they get older they can still eat these same insects but more regularly in a feeding time table. They will pretty much eat any true bug they come into interference with. Altough it's best not to feed them any poisonous insects like bees, wasps or ants. They also won't try to go for anything that doesn't move much, speaking of this you can leave and insect in a cage and wait for the mantis to eat it, although this may take a while.

You should feed your mantis about every two to four days, feeding it every day is unatural and can harm your mantis. One to two small insects should keep a nymph filled up, and full grown can be up to five.

Step 3: Feeding Your Mantis

Picture of Feeding Your Mantis

To feed your mantis with tweezers, carefully pick up the live bug, and direct it towards your mantis, hopefully it should snatch it up, if not try moving it towards it's mouth, if it starts nibbling on it, then it knows it's food so you can then try again. If the insect is dead, try picking it up with the tweezers and moving it slightly infront of your mantis, if you regularly feed times before it will just take it naturally.

If you wish to just leave the insect in the cage you can, but make sure it cannot slide through the air holes, also note that it will take a while.

Step 4: Ending

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Thankyou for taking your time to read this instructable, all credit of images goes to their rightful owners.

Comments

mooseduds (author)2016-02-28

I kept a mantis years ago. Tried to set up a photo with a dead bumblebee and the mantis. I couldn't do it - as soon as I'd set her down near the bumblebee she'd run away. Was able to feed her a bit of ground beef (on tweezers) when I couldn't get bugs for her.

DragonB2 (author)mooseduds2016-02-28

Mantises do have great eye sight and are surprisingly smart, she probably knew that bee was dangerous, if she was a nymph she probably wouldn't go for it either^^

I have heard that they eat ground beef, it's quite interesting. I recently bought two containers of pinhead crickets, I got luckily when I was gardening the other day and managed to find another mantis. It was quite skittish at first and it's front legs were trapped some how, now it's perfectly fine and ate it's first cricket. I find crickets are great for those extra skittish mantises. :)

DragonB2 (author)2016-02-27

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