How to keep mantises as pets

Caring for Pet Mantises: A Beginner’s Guide

Praying mantises are fascinating creatures that make unique and captivating pets. Their intriguing hunting behavior and relative docility towards their owners have contributed to their growing popularity as pets. If you’re considering keeping mantises as pets, this beginner’s guide will provide you with essential care tips to help you provide a nurturing environment for these remarkable insects.

Key Takeaways:

  • Praying mantises are fascinating pets known for their hunting behavior and docility.
  • Proper care involves providing the right enclosure, appropriate feeding, and maintaining suitable temperature and humidity levels.
  • Enclosures should be well-ventilated, at least twice the height of the mantis, and include perches for climbing and resting.
  • Feeding mantises requires live prey items that are appropriately sized for their age and size.
  • Observation, cleanliness, and maintaining ideal conditions are crucial for the health and longevity of pet mantises.

Setting Up the Enclosure for Your Pet Mantis

To provide a comfortable and safe environment for your pet mantis, it’s important to set up a suitable enclosure. The right housing is crucial for their well-being and allows them to thrive in captivity. Here are some essential steps to follow when setting up the enclosure for your pet mantis:

  1. Choosing the right container: Depending on the size of your mantis, select an appropriate container. Small fish tanks made of glass or plastic can be ideal for adult mantises, providing them with enough space to move around. For younger mantises, clear plastic cups or jars can work well.
  2. Ensuring proper ventilation: Good airflow is essential to prevent the buildup of stagnant and moist air, which can be harmful to mantises. You can achieve this by providing suitable ventilation holes or a mesh cover on the container.
  3. Size considerations: The enclosure should be at least twice the height of your mantis. During the molting process, mantises anchor themselves at the top of their cage, and having ample height allows them to molt successfully without any obstacles.
  4. Creating perches: Adding perches, such as small twigs or pieces of kitchen roll, provides climbing and resting spots for your mantis. These perches mimic their natural environment and give them a sense of security.

Setting up a well-designed enclosure for your pet mantis not only ensures their comfort but also enhances their overall health and behavior. Remember to always research the specific requirements of the mantis species you are caring for, as different species may have unique needs.

Feeding and Care for Your Pet Mantis

Praying mantises make fascinating pets, but it’s important to provide them with proper feeding and care to ensure their well-being. As carnivorous creatures, mantises require live food to eat. Suitable prey items include crickets, roaches, flies, and small insects that can be either purchased or caught. When feeding your mantis, it’s crucial to consider its size and ability to catch and consume the food. Younger mantises will eat smaller prey compared to adult mantises.

It’s important to remove any uneaten prey from the enclosure within an hour to prevent stress on the mantis. Additionally, mantises do not require a water bowl but prefer to drink water droplets from plants. You can lightly mist the enclosure a few times a week or provide a small dish of water.

Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels is essential for the well-being of your pet mantis. Most mantises thrive at room temperature, but it’s important to research the specific species you have to ensure you’re providing the ideal conditions. Some mantises may require additional heating during the winter months. Regular observation and cleanliness of the enclosure are also important to ensure the health and longevity of your pet mantis.


Q: How long do pet mantises live?

A: The lifespan of a pet mantis can vary depending on the species. Some species can live for several months, while others can live up to a year or more with proper care.

Q: What species of mantis are suitable for beginners?

A: Some beginner-friendly mantis species include the Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis) and the African Praying Mantis (Sphodromantis spp.). These species are relatively hardy and easy to care for.

Q: Can I handle my pet mantis?

A: While mantises can be handled, it is important to be gentle and cautious. It’s best to handle them sparingly, if at all, to minimize stress and injury to the mantis.

Q: How often should I feed my pet mantis?

A: The frequency of feeding will depend on the age and species of the mantis. Younger mantises may need to be fed more frequently, while adults may require feeding every few days.

Q: Do mantises require a specific temperature and humidity level?

A: Mantises generally thrive at room temperature, but it’s essential to provide a suitable temperature and humidity range for their particular species. Research the specific requirements for your mantis to ensure their optimal health.

Q: How do I maintain the proper humidity in the mantis enclosure?

A: To maintain the correct humidity levels, you can lightly mist the enclosure a few times a week and provide a small dish of water. However, be cautious not to create an overly humid environment as it may lead to health issues for the mantis.

Q: How can I tell if my mantis is molting?

A: Signs that a mantis is molting include decreased appetite, increased irritability, and a noticeable change in color or pattern. During the molting process, the mantis will shed its exoskeleton to grow larger.

Q: What should I do if my mantis stops eating?

A: A decrease in appetite can be normal during molting or periods of growth for the mantis. However, if your mantis stops eating for an extended period or shows other concerning symptoms, it may be best to consult with a veterinarian with experience in exotic pets.

Q: Can I keep multiple mantises in the same enclosure?

A: Keeping multiple mantises together is generally not recommended, as they can be territorial and cannibalistic. It’s best to house them separately to avoid potential conflicts or harm.

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