Introduction: How to Raise Baby Praying Mantis'

Picture of How to Raise Baby Praying Mantis'


mantis egg sack
Male Praying Mantis
Female praying mantis
there is a difference
aquarium for hatchlings
fly fruit flies,first food
baby/young crickets (later along the line)

Step 1: The Egg Case

Picture of The Egg Case

There are usually 10-400 eggs in the ootheca (egg case)
and they are very small. When they hatch they need food small enough to catch and eat, as with baby clownfish, food is needed to be smaller and the size where it can be eaten. The flies would be added in a test tube catch's worth to a quart container of a few babies.

Step 2: Hatchlings

Picture of Hatchlings

Gently move the babies to a container large enough for them all, or several small containers. Then make sure to have an air hole, and a moist cotton ball down in there, so they can molt properly. You will have milions of babies. Feed them 5 or so per baby mantid a day.Make sure there aren't any puddles of water as they will drown in them. They need vertical things like sticks and such to help with their molt, because they use gravity to help pull them out.If they gnaw at your finger, they are thirsty.........When they are going to molt they won't eat and dead skins will be around the tank.

-In first grade a friend brought in a egg case and it hatched during the night. That day there were mantids everywhere. Even in our desks and tables!

Step 3: First Foods and Molts.

Picture of First Foods and Molts.

Fruit Fly Cultures ~ The first type of feeder insects you will need to feed your mantis is the WINGLESS fruit fly species. USDA/APHIS approved Hybrid wingless fruit flies can not fly and will not populate in your home. No care needs to be provided for the fruit flies. Fruit flies are self sustaining and require no care on your part. You just keep them at room temperature (about 72 degrees) One culture is enough to feed up to 20 baby mantids for about 2 - 4 weeks! Simply tap about 4 to 12 fruit flies into the mantis container every 2 days or so for young mantids untill they outgrow the food at which time you will need to graduate the mantids to eating crickets and other larger insects.

Step 4: Next-Gen Foods- Cricket Hatchlings.

Picture of Next-Gen Foods- Cricket Hatchlings.

In our 55 gallon tank, in the entomology room, we had crickets and they laid a lot of eggs, they are still developing and will hatch around the time the Mantids will be able to eat them. They also can be caught in spring and all when you can see itty bitty hoppers everywhere in midsummer.

Step 5: They're Growing!

Picture of They're Growing!

Larger Cricket time and some other things like hover flies and the likes. Prety much they stay on crickets, FOR MILENNIA, quite seriously.Pretty good idea to have a tank with vegetation and suficcient amount of crickets, moist dirt and leaves. They drink water like cats, only no tounge lapping.

Step 6: Find Homes for Them

Picture of Find Homes for Them

You can either give them to science teachers, friends, gardeners, sell them to people who want the egg cases to hatch for agricultural uses.


PennieP4 (author)2017-11-26

It is November 26 in Indiana, pretty cold although we've had a strange fall with temps in the 90s and then down and back up, etc. Today I've found 3 what I think are baby mantises in the house. I'm assuming they'll die if I put them outside but I can't imagine trying to save them till spring. Why are they hatching now?

simplesimones (author)2009-05-18

i've only seen 2 mantids my whole life, but just wanted to know--if they pinch you does it hurt? i've always been too chicken to try it :)?

We found a wild one in the fall. We kept her.. she ended up laying several eggs, (which have NOW hatched.. now I am trying to figure out how to care for them). We picked her up all the time when we cleaned her cage and not once did she ever pinch us. I don't know if she was just mellow or what but I was terrified of handling her.

sway01 (author)simplesimones2009-05-20

They don't pinch, they HOOK! I got hooked once and it felt like a pin prick. If you look at how they grab their prey, they grab them with little hook-like things that secures them well. They're a pretty cool insect and very fast at grabbing prey.

Mandarin Mantis (author)2017-04-21

I have two questions:

1. What is the species on step 5? I have the same one. It's a Chinese mantis, right?

2. How can I tell when my mantis is hungry.

kevinh241 (author)2016-08-23

My a-hole boss pissed me off once too many, so knowing his dread of creepy crawlies I collected two dozen mantis egg cases and stashed them all over his office. They began hatching shortly after, driving him out of his mind.hehehe!

Kind of cruel to those mantises if you ask me...if you wanted to creep him out I would have recommended crickets

KatrinaO2 (author)2015-11-03

I have a question...... I'm in California and it's Nov/cold .... yet I see a couple of egg sacks - will they survive/hatch in this weather? Our family has a few around the house and just love them. Should I bring them in to hatch or just leave them?

Dirt_Road made it! (author)2015-09-28

She layed that September Monday 28, 2015 around noon

BradenG (author)2015-09-08

#trump16 free the mantis

JuliaC7 (author)2015-05-23

prayingmantises (author)2011-09-08

i need a pet mantis i cant find one and are expensive any help me out

Costco. 20$. Order them now...

zboren (author)prayingmantises2011-11-01

I have a prey mantis who just laid eggs as soon as they get old enough i'll let you keep one $10

mantismaster26 (author)2012-12-05

right now my Chinese mantis is laying eggs!! written at 3:43pm

zboren (author)2011-11-01

Is a mantis nest all white and bubbely????

fallout-fanboy #1 (author)zboren2012-09-01

no those are most likley spider eggs sooo....

nephicarrera (author)2012-08-05

AWWWWWWW. Thanks for posting this. I think I may be more succesfull this time.

flyingfox567 (author)2012-05-04

i caught a praying mantis some time ago, through later i let him go, my dad got a picture of him

jsbingso (author)2012-02-25

i got flight less not wingless they're not eating ( i thought they would start cause they went 2 days with no food) so should i just give them time?

kitykat0429 (author)jsbingso2012-03-13

what do u feed them i feed mine with a can of cat food and paper clips

kitykat0429 (author)jsbingso2012-03-12

what do u have for foood

hey dont worry my babies wouldnt eat right naway anyway hi

jsbingso (author)2012-02-24

mine just hatched yesterday i moved them and im suposed to keep 3 or 4 and realese the rest but the weather has been weired so i read step 3 so where do you get those flys and i found a ear wig nest got nyphm ear wig will they eat those(sorry if its hard to read or long i lost my train of thought in the middle of when i was typing)

JBowmanDIY (author)2010-08-10

are mantids dangerous? like, do they bite or scratch things?

elite14 (author)JBowmanDIY2011-11-08

Relatively safe, I don't know of any harmful cases.

yardenah (author)JBowmanDIY2010-10-13

I just found about 25 baby mantis in my daughter's bedroom crawling on her floor. Any idea how they are getting in? I caught most and released them back outside but still have about 10 in a container. Is it better just to release them or try to raise them until they are grown and can fend for themselves.

zboren (author)yardenah2011-11-01

First off there probably living in the house because there are a lot of crickets, grasshoppers, etc. So I would dispose of all the mantises by hand then bomb the house with RID, and that doesn't work you might want to patch up the hole so they can't swarm into your girl's room

zboren (author)JBowmanDIY2011-11-01

if there hungry and stuff they might fight with their little weed-whacker hands but it doesn't hurt i promise

AmberJinxNz (author)JBowmanDIY2010-10-07

Ah it depends on the species I think. For instance the New Zealand and South African species don't but some of the others may. The only place soft enough for their jaws to get around is your lips, and the malaysian species can probably hurt your fingers, but I don't think they are poisonous overall. So generally I'd have to say no they are not dangerous (unless to each other mmm nom nom).

elite14 (author)2008-12-20

They can fly, they are attracted to windows, The ones in My project are beasts and around 4 inches long and can't fly yet. When they are done with their 6th molt they can fly. They don't bite you.....or pinch unless provoked or if they feel threatened, they run away more often. I had one that loved to cling to my shirt and it was no problem. They will bite/pinch you if you mi-handle them, squeeze them (just a little too much by accident), or appear threatening to them (they fly away. Hope this answers your question

dontkillpenguins (author)elite142011-11-05

how long do they live

elite14 (author)dontkillpenguins2011-11-08

Around a year or so, they live over summer, breed, and die with new hatchlings to replace them the next year.

zboren (author)2011-11-01

Me and my dad always thought prey mantises are aliens LOL

babymamma1030 (author)2010-08-12

I have 2 prey mantis's i caught them one male and one female i have them in separate cages but im not sure if the female is pregnant and was wonderin if anyone could let me know that if she is pregnant if i have to keep the babys is another cage or if they are ok to stay in the same one as her?

zboren (author)babymamma10302011-11-01

If you keep the babies(if she's pregnant by the way) in a separate tank the babies might die so if you don't want to raise them put them in separate tanks

The female is usually obvious if she is pregnant and has yet to lay an egg sack. The belly usually becomes a lot more pronounced in its bulge. After she lays one egg the belly will usually return just about back to normal, but you have to be careful because they can lay more than one (my boyfriend assured me ours wasn't pregnant and she layed her egg on the top of our curtain ><).

The babies should be okay with the mother before they hatch, but when they do it's a good idea to remove the female or she will eat her babies. Although the mum may not live to see her babies born, as depending on the species they don't have a very long life span.

Hope that helps :p. Have fun. The little ones are cute!!

Chuck khoí Norris (author)2011-07-31

I have just got a baby Giant Asian praying mantis but i don/t know how often i should feed it ive got krickets flies ants etc... anyone say how often please.
and my praying mantis is Called

Chuck Khoi Norris Lesle Lowndes-castle

you should have a tank like a fish tank and put quite a few of crickets and stuff in the tank until it looks like there almost gone then add a few more

slindsley (author)2011-09-18

I just found a paying mantis egg case pulling out my green beans. What should I do with it??
HELP Please

chinkle1 (author)2011-04-09

We had some praying mantis hatch on a poolside basketball hoop.  We made this video of them.  They are so cool.

1boxermom (author)2010-12-04

So happy to find this website. I am sitting here watching "our" praying mantis that we found about a month ago during one of our dog walks. She is currently in the process of making a nest for her eggs. I told my husband that I t hought she had a fat belly. Unfortunately, she chose not to make her nest on one of the twigs in her habitat but on the lid. So how do I disengage her nest without harming the babies? Can I place the nest outside on our screened-in porch? The holes in the lid are large enough for the hatch to crawl through, and we don't want any lose babies in the house. I've read that a hatch can take 1-3 months, but in our heated home I'm concerned it may be sooner. I sure would love some advice.

elite14 (author)1boxermom2011-02-05

Wow I haven't been back for a while,
Is it possible to put a fine mesh screen over it?
I'd do that, the eggs could be damaged from removing them
from the lid, Theye grow quicker in the heat, in the fridge they slow down on growth. If the lid is just a cheap one, you could cut around it and move it.
Sorry everyone

celiacmom (author)2010-08-25

Ok. So we have two praying mantises outside in tanks (kept seperately). I have just found two teeny tiny babies in my house. Only two...where could they be coming from? The two big girls were not found at my house, so I have no idea if we have any in our yard, etc. Could they be coming in on my dog? I havent seen any sign of babies near the tanks outside, so dont think they came from our "pets". I am new to the Mantis craze, so have no idea....what now?

AmberJinxNz (author)celiacmom2010-10-07

The babies are probably coming from an egg sack on the fence or wall of the house, or even sometimes from somewhere down the road, as they can travel quite a bit. I'm not sure about travelling in on the dog, as I don't know whether they would feel comfortable doing that, being as small as they are. If you do keep the babies, they should be kept separate from your pets, or they may be munched on >>, especially since yours are both females. Kept them fed with little prey like fruit flies until they get bigger, but make sure they eat or they will try to eat each other, when they get bigger you can move them on to bigger food. Hope that helps.

Flash Gordon (author)2010-07-19

I love mantis :D especially ones that listen to coheed and cambria! great instructable btw.

spenfisher (author)2009-07-16

I have a moth problem in my room can letting 1 or 2 go in my room to fix it

bgepp1 (author)spenfisher2010-03-30

I think it wouldn't hurt to try - my mantis devoured a moth twice its size!

elite14 (author)spenfisher2009-07-19

I don't really know. Could try one and see if it fixes that, then put it in it's cage so it won't get crushed accidentally overnight

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Bio: I am finally back on. Been pretty busy with Calc and getting college preparations. Sorry to all I haven't been around. Did not have ... More »
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