How to Raise Baby Praying Mantis'

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Introduction: How to Raise Baby Praying Mantis'

About: 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 instructables on my mind for a while.

Materials

mantis egg sack
or
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

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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74 Discussions

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?

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 :)?

2 replies

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.

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.

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.

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!

1 reply

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

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?

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

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

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?