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Adult female Carolina mantis. Notice the short wings and the difference in body size with the male Carolina mantis.

Carolina mantis :


The Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) is a mantis species native to North Carolina and South Carolina in the United States. Hence the name. But, actually it is a common mantis is most states of the United States and also occurs in Mexico and South America.


The male and female Carolina mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) look very different from one another. The adult female has short wings and is big and heavy. The male has long wings and is small, light and active. The male is able to fly and will do so readily, but the female is unable to fly.

Adult male Carolina Mantis

How to recognise a Carolina mantis


It can be hard to be sure which mantis species you found in your garden. Maybe it’s a Carolina mantis? If you live in the natural distribution area of the Carolina mantis, e.g. the USA, Mexico or South America you at least know it’s possible. If you found an adult mantis, you are lucky because it is much easier to determine the species of an adult mantis. An adult Carolina mantis has wings and has a brown or green body. The color an differ a lot depending on the conditions the mantis was living in. If you have a male Carolina mantis, it has long wings, is very active and has a narrow body. It’s around 4,5 cm in length. If you have a female adult Carolina mantis, it has short wings that do not reach the end of her body. Her body and especially abdomen is very big and bulky. An adult female Carolina mantis is around 5 to 6 cm in length. Both Carolina mantis sexes look like the more “stereotypical mantis”, without any camouflage body appendages like fake leaf-structures. It’s body plan is straightforward and streamlined and all camouflage comes from its body color and pattern.



On this picture you see the short wings of the female Carolina mantis. Only adult mantises have wings, and generally only the males use them to fly. From this picture it’s obvious why the female cannot use her wings to fly!

Keeping a Carolina mantis as a pet


Maybe you found a Carolina mantis in your garden and want too keep it as a pet. If possible I would say you can enjoy your mantis in the garden too, as female mantids are often very inactive if they get enough prey. So if you feed it in the plant were it lives, it will probably stay there. Males do not stay in the same spot for long. If you do want to keep a Carolina mantis indoors, make sure you take good care of it. You can read all about general mantis care here. For a Carolina mantis you don’t need special equipment. Keep the enclosure at room temperature (19 to 22 degrees Celsius) or temperatures that sort of match the temperature where you found the mantis in nature. Mist the cage twice a week with water from a plant watering spray bottle. This increases air humidity and allows your mantis to drink if needed.
Feed your Carolina mantis houseflies, moths, crickets, small grasshoppers, small cockroaches or fruit flies. The female can get extremely fat, it is wise to limit her eating when she is really big because it can be hard for her to move. In nature mantids will go days without food because sometimes they just don’t manage to find prey.

A adult male Carolina mantis.

Eggs sacs (ootheca) of the carolina mantis


In fall, around end of September and October, the female Carolina mantises will start to lay eggs. Mantids make egg sacs called ootheca. This is a foam pouch which contains the eggs. The foam gets very hard and protects the eggs. Inside a Carolina mantis ooth are around 20 to 40 eggs. A female can lay more than one ootheca and if she mated once in her life, all eggs will be fertilized. If you find a Carolina mantis ootheca in nature you can better leave it where it is. Next spring the mantis nymphs will 

hatch, even if the winter was a bit harsh. if you have a Carolina mantis egg sac from your pet mantis you can keep it at room temperature to have it hatch soon (6 to 8 weeks). If you want the eggs to hatch in spring, you need to keep the ootheca cool by placing it in your basement, attic or garden house. In spring you can place it at room temperature or outside to let the eggs develop and have the mantis nymphs hatch.

Pictures of Carolina mantis male and female



Adult female Carolina mantis. Notice the short wings and the difference in body size with the male Carolina mantis.

The pictures of the male Carolina mantis are made by Robert Smith from West Virginia USA. The pictures of the female are made by Michael from Oklahoma City, USA.

Adult female Carolina Mantis

Metallyticus splendidus nymph

Metallyticus splendidus


Metallyticus splendidus is one of the most amazing mantis species. It’s black with a very colorfull and shiny body. This mantis species lives on the ground and occurs in South East Asia.


This is not the usual page full of information how to raise or take care of this mantis species Metallyticus splendidus. This mantis species is very rare and I cannot tell you how to raise it, because I have not been able to get a hold of one of these. I did not want to withhold these pictures made by Dutch photographer Pim Brands.

Metallyticus splendidus nymph

Metallyticus splendidus adult seen from the top

Metallyticus splendidus adult

Metallyticus splendidus praying mantis nymph

Metallyticus splendidus

[Metallyticus violaceus] hunting and eating



Mantis Keeping ..


Mantis Species : Page 1  ..  Page 2  ..  Page 3  ..  Page 4  ..  Page 5



Mantis Keeping ..


Mantis Species : Page 1  ..  Page 2  ..  Page 3  ..  Page 4  ..  Page 5

heterochaeta orientalis ( Giant Stick Mantis ):


Care Sheet :


courtesy to :


A suitable terrarium for this species would be 40cm x 40 x 40, if space is limited you can use a smaller terrarium with no problem, but this size allows the mantis to freely move about.
The terrarium should have reasonable ventilation to allow the freeflow of air to prevent a build up of mould or stale air
Provide plenty of good climbing branches
You do not need a substrate as the mantis spends all its time above ground and it is then easier to clean out , but if you want you can use a moistened coir or peart substrate to make the cage aesthetically more pleasing to the eye

Temperature / Humidity
This mantis can be kept at between 21 and 28 degrees comfortably and does not need a drop in temperature at night. 
Spray or mist the cage every other day dependent on the type of cage. If it is a netted cage you will need to spray daily

Mantis will gorge themselves if they can and they can eat themselves to obesity. Feed a large mantis like this 4 to 5 large crickets weekly.

When adult, allow your mantids 8 to 14 days after their final moult before pairing with each other.
Best time to attempt pairing is around dusk
Place the female in the males cage, preferably in front of the male so that the male sees the female but the female does not see the male and leave them too it ! The female is aggressive and will likely attack the male before , during or after mating so BEWARE....keep an eye on proceedings.
If you see the mantids mating, remove the male after coitus and keep for other females or to re mate after eggsacs are laid
The female, when mated will likely lay an ootheca between 7 and 20 days later. (An ootheca is the name given to the eggsac laid by mantis and cockroaches)
The ootheca will likely take 30 to 40 days to hatch and should be incubated at about 23 to 26 degrees and misted daily. Each ootheca will hatch out approx 100 nymphs give or take 30 or so !!!!!!!

African Giant Stick Mantis ( Heterochaeta Orientalis ) Female Adult

Heterochaeta Orientalis mating

- phyllocrania breve 


( Similar to : phyllocrania  paradox )

Phyllothelys breve praying mantis nymphs dancing

Phyllothelys breve

Sibylla pretiosa (Cryptic Mantis) :


courtesy to : 




If there’s a better mantis to fit the description of the term “exotic,” I don’t know what it is. This species is perhaps one of the most bizzar mantis out there. They resemble the infamous Gongylus gongylodes, but are in a different family (the family Sibyllinae). They have very long legs. Both sexes sport a a very elaborate crest on their head. At the shoulder joint where their raptorial arms connect to the prothorax, they have two distinct spikes protruding at the top. Their wing color ranges from a sheen blueish green to a lush green. Their legs have small lobes and their whole body is marked with camouflage patterns that allows them to blend in with their surroundings. The species pretiosa and dolosa do not differ very much, except that dolosa may be a bit bigger and may have a greener shade on the wings. Should I find out more about this, I will post them here. But care for both species should be exactly the same.




They are a very small species. Females grow up to 5.5 cm long while males peak at 4 cm. After the 3rd or 4th molt, 8 segments can be counted on the male’s abdomen while 6 on the females. Since the males grow smaller than the females, it is possible to sex the nymphs by differienciating their sizes. Males will also have thicker antennas, but this will only be noticeable in the late stages of the nymphs.




This species of mantis do well with a bit of extra heat. It’s best to keep it around 25-30 C (76-86 F). A heat mat or a heat lamp may be used to maintain the desired temperature. They are a sub-tropical species so maintain their humidity at 70% in the day time and 80% at night.




Their cage should be well ventilated with lots of twigs for the mantids to perch on. They prefer branches with leaves not only to perch but for the adult females to deposit their oothecae. The suggested is at least 3x the length of the mantis. This species is communal as long as sufficient food is provided. They will only attack anything smaller than themselves so they may view a younger nymph as food…but only if there are no other prey items around. You may separate the sexes to prevent the aggressive females from preying on the smaller males.



Since they are small from hatchlings to adults, their best food items are flies. Start out with fruit flies as soon as they emerge from their oothecae and continue to upgrade their prey to larger fruit flies and house flies for adults. They need to drink a lot. Mist the nymphs every day and mist the adults once every 2 or 3 days. Remember to keep up the number of prey in the enclosure to avoid cannibalism.




A mantis will stop eating a day or two (sometimes longer) prior to its molt. Mantids molt about every 1-2 weeks as babies and the time in between each molt increases as they get older. It takes about 7 molts for females and about 6 for males. During molting, it is vital that you do not disturb them and also make sure that the humidity is at a safe level. The mantis will hang upside down from a branch or the screen lid and will sometimes shake or spasm violently. Then after a while, it worms out of its old skin and will hang out to dry. It will resume eating and being its normal self after a day or two.




This species is very easy to breed. After 2 weeks following their last molt, introduce the female into the male’s enclosure near him. Or if they have been raised in a colony, they will mate when they are ready. A mature male will initiate breeding by jumping on the female’s back and will copulate shortly afterward. The actual copulation takes only 10 minutes or so and then the male will detach himself from her. If left in the cage along with the female, the male may mate with her multiple times again. But one mating is sufficient for 2-3 fertile oothecae.


Ootheca: :


After a few days following mating, the female will deposit her first ootheca. They will deposit their oothecae on the underside of leaves 90% of the time…so a leafy enclosure is suggested. Normally, the females can lay around 3-5 oothecae each containing 5-25 eggs. After 5 weeks of incubation, the nymphs will start to hatch. Then proceed to feed them fruit flies and care for them as this caresheet suggests.


Additional Notes: (Log by Evan)


The first ootheca hatched with only 4 nymphs, partially because most of it was infested with mites for some odd reason…I was lucky any survived at all. The newly hatched nymphs have incredibly long legs with very small arms and move very quickly. They are very wary of their surroundings unlike other mantids. They even look directly at me when I approach their container. They started eating small fruit flies on their 2nd day after hatching.


The tiny nymphs molted their first molt within 8 days. They have increased in size dramatically and have already begun to show signs of cryptic patterns on their body. I still can’t sex them yet, but I’m hoping with the next molt, they’ll be big enough to tell.


The nymphs were very easy to care for, they’re very passive, but do occasionally display a threat pose to one another…but unfortunately, all 3 of them turned out to be males…just my luck huh? But in any case, I’ve had great successes with these three so if I should get more in the future, I’m almost certain I can raise a successful breeding colony.




Sibylla pretiosa mating

Sibylla pretiosa catching

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