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Mantis FAQ

How long can a mantis go without food

The absolute maximum is five weeks, but that's only for some species and would be very cruel. I would recommend feeding your mantis every 2-3 days, but try to avoid going longer than two weeks at the maximum.

 Will mantis bite?

Not usually. Their first defense is to run away or fly away. Mantids (plural of mantis) hardly ever bite out of defense.

When does a newborn nymph molt?

Newborns molt out of their "worm skin" as soon as they are born. After about 2 weeks it should have its first molt, do not feed your mantis until a day after its first molt.

How long can a mantis go without food?

The absolute maximum is five weeks, but that's only for some species and would be very cruel. I would recommend feeding your mantis every 2-3 days, but try to avoid going longer than two weeks at the maximum.

Do mantises eat dead bugs, or just living bugs?

Just living bugs. They are hunters, so if it is not moving, they won't attack/eat.

Can I force feed a praying mantis?

Not a good idea. Mantids shed their skin and will not eat two days beforehand and a day afterwards: just give your mantis time, and it will probably resume eating.

Can I find them in cold weather?

Sometimes, but it is more common to find them in warm weather.

Where can I buy them? www.usmantis.com

Most pet mantids are bought online because only a few pet stores actually house them. They might be available in your local pet store, but it is highly unlikely.

How do I know if it's a female or a male mantis?

You can count the segments on its abdomen or look at the length of its antenna. Longer are male, shorter are female.


Can I buy a praying mantis online? Yes at www.usmantis.com

TIPS

  • DON'T FEED YOUR MANTIS: canned tuna, lunch meat, tofu, etc. This is very bad for them. Unless you want to find a dead praying mantis in the bottom of the cage, stick to the real stuff - insects.
  • Offer them water on a Q-tip or in a spoon. Don't put a cup of water in their cage - they could drown. A sponge or paper towel on a yogurt container lid works much better.
  • Praying mantis' will eat: crickets, houseflies, small butterflies, moths, and other small insects.
  • Don't feed your mantis wasps. These types of insects have vicious mouth parts and painful back ends. Anything you wouldn't want to mess with (being significantly larger than your little pet), your praying mantis probably won't eat either.
  • Don't worry if your mantis is a nymph and it won't eat for a few days, this usually means it will molt soon.
  • Don't drop your mantis, or you may wake up the next morning to find him dead, because falls often result in fatal internal injury!
  • If your mantis scratches, don't fling him away. It could result in his fatal injury if he falls from high up or hits something.
  • Hand-Feeding causes the praying mantis can cause them to lose the ability to hunt on their own. By giving them a roomy cage and supplying them with small insects (e.g. medium crickets, small butterflies, houseflies), they will be able to continue their original hunting practice, allowing you to later release them into the wild without leaving them dependent.
  • Feed newly hatched praying mantis' wingless/winged fruit flies flightless fruit flies, available at the local pet store, or fresh from your counter.


Keep praying mantis' in separate habitats!
This is a very, very important part of keeping them. Left together, they will attack and kill and eat each other.

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