Proper Care for a Baby Praying Mantis

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Introduction: Proper Care for a Baby Praying Mantis

About: this instructable channel is here because i can never find good reptile care instructbles on here so every monday i will post a new instructable on the care of diffrent reptiles, amphibians, and invertabrets.

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!

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    2 Questions

    My 2 mantises are 1/4 inch long, and one has injured rear legs...do i still feed them fruit flies, or should they be dead first...can they eat pollen, as i heard they can if food is scarce; i just want to save them, because mantises are very smart for insects...i've had one return to me after being hit by a car...it honestly seemed like it wanted me to put it out of its misery; it was so weird...

    Hi, I found a baby mantis on the spoiler of my car (he must have liked the wind beneath his wings.lol) Anyway i've set him up in a terrarium but now i'm curious on how much to feed him. I don't want to over feed him. I have a net and have caught 5 flies, which he enjoyed....Is that enough? I read that they only need feeding every second day. I am keen on keeping him happy and healthy so any advice will be appreciated. Also, I read that crickets aren't the best food as they can attack a nymph, so what would be the ideal meal?.

    29 Comments

    Nice looking little mantis! What do you do with the adult - continue to keep it as a pet, or release it into the wild?

    2 replies

    keep as a pet. unless you know for sure that the mantis you have is native to that area. adult mantids make greats pets!

    I read that mantis only live for 3-6 months. I don't know if that is after they get their wings or if that is from the time they hatch.

    My son came home with two baby mantis they gave him at school... In a small plastic cup and a cover with a few tack holes. We're in Arizona and it's fairly cool temp now. But I won't be able to get the earth and branch or stick for them until tomorrow afternoon, will they be ok until tomorrow?

    5 replies

    We ha praying mantises when I was growing up including a mantis egg "sack" they will eat each other if put together.
    FYI - For anyone interested we also had an adult manis with an injured front "arm" my parents used to do a couple of things to help him, 1. Dad used to catch the flies for him put them on a toothpick Sam (the mantis pretty much stayed in the dinning room window) dad stuck the toothpick in the screen so Sam could eat it. 2. My parents would also put a tiny bit of raw hamburger on a toothpick & again put the toothpick in the screen for Sam to eat. They do prefer live prey but since Sam couldn't catch it himself hetook what my parents fed him.
    (Dont know if I said anything helpful here but hopefully something I said will help someone.

    That was a nice thing your dad did, and fascinating that he ate the hambuger meat....good job.

    Definitely helped me cuz i just found a baby missing a front leg. Now ill just catch a baby fly and feed it with a dulled out sewing needle until he molts and regrows it but it shouldnt be too much harder than raising black widow hatchlings☺

    I'm not a perfusion all but they can last about 2-3 days I think but 1 day will be fine

    they should even last 5 or even 8 days without no worries.

    So I ordered an egg pod and in a few weeks they hatched. I didn't want them eating each other as I assumed they would do so I let them go in my shrubs outside. Now I'm worried that they won't get enough to eat. Surely nature will take care of them? Any suggestions? There are about 75 of them. I spread them out so they weren't close to each other on arbervitae trees and yew shrubs that I know have insects large and small in them all the time (not to mention ants).

    I live in southern California and where i live we have so many mantises and right now in spring there are so many baby mantises about half an inch long each and i can easily catch them. this gives great information so if anyone has any tips please tell me

    1 reply

    Always have fruit flies for their baby stage

    I live in Florida and at school they gave us baby mantises. But mine is really small. He/she isn't very lively. How long can they go with out food? I need to get Squishy some food but like I said he/she is small like smaller then what u said they were.

    1 reply

    I got one. He/she appears to have an injered back leg. What should i feed it. Its a young inch long mantise. How should i care for it. Do they get their hydration through their food? How much do they eat a day?

    oh yes one more question how come people say you shouldnt release non native mantis's in the area you live in? what does it hurt??

    4 replies

    because if the mantis breeds with a native mantis (wich they can do) the crossbreed could do damage to the area.

    What are you talking about? Different genus' cannot crossbreed I have no idea where you get your information from.

    Actually if the speces is close enough they can create a hybrid an example is a liger. It is a tiger crossed with a lion. These hybrids are steril ad can not breed

    uh the chinese mantis is the most common mantis in north america and it came from asia and cross bred with mantises from north america