This Instructable will teach you how to care for a small or baby praying mantis of almost any species. everything from feeding, to handling.
Step 1: Mantis Basics
Now first we need to know some things about praying mantis's. in the wild there are many diffrent kinds of mantis. some of the normal pet species are chinese mantis, budwing mantis, and aisan giant mantis. praying mantis eat almost any living creature that is small enough to grap. the big mantis can eat hummingbirds and mice! praying mantis are also capable of flying but not very far.
Step 2: Cage
your baby's cage is not going to need to be big. a plastic container or jar will work if your baby is about 1" long (that is a baby). you want a container that in more tall then wide but still wide enough that you can fit your hand to the bottom so that you can do maintenance.
Step 3: Inside the Cage
now to make your mantis's habitat. for substrate ECO-earth works best (the coconut fiber kind). put about 1" layer of eco-earth on the bottom of the cage. now you can get elaborate with leaves and flowers but it is not needed. all you need is a good stick with some branches. make sure you have a pearch were your mantis can hand upside down so they can molt.
Step 4: Feeding and Water
Feeding is a little more difficult with baby mantis then with adults. this is because baby's need to eat smaller foods. fruit flys are the best but they can get out of the cage sometimes. I use little pinhead crickets, 1 or 2 will fill the mantis up for a few days. you do not half to do much for water because mantis's get most of there liquids from there food. just spray the cage lightly with water every few days.
Step 5: Handling and Maintenance
you must be VERY careful when handling a baby mantis or any mantis in that matter. you must let the mantis crawl onto your hand you can't grab them or anything. you can lightly touch their back end to get them to move onto your hand. for maintenance make sure you keep the ground of the cage clean of any dead crickets and change the substrate every 2 weeks.
Step 6: Your Done!
that is all you need to know about the care of a baby praying mantis! enjoy your new pet!