About animals

Domestic mantis

Pin
Send
Share
Send


The most convenient and affordable accommodation for a mantis is a terrarium. Size must be taken into account by the large or small individual. The fact is that the space for the praying mantis still needs to feel comfortable. But do not forget that these animals themselves catch the food that you present to them, respectively, in a large cage it will become more difficult to catch prey.

The terrarium needs to be covered with soil, it will be best if you lay something that can be moistened. Because this species is used to certain parameters. For example, coconut flakes or leaves. When buying a terrarium, it is advised to immediately take care of a moisture measuring device. Let's say a TA218A hygrometer-thermometer-clock is suitable because, in addition to humidity, it indicates air temperature. This is the second factor that is very important for mantis. In no case do not bring unprocessed materials from the street, as they may contain parasites or mold.

A photo. Hygrometer TA218A as a thermometer and hygrometer for a mantis.

To create a “home environment” for a praying mantis, it is worth acquiring various snags and branches, on which the insect will be able to spend its time and look out for prey.

A bit about the insect

An adult mantis can have quite large sizes - its length can be ten or more centimeters.

The color of this insect can be yellow, green, light brown or other, depending on the environment. Having the ability to mimic by nature, a mantis can merge with branches, plants and stones that have a similar color, and therefore it will be very difficult to notice it.


He has a triangular, very mobile head, which he can rotate 180 degrees. The forelegs with sharp spikes are well developed, with which he grabs his prey and holds it while eating. The mantis also has wings, but it flies very poorly, so most often it sits motionless in one place, waiting for prey.

The life expectancy of a domestic mantis is about two months, but some species, according to some sources, can live for about a year.

Temperature mode

Since insects are tropical inhabitants, accordingly, it is necessary to contain a mantis at home in a temperature regime of 20 to 25 ° C, while also observing the necessary humidity regime. Maintaining moisture in the mantis cage is not difficult, just spray water over the cage once a day, this will be enough.

How to eat a home mantis

How to feed a mantis at home? Such pets prefer aphids, flies, as well as other insects, suitable in size. Young individuals grow very quickly, provided that the owner will feed them well.

Many representatives of mantis can be aggressive towards their relatives, so cannibalism is quite possible, especially if there is a significant difference in size between individuals. Domestic praying mantises can also consume insects of the same size, or perhaps even more than themselves.
Praying mantises in most cases do not drink water, however, a container of water should be placed at the place of their maintenance. It will also serve as a source of moisture to maintain the desired microclimate. In the absence of capacity, a necessary condition will be spraying water to ensure humidity.

Living conditions

In the stages of its development, the mantis has the ability to shed its skin, thus increasing in size. For individuals who have just been born, a small container will be an excellent accommodation, but for teenagers you can use a jar or something similar in size.The temporary housing of young mantis should be covered with a film, after making a hole in it for feeding. A prerequisite is the presence of branches in the tank, which should be exactly three times larger in size than young animals.

Getting a pair (male and female)

To get offspring, you need a male and a female. Females of stick insects, aphids and some other insects are able to produce viable eggs without male participation (parthenogenesis), but almost all praying mantises need fertilization to develop eggs. How to determine the gender, you can read.

To allow mating, the male and the female should molt into the imago at about the same time. An old male is often not able to mate properly with a female. For most species, getting a couple with an age difference of several weeks provides them with the opportunity to mate, but for others it does not work. Some species, such as Hymenopus coronatus, have a large difference in the development of males and females. Males and females from one ooteka mature at different times, sometimes the difference is months. The male will die from old age before the female becomes mature.

How to pair

For most species, you can follow the following “recipe” to ensure cannibals mate.

  • Male and female should reach the adult stage at least 2 weeks ago.
  • Both partners, especially the female, should be very well fed.
  • Put partners in a very large terrarium, the largest that you can find.
  • Make sure that the female does not collide with the male, but he sees her.
  • Give the female a large food item, such as a cockroach.
  • Do not bother them.
  • Observe whether the female is behaving aggressively, how she turns, moving toward the male, and whether she attacks him. See if the male is trying to run away or fly away. If one of these things happens, remove the male and try again the next day.
  • When a male has climbed a female, it may take many hours before he begins to mate. Just leave them, do not disturb and do not feed.
  • When the male gets down from the female, remove him from the terrarium.

For species that are not (very) prone to cannibalism, such as Phyllocrania paradoxa, you do not need to do anything but put the partners in one terrarium.

You cannot know for sure whether the female was fertilized. She will put off her ooteks, even if she has not mated. When the female’s body processes the male spermatophore, you can find a small white spermatophore that emerges from her body a few hours or a day after mating. If you see this, the mating was probably successful, but even then you cannot be 100% sure.

After the female mated, she will remain fertilized her whole life! It is prudent to mate her again with the male if she has caused a lot of edema (say, 4-5 pieces).

Saving a Live Male

When mating, the male can be eaten by the female. This can happen before, during, or after the process. You have to face this, especially if you hold species prone to cannibalism, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood of a male's death.

  • Give the female REALLY plenty of food before replanting the male.
  • Make the female eat the prey when the male appears.
  • Place the couple in a large container or even in a room so that the male can escape. Usually they see the plans of the female.
  • Make sure that both partners are calm and not stressed because of your manipulations with them.
  • Plant a male in the evening, and not in the morning or afternoon.

If you propagate mantises in this way, even the most cannibalistic species will kill no more than 10% of your males. And even when the male is killed during mating, the female can still fertilize.

Demo video on how to prevent a male from eating an aggressive female:

Small praying mantises require constant feed for active growth. A mantis must eat as much as he wants to eat. Adults feed once or twice a week.Do not overfeed adults, as some species may be prone to overeating, which can lead to the death of a pet. We advise you to feed balanced and moderate.

As you know, in winter you can’t catch insects. But this problem is solved. In pet stores and in fishing departments you can buy maggots. If the maggots are kept at room temperature, then it pupates, and in a week fresh flies will appear. Also, due to the popularity of terrarium, many breeders are willing to share with you cockroaches and various beetle larvae.

Mantis - carnivorous insects. Most species of mantis live in tropical countries, although some species are found in the northern regions. The closest relatives are stick sticks, grasshoppers and cockroaches. Like relatives, mantis have metamorphoses, they go through several stages of growing up.

Mostly, mantis are of tropical origin, so they should be kept warm (20-25 ° C). Young mantis feed on aphids, fruit flies, fruit flies and other small insects. Young people grow rapidly if you provide them with a large amount of food.

Most species of mantis are aggressive towards each other and if kept together, they can eat each other, especially if one mantis is larger than the rest. Almost all mantises eat insects that are the size of a mantis or even larger.

Praying mantises usually do not drink, however, it is good if in the room where they are kept have a small dish with water. A dish of water also provides the necessary humidity. If there is no food, then you need to spray water every day.

Housing . As the mantis grows, it will shed its skin several times, becoming larger in each stage. A small container is suitable for newborn insects, for example, a glass of yogurt, a teenage mantis can be transplanted into a jar of jam or a bottle of milk. The top of the yogurt cup should be covered with a film. A small hole should be made in the film to feed the feed. A tube can be inserted into the hole to provide fresh air. Regardless of the type of container used, branches must be placed in it so that the insect can crawl and hang on them (during molting). The height of the container (from floor to ceiling) should be three times the length of the insect.

Breeding . It is difficult, but easy to distinguish male and female young males from adult mantis: male males have eight lobes on the inside of the abdomen, female males have six. Before mating (separately from each other), the male and female are intensively fed for several days. For breeding, it is desirable to use a large container, otherwise the female can eat a male. Mating can occur immediately or it will take several days. Food must always be present in the cage so that the female can eat during mating. After mating ends, the male settles.

The female (depending on age and species) can lay 30 to 300 eggs. The exit of larvae from eggs is observed between 3-6 months. Young people can be born all at once or at different times. Young praying mantises may be kept together for some time, but then the container should be large, there should be many secret places, constantly live live food, all these conditions will prevent cannibalism. After the second or third molt, praying mantises should be seated.

Credit: Portal Zooclub
When reprinting this article, an active link to the source is MANDATORY, otherwise, the use of the article will be considered a violation of the "Law on Copyright and Related Rights".

Description

The color is protective, very variable, ranging from green or yellow to brown-gray or dark brown. Pronotum of moderate length, forelegs grasping, in addition to obtaining food, are also used for movement. Hind legs running.The wings are well developed both in the male and in the female (although the females, due to their impressive size, fly very poorly and reluctantly). The abdomen is ovoid, rather long.

How to keep a mantis as a pet?

A mantis can become a fun and enjoyable pet. This pet is intuitive and smarter than most of the insect family. Praying mantis can often live up to a year, and sometimes even more, if it is properly looked after. In fact, some naturalists even claim that a mantis can recognize a person.

1. Make a home for the mantis

The capacity for keeping the mantis should not be too large so that it can find its prey and, at the same time, it should not be too small so that it is not too crowded. The length of the container should be 3-4 times longer than the mantis itself, and the height should be at least 2 of its length. The reason for this is that the mantis must have enough space to pursue its prey, but not excessively, otherwise it will not be able to find it.

2. Create the right environment

A favorable environment is necessary for the life of a mantis. Make holes in the top of the lid or container so that the mantis can breathe. There must be several plants in the cage of the same color as the insect so that your pet can disguise itself, but the cage should not be crowded. The bottom of the container should be filled with a layer of soil about 1.2 cm thick, preferably sand. Make sure the container is not too wet. If its sides are foggy, add a few more holes on the top or sides. Spray water inside the cage about once a day so that the mantis has water to drink. Praying mantis rises up the wall of the tank and licks the water. If you put an open container of water in his home, then the mantis can fall into it and drown.

3. Feed the mantis

The nutritional requirements of the mantis will vary depending on their stage of growth, although if, in general, they do not need a lot of food.

  • For a larva acquired at a pet store: feed fruit flies, small crickets, mosquitoes, aphids, and other small insects.
  • For a grown mantis that sheds (age stage): start to increase the size of the insects, and then in each dropping period, feed normally, but remove everything that it ignores, because the mantis may not eat during molting.
  • For a fully grown mantis, you will have to work hard: catch butterflies, crickets, grasshoppers or even house flies. In the wild, mantises will consume everything that they can catch and hold. They are known to even eat bees and wasps in the wild, but you probably won't want to mess with them.
  • Buying crickets at the pet store is not necessary, although some people will tell you that when using wild crickets, your pet may get sick. There may not be any harm ... for the mantis grown in the store, but for the wild ones caught, there will be harm. As for the crickets acquired at the pet store, caution should be exercised. In many pet stores, crickets are not fed or properly cared for, and any diseases of these crickets can eventually be transmitted to your praying mantis. If you're not sure, feed a few days of crickets you’ve purchased or caught in the store with good diet foods so that they can handle the bacteria in their gut and they will be fine.
  • Do not give the mantis a live feed that is larger than it, or which itself can eat your mantis.

How to feed a mantis in winter?

In winter, as you know, you can’t catch insects on the street, but this problem is also solvable.
You can buy maggots at the pet store - they are sold in plastic containers in which dry sawdust is poured, at home such a container can be stored in the refrigerator. If this container is kept at room temperature, then maggot pupates quickly, and in a week you will have fresh flies.The second option is zofobuses: in a crate with croup they not only live well, but also continue to breed. Various types of cockroaches are well suited for winter food. In extreme cases, you can feed the mantis in small portions of meat. But in large quantities, you should not give meat - an insect can get sick and die.

Under natural conditions, a mantis grabs any insect that passes by it. Young animals need more food for full development, while adults can do without food for five days.

But do not throw insect feed in large quantities - this can lead to stress mantis. In addition, some insects have quite developed jaws, with which they can bite a mantis during molting.

Food for the pet is any insect that is suitable for its size. Young animals need to be fed with small insects - such as aphids, Drosophila flies, and fruit flies. Adult individuals are very voracious, eat almost any insect in large quantities and can enjoy even a small lizard or mouse.

Adults are fed once a week: you need to ensure that the mantis does not overeat, otherwise abdominal rupture cannot be avoided. Be sure to have water in the terrarium. You can use a special drinking bowl for insects, so that animals do not accidentally drown, or a plastic lid for a jar.

If you thought that a praying mantis is a harmless and very calm insect with a passive demeanor, then get ready to learn something new about them. Researchers have found that these aggressive carnivorous insects kill and eat not only small reptiles such as frogs and lizards, but also small birds. A study by an international group of zoologists has documented this behavior of mantis around the world.

It is noteworthy that, on the whole, such behavior of the mantis was not special. A search on YouTube easily provides a selection of videos showing how a mantis devours a hummingbird. In a new study by a group of zoologists, 147 examples of attacks by mantis, representing 12 different species, on small birds are systematically documented. Scientists tracked behavior in 13 countries, finding that mantis hunt 24 species of birds.

Interestingly, more than 70 percent of the documented cases were recorded in the United States, and the majority of the victims are hummingbirds. Praying mantises have been used in gardens as biological agents for pest control for decades, and to this day, many Americans still use both imported and local species to control pests. But a new study shows that insects pose a threat to small passerines. In addition, such indiscriminate mantis makes them not the best means of combating insects.

In people's homes, you can increasingly see unusual pets. Instead of dogs and cats, people are happy to care for snakes and insects. Mantis, content which can not be called difficult, also managed to become a pet.

A mantis is a large carnivorous insect that different unusual appearance and interesting behavior . Although not all people can call him beautiful, he has many fans who are ready to take care of him. If you want to diversify your life with an original pet that will not take up much space, then a mantis is a good choice.

Many people are fascinated by the habits of this predatory insect. It is not in vain that he is noted for his unique body shape, his unexpected manner of freezing, tracking down prey and folding his front paws in a gesture that is very reminiscent of a prayer. The male grows to 5 cm in length. Females are significantly larger than males and can reach a size of 7 cm. The color of this insect is different (from bright green to sand, less often individuals of a dark brown shade).

Usually, mantis are aggressive towards representatives of their species Therefore, it is not recommended to keep several insects in one place. The abode of a mantis is a rather spacious container. At the same time, its height should be 3 times greater than the length of the mantis so that it does not feel inconvenience during movement. A small jar is enough for a small insect, but an adult should have space for walking, so it’s better to buy an aquarium that should be covered with a net. If you manage to equip a real terrarium, then your pet and you yourself will definitely appreciate it. The more free space, the more interesting it is to observe an insect.

When keeping mantis, you will have to monitor humidity which insects are very sensitive to. It is enough to spray the soil with settled tap water at room temperature several times a week. You can also use a drinker. But it should be small so that the insect could easily crawl out of it if it gets into the water. Too high a humidity level must not be allowed, as the soil may become moldy.

Lighting is very important for mantis , since they are daytime insects and their activity falls on the bright part of the day. At home, their "sun" can become ordinary fluorescent lamps. But under direct sunlight, praying mantises cannot be lived.

Mantis can be picked up without harm to health . These pets are quite slow and completely harmless to humans. But still, do not make sudden movements, make noise or scare the insect in any other way. It can suddenly run away, fall and be injured. If you act carefully, then the mantis will surely please you with good behavior.

Propagation Features

The young praying mantis has almost no sex difference at home, however, adult individuals can be easily recognized because males have eight lobes on the abdomen, but females have only six. Before the insects begin to mate, they must be fed a large amount of food, while separating from each other. In order for the male not to become food for the female, a large-sized container is needed where the breeding process will take place. It may take several minutes or days for the whole action, however, the presence of feed is required. After mating is over, the male is separated from the female.

A female can produce eggs in an amount of 30 to 300 pieces. Larvae will be born in the interval from 3 to 6 months, while hatching, they may not all at once.

The main nuance for keeping mantis at home is the presence of a large container for their habitat, in which live food must be present, as well as the ability to hide its inhabitants. Observing these requirements, cannibalism will be excluded, however, after the insects shed several times they must be planted.

If you want to get yourself an unusual insect, then a domestic praying mantis is ideal. This insect is undemanding in content and does not take up much space. Such a pet can be caught in the wild or purchased at a pet store.

And if you have not yet chosen a pet to suit you, pay attention to the terrible tarantula - the hero of Hollywood horror films or his eternal adversary - the scorpion.

Air temperature

As mentioned above - these parameters are very important, because the insect is exotic. They are used to certain temperatures. For example, for desert residents, it is from 28 to 40 degrees above zero. For tropical individuals - from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. You can create such conditions with the help of incandescent lamps, thermal mats and other gadgets, which are now quite a lot. Install a thermometer to track readings. A slight drop in temperature is possible at night. In no case do not put the terrarium under the sun's rays, it is artificial light that is needed.To watch an insect at night - you can buy a moonlight lamp.

Air humidity

Moisture is the second most important item for a mantis. To maintain it, you can spray the soil periodically. You can put a drinker, for example, a small lid with water so that the animal could not drown there. Perhaps a lot of effort does not need to be done. Just look at the values ​​of the hygrometer and find out how many times a week you need to moisten the housing to prevent excessive proportions. This is important because otherwise you will create an environment for bacteria and mold.

Mantis Feeding

Small individuals are advised to feed as often as possible, they should constantly have food in their terrarium. Big mantis is enough 1-2 times a week. When overeating, abdominal rupture is possible, so do not overdo it. The food of the insect in size should not exceed half of its body, in the opposite case - the animal will be afraid, and try to protect itself from its own food. The most common and affordable food for a mantis is flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, crickets, small bugs or even lizards for large individuals. Do not pick up animals from the street or forest because they can be carriers of some kind of disease. Praying mantises are cannibals, therefore it is not recommended to leave them alone with another praying mantis, let alone exist. When breeding, you need to carefully monitor them.

The origin of the name Mantis

The academic Swedish name Karl Linyi gave the academic name to the mantis back in 1758, drawing attention to the fact that the pose of the mantis, which is in ambush and guarding the prey, is very similar to the pose of a man who folded his hands in prayer to God. Because of such a striking similarity, the scientist gave the insect the Latin name "Mantis religiosa", which literally translates as "religious priest", the name "praying mantis" actually came into our language.

Although he is not called like that everywhere, our hero also has other, by no means so gracious names, for example, in Spain he is called Caballito del Diablo - the horse of the devil or simply - muerte - death. Such creepy names are obviously associated with no less creepy habits of mantis.

What does a mantis look like: structure and characteristics

The structure of the mantis is characterized by an elongated body, which distinguishes it from other arthropod insects.

The mantis is perhaps the only living creature that can easily turn its triangular-shaped head 360 degrees. Thanks to such a useful skill, he can see the enemy approaching from behind. And he has only one ear, but, despite this, just a great ear.

The eyes of the mantis are of a complex faceted structure, located on the sides of the head, but in addition to them, our hero has three more simple eyes above the base of the antennae.

The antennae of the mantis are comb, feathery, or filiform, depending on the species of the insect.

Praying mantises, almost all of their species, have well-developed wings, but mostly only males can fly, females, because of their larger weight and size, are harder to fly than males. The wings of the mantis consist of two pairs: the front and rear, the front ones serve as original elytra protecting the hind wings. Also, praying wings usually have bright colors, and sometimes they even meet peculiar patterns. But among the many varieties of mantis there is such an earthen mantis (Latin name Geomantis larvoides), which has no wings at all.

Praying mantises have well developed forelimbs, which have such a difficult structure - each of them consists of many details: swivels, thighs, lower legs and paws. There are large sharp spikes located in three rows below the thigh. There are also shipy (though smaller ones) on the mantis shank, which is decorated with a sharp, needle-shaped hook at the end. The exponential structure of the mantis paws, see the picture.

Mantis keep their prey just between the thigh and lower leg until their meal ends.

The circulation of the mantis is primitive, but there is a reason for this - an unusual breathing system. the mantis is supplied with a complex system of tracheas connected with dykhaltsami (stigma) on the abdomen in the middle and back of the body. In the trachea there are air sacs that enhance ventilation of the entire respiratory system.

Mantis Sizes

We have already mentioned above that mantis females are much larger than males, oddly enough, this shows their main sexual difference.

The species of the mantis, referred to in Latin as Ischnomantis gigas and living in Africa, can reach 17 cm in length, perhaps this representative of the praying mantis is a real champion in size.

Ischnomantis gigas is the largest mantis in the world.

Heterochaeta orientalis is slightly inferior to it, or Heterohet is eastern, it reaches 16 cm in length. Ordinary praying mantises are much smaller, on average no more than 0.5-1.5 cm in length.

Mantis Color

Like many other mantis insects, they have excellent camouflage abilities, this biological method of protection against predators, and therefore their colors have, depending on the environment, green, yellow and brown tones. Green praying mantises live on green leaves, brown ones are inseparable from the bark of trees.

Praying Mantis - description, structure, characteristic. What does a mantis look like?

Almost all mantises have an elongated body with a characteristic structure that distinguishes them from other arthropod insects. The moving head of the mantis has an almost triangular shape and is able to rotate almost around its axis. Thanks to this, the insect can notice the enemy approaching from behind.

The convex large faceted eyes of the mantis have a complex structure and are located far from each other along the lateral edges of the head.

In addition to them, the insect has 3 simple eyes that are located above the base of the antennae.

The antennae of the mantis consist of numerous segments and, depending on the species of the insect, are filiform, cirrus or comb.

The oral apparatus of the mantis is a gnawing type and is directed downward.

A characteristic feature of the insects of this order is that the pronotum, expanded in the upper part, almost never covers the head.

The soft, slightly flattened abdomen consists of 10 segments.

The last segment of the abdomen ends with long paired appendages from numerous segments, cerci, which are the organs of smell.

In males, cerci are better developed than in females.

Cergy and ovipositor of a female Mantis Stagmomantis carolina. Photo by Kaldari, Public Domain

In almost all types of mantis, both the front and rear pair of wings are well developed, thanks to which the insect can fly. It is noteworthy that the narrow and dense wings of the anterior pair serve as original elytra that protect the hind wings. The hind pair of wings is wide, has many membranes and is folded fan-shaped.

Often, the wings of a mantis are brightly colored or there is a certain pattern on them. But also there are varieties of mantis, completely devoid of wings and in their appearance resembling larvae. Such, for example, is the earthen mantis (lat. Geomantis larvoides).

The anterior pair of limbs is especially well developed in the thoracic region of these insects. Each of them consists of an elongated coxa, trochanter, thigh, which is slightly larger in size than the coxa, tibia, and tarsus, consisting of 5 segments.

In its lower part, the thigh is studded with large sharp spikes located in 3 rows, the tibia also has spikes, although smaller, and at the end of the tibia there is a sharp needle-shaped hook. The last segments of the legs end with two claws of a rather large size.

Along the entire length of the thigh there is a groove in which the lower leg is inserted, like the blade of a folding knife that retracts into the handle.Mantis grab their prey and hold between the thigh and lower leg until the process of eating food is completed.

The middle and hind pairs of legs have a typical arthropod structure.

Forelegs of the Mantis Otomantis scutigera. Photo by: Bernard DUPONT, CC BY-SA 2.0

The circulatory system in mantis is rather primitively developed, which is a consequence of the breathing method. The body is supplied with oxygen due to the complex ramified system of the trachea, which are connected to the spiracles (stigmata) lying on several segments of the abdomen, as well as located on the middle and rear parts of the body. Expansions (air sacs) can form in the trachea, which increase the ventilation of the entire respiratory system.

Sexual differences in mantis are quite pronounced and are manifested in the size of individuals: females are always much larger than males.

On the left is a female, on the right is a male of an ordinary mantis. Photo by left: Alvesgaspar, CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo by right: Nicolas Weghaupt, Public domain

Some mantis can reach a length of 17 cm, for example, the species Ischnomantis gigas, which lives in Africa, or Heterochaeta orientalis, which is also called oriental heteroheta, and reaches a size of 16 cm.

Other mantises are very small in size and grow no more than 0.5-1.5 cm in length - such, for example, are mantis crumbs.

The body color of the mantis depends on the environment, as it is camouflage.

There are praying mantises, like green leaves, flowers or sticks, other species mimic the bark of trees, lichens or even the black color of the ashes after a fire.

The appearance of Gonatista grisea is almost impossible to distinguish from whitish growths on a tree. Photo by Yaroslav Kuznetsov, CC BY-SA 4.0

Deroplatys lobata is very similar to a brown leaf. Photo by: Fritz Geller-Grimm, CC BY-SA 3.0

The appearance of Choeradodis rhombicollis resembles a green leaf of a tree. Photo by: Benjamint444, GFDL 1.2

Humbertiella sp. disguised as a tree bark. Photo by L. Shyamal, CC BY-SA 3.0

It is unlikely that you will notice a mantis Pogonogaster tristani on a background of green moss. Photo by Leonardo Miranda Di Giambattista, CC BY-SA 3.0

Most mantis are painted in green, yellow or brown tones, although there are species with brighter and contrasting colors.

It is noteworthy that the colors of individuals of one species can vary quite a lot, as well as change after each molt.

Metallyticus splendidus shimmers with different colors and has a metallic sheen in color. Photo by: 김준석

Mantis Enemies

When attacking an enemy (such as a bird, or) or meeting with a rival relative, the mantises try to scare the enemy. They take a rather awesome pose, spreading their wings with a fan, pushing forward the front grasping legs and lifting up the end of their abdomen. This pose can be supplemented by menacing sounds. For example, the Sarawak mantis (lat.Hestiasula sarawaka) rustles its wings loudly and emits a clicking sound created by the contact of the upper part of the forelimb with the thigh. If the enemy is much stronger, the praying mantis prefers to retire and flies away, however, seeing his advantage, bravely confronts the enemy and often turns out to be the winner in such a battle.

Where does the mantis live?

The distribution area of ​​the mantis is quite wide and covers almost all countries of Asia, Southern and Central Europe, as well as some countries of Africa and South America. It includes Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Malta, Syria, India, China and Iran. Populations are recorded in Yemen and Turkey, Malaysia and Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Israel. Some mantis live in Russia, in Belarus, Tatarstan, Poland, Germany. On merchant ships, these insects were introduced and taken root in Australia and North America.

In the conditions of the tropics and subtropics, mantises live not only in moist forests, where they live in the branches of trees or shrubs, but also in the rocky deserts warmed by the sun. In Europe, these insects are common in the steppe regions, as well as in spacious meadows.

Praying mantises rarely change their habitat, and if there is a sufficient amount of potential food around them, they will never leave the selected plant or a separate branch.Active movements are used during the mating period, when there is a lack of food supply in the habitat or, in rare cases, when attacked by natural enemies: birds, chameleons, snakes or relatives of a larger size. Almost all types of mantis lead an active daily life.

What does a mantis eat?

A mantis is a predator, and its diet usually consists of other small and large insects. Representatives of this detachment would not mind to gape, or. Large individuals can attack and eat small amphibians (geckos), medium-sized birds, and even small rodents.

These predators ambush their prey. They grab prey with their forelimbs and hold it until they are completely eaten. Powerful jaws and the structure of the oral apparatus allow these insects to gnaw even large prey into pieces.

Mantis species, photos and names

In total there are more than 2000 species of mantis. The following is a description of several varieties.

It lives in most countries of Europe, Asia and Africa. Its distribution range includes Portugal and Spain, Italy and France, Turkey, Germany, Austria and Poland, as well as numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea. This species is found in Sudan and Egypt, in Israel and Iran, as well as in Russia, from the southern regions to the Primorsky Territory. Introduced populations are noted in Australia and North America. The common mantis is a rather large insect, the sizes of which reach 4.8-7.6 cm in females and 4.0-6.1 cm in males. Individuals are painted in green or brown with a yellow tint. The transparent wings of the mantis, trimmed with a green or brown edging, are well developed. The rather long abdomen has an ovoid shape. A distinctive feature of this species is a speck of black color, which is located on both coxae of the anterior pair of legs from the inside. Often a bright spot is visible in the center of such a spot.

  • Chinese Mantis (Chinese Bowing Mantis) (Tenodera aridifolia , Tenodera sinensis )

It is an endemic species that is naturally distributed throughout China. Adult female mantis reach 15 cm in length, the size of the males is much more modest. The color of these insects does not depend on gender and is green or brown. Nymphs and juveniles lack wings. The ability to fly Chinese mantis gain only after a few links. Vital activity of Tenodera sinensis manifests at night. Life expectancy is 5-6 months.

Widely distributed in Bhutan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan and other countries in the South Asian region. Adults can reach 5 centimeters in length. The main body color of the mantis is cream or white. Throughout the body, head and legs are strips of different widths of light brown. Elytra and pronotum painted in olive-green tones. Elytra have one small and one large speck of white or cream color. The larger spot has the shape of an ellipse, which is outlined in black above and below.

Taken from the site: www.nhm.ac.uk

  • Creobroter gemmatus also called indian flower mantis

It is a typical inhabitant of the moist forests of India, Vietnam and other countries of South Asia. The sexually mature males of this species of mantis reach a length of 38 mm, the females are larger and grow up to 40 mm. The body of the insect is elongated, and the width of the pronotum is noticeably less than its length. On the hips there are several spikes of different heights. The body is painted in cream tones with brown or greenish spots. Both pairs of wings are well developed, and on the upper pair, which acts as elytra, there is a large bright spot that resembles an eye with two pupils and serves to scare away predators. The wings of males are longer than that of females.Due to the fact that the lower wings of the mantis, painted pink and brown at the base, have numerous membranes, the impression of a bizarre scaly pattern is created. The insect lives in the flowers of plants, where it awaits prey in the daytime.

Lives in areas with a hot and humid climate. Other unofficial names for this insect are spiked or prickly flower mantis . This species lives in the countries of southern and eastern Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, as well as Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion. The sizes of adults are rather modest. The length of females does not exceed 40 mm, and males - 30 mm. The color of these mantis is heterogeneous - it combines white, cream, pinkish, yellow and green tones. On the upper pair of wings there is a rather interesting pattern resembling a green eye or a small spiral. It is noteworthy that the curls of these spirals on the right and left wing are directed towards each other. These insects have spines not only on the surface of the forelimbs, but also on the abdomen - hence the name of this mantis.

Taken from the site: media1.webgarden.cz

  • Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus )

Distributed in the rainforests of India, Malaysia and Indonesia. This insect is considered one of the most beautiful representatives of the order. Received its name for its resemblance to the flowers on which it hides in anticipation of its victim. The sexually mature female mantis is quite impressive in size and grows up to 80 mm in length. The size of the males is much more modest and does not exceed 40 mm. A distinctive feature of this species are wide forelegs, a small head and a filiform tendril. The main body color of orchid mantis is white. However, it can vary depending on what flower the insect is in ambush on. Various shades of pink, orange, yellow, lilac or purple can be mixed with the main tone. This species of mantis is characterized by increased aggressiveness. They can attack prey, which is twice the size of a hunter. By the way, the larvae of the orchid mantis have a very unusual red-black color, which scares away potential enemies from them.

  • Idolomantisdiabolica, which is also called Damn flower or Devil flower

It lives in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and other countries of East Africa, where it lives on branches of shrubs and trees. Adult mantis of this species are quite large. Females can reach a length of 14 cm with a wingspan of about 16 cm. Male mantis are slightly smaller in size than females and rarely exceed 11 cm in length. The color of these insects can vary from various shades of green to light brown in color. The spikes located on the hips of the forelegs have different lengths. Between the long spines, three shorter ones are visible. A distinctive feature of this species are the characteristic leaf-shaped appendages formed by the expanded cuticles, which are located on the back, as well as on the middle and hind limbs. In addition, unlike other species, in Idolomantis diabolica, the top of the head narrows in the form of a cone. Mantis of this species are very often kept in home terrariums.

Taken from the site: archiwum.allegro.pl

  • Heteroheta eastern (Heterochaeta orientalis ), which also has an unofficial name spike-eyed mantis

It lives in most African countries. The female mantis reaches 15 cm in length. Males are smaller and grow up to 12 cm. Due to the fact that these insects live in the branches of shrubs, their appearance has unusual features that make them resemble knots or twigs. In addition, these African mantises have thorns located not only on the hips and lower legs of the forelimbs, but also on the upper edges of the head, which has the shape of a triangle.This gives the impression that the insect's eyes seem to be wrapped around these spines. This structure of the organs of vision, combined with a long “neck” located between the head and the prothorax, makes it possible for mantis of this species to easily notice prey or enemies not only in front and side, but also behind. It is noteworthy, but the body of the insect at this moment can remain completely motionless. The color of individuals depends on their age. If in the larval stage they are characterized by shades of brown, then lime shades are inherent in adults.

Taken from the site: www.deine-tierwelt.de

A species from the genus empusa, which is widespread throughout Africa, in most countries of Asia, as well as in Portugal, Spain and Andorra, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus. Adult mantis males are slightly smaller than females that grow up to 10 cm in length. A distinctive feature of the mantis is a peculiar high growth on the head, resembling a kind of crown in shape. The males have comb-type antennae, and additional spikes that look like feathers crown the head. The color of the mantis depends on the environment and may vary. These insects are characterized by green, yellow or pink colors, as well as various shades of brown.

Lives in rather arid regions of Africa located south of the Sahara desert, as well as on the island of Madagascar, where it lives in the branches of shrubs and trees. Thanks to a peculiar body shape resembling a leaf of a plant, he easily manages to hide from natural enemies and successfully hunt small insects. Such masking is provided by special outgrowths on the body and head of the mantis. Moreover, the processes on the head of the male are quite curved and slightly thinner than in females. The adults of this species are quite small. Females grow to a maximum of 5 cm, males are smaller. Protective coloration varies with air humidity and temperature. If the air temperature is small and the humidity is high, the insects have a green or gray-green color. When the humidity level drops and the temperature rises, the mantises acquire a brown or dark brown color.

It lives in India, Malaysia in Sumatra and in other countries of Southeast Asia. It hunts prey in the branches of trees or shrubs, as well as under the tree bark. Sexually mature mantis males can reach a length of about 2 cm. Females are slightly larger and grow up to 3 cm in length. The body of these insects is slightly flattened in the direction from the back to the abdomen. Sexual dimorphism is expressed not only in size, but also in the color of individuals. For males, blue-green shades with a pronounced metallic overflow of blue color are characteristic. In females, the body is painted in green tones with shiny bronze elytra.

Widely distributed in Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, San Marino, Greece. The habitat of this species also includes Cyprus, Malta and other countries of Southern Europe and North Africa. The size of these insects is rather modest, with the males rarely exceeding 1 cm in length, and females can reach a length of 3 cm. You can also distinguish between males and females by the presence of wings. If in males they are well developed and allow it to make rather long flights, then in females this organ is reduced, therefore they are deprived of the ability to move through the air. The eyes of a mantis are conical in shape. The color of insects is variable and can vary from bright shades of green to brown and taupe. Unlike other species, these mantis have a short but strong hind pair of limbs.

  • Blepharopsismendica, which also has an unofficial name thistle mantis

It is found in Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen and other countries of North Africa and southwestern Asia. These insects live in desert as well as mountainous areas.Males in size are slightly smaller than females, which can reach a length of 5.2-6.1 cm. In addition, the antennae of males have a comb structure. A distinctive feature of the species is also a characteristic outgrowth at the top of the head. On the lateral surface of the thigh and lower leg there are many spines of different sizes. The color of individuals can be greenish or brownish with numerous white spots that merge into bizarre patterns.

It lives in the tropical zone of Malaysia, Thailand and India. Adult females can grow in length up to 8-9 cm, males are slightly smaller. A characteristic feature of the mantis is a slightly enlarged pronotum, resembling a rhombus in shape. The body and elytra of the insect are painted in turquoise green with a blue tint. The rear pair of membranous wings is partially painted in bright pink tones.

  • Malaysian Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys dessicata )

Widely distributed both in the tropical forests of Malaysia or Indonesia, and in the wet bushes on Sumatra and Borneo. Females of the Malaysian leaf-like mantis are much larger than males in size. Their length can reach 15 cm, while males grow up to a maximum of 6 cm. This species has good camouflage abilities due to the special shape of the head and body, which give it a resemblance to withered foliage. Therefore, the color of the insect has a rather narrow color palette, which includes all shades of brown.

It lives in the humid forests of Malaysia, as well as in tropical thickets on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Prefers to hunt in the foliage of trees or small bushes, as well as in their twisted roots. In appearance, these insects strongly resemble wilted leaves, which serves them not only as a beautiful disguise that protects from enemies, but also helps to hide and wait for prey. The color of the body and legs is solid and can be of different shades of gray or brown. Adult females grow up to 8 cm in length, while the size of males barely reaches 5 cm. Unlike females, males have developed wings, so they can fly, and females lost this ability due to reduced wings.

It lives in India. This is a very large insect, whose length is 15-20 cm, including antennae. The excellent mantis camouflage makes it look like a dry blade of grass.

Here you will find answers to some questions you may have about keeping and possibly breeding exotic insects such as Mantis at home. Just take a look at this photo of a mantis. Many exotic lovers would like to have one at home. Just want to note that the content of exotic animals (and even more so tropical insects) is not an easy task, but quite interesting. That is why it is necessary to read as many articles as possible about keeping pets (insects) at home.

How many years have prayed mantises at home?

Since mantis is a whole group of insects with many varieties, the maximum age of a mantis depends on its species. Large species usually live longer than small ones. In addition, females usually live longer than males. When buying a larva, it will take from 4 to 6 months to reach maturity. The adult will live for another 3-8 months. When keeping a mantis in relatively cool conditions, and if you do not feed it much, the life span can be significantly increased. But remember that too low a temperature can lead to death.

There are many pets: dogs, cats, cows, goats. Is it legal to keep mantis as pets?

In Russia, this is not prohibited. In some US states, it is illegal to keep exotic species of animals, including tropical mantis species. Endemic species can be kept as pets. In any case, compliance with the laws of your country is necessary.

Is it true that killing this insect can go to jail?

No, it is not. This is an old American joke. Although many “strange” laws are being issued now, especially in the West, it does not hinder to know more about this if you live in the European Union or North America.

Often children themselves want and even promise that they will fulfill the responsibilities of caring for pets, but caring for insects is not a dog to walk. So the question is: can a child care for a mantis?

Yes, when the child is supervised by adults. However, already at the age of 11-12 years, the child should be able to care for the mantis without the help of elders. It is better for the youngest child to help with feeding, regulating temperature and humidity, as well as cleaning and checking the pet's health.

We noticed that our exotic insect at home does not touch food. Mantis does not want to eat, what's wrong with him?

Mantis will not eat for several days before leaving its old skin. The process of molting occurs. This is normal for many insects. After molting, he will start eating again. If the mantis does not eat when there is no molt, offer him various types of prey. In general, do not worry, mantises can live for two weeks without food.

What are the signs that the mantis will molt in the near future?

A few days before the molt, the mantis will hang upside down and will not eat. Sometimes whitish stripes can be seen over the body of the mantis. When the mantis leaves the state of the larva or becomes an adult, it can be seen that the bulges above the wings (the place where the larvae grow wings) became larger in volume.

Can a praying mantis bite a person or do something else harm? In other words, are praying mantises dangerous to humans?

Although this is a very rare case, an insect can grab your fingers and bite. This happens if he thinks your finger is prey. And of course, this only happens if the mantis is large enough to cover the finger. It is very easy to take a mantis so that it does not bite. In addition, they are not poisonous.

What are the signs that a mantis is considered an adult?

For most species, the same characters exist: adults have wings, while nymphs have no wings. In some species, wings never grow, although this is rare.

In the West they like to keep various exotic animals as pets. After all, cats and dogs no longer surprise anyone. Exotic insects, including praying mantises and stick insects, can not leave indifferent lovers of exotic. Therefore, if you have a desire to keep praying mantises at home, then this is quite feasible, because as such they do not need special care.

Small praying mantises require constant feed for active growth. A mantis must eat as much as he wants to eat. Adults feed once or twice a week. Do not overfeed adults, as some species may be prone to overeating, which can lead to the death of a pet. We advise you to feed balanced and moderate.

As you know, in winter you can’t catch insects. But this problem is solved. In pet stores and in fishing departments you can buy maggots. If the maggots are kept at room temperature, then it pupates, and in a week fresh flies will appear. Also, due to the popularity of terrarium, many breeders are willing to share with you cockroaches and various beetle larvae.

Mantis - carnivorous insects. Most species of mantis live in tropical countries, although some species are found in the northern regions. The closest relatives are stick sticks, grasshoppers and cockroaches. Like relatives, mantis have metamorphoses, they go through several stages of growing up.

In most, the mantis is of tropical origin, therefore they should be kept warm (20-25 ° C).Young praying mantises feed on aphids, fruit flies, fruit flies and other small insects. Young people are growing rapidly if you provide them with a large amount of food.

Most species of mantis are aggressive towards each other and if kept together, they can eat each other, especially if one mantis is larger than the rest. Almost all mantises eat insects that are the size of a mantis or even larger.

Praying mantises usually do not drink, however, it is good if in the room where they are kept have a small dish with water. A dish of water also provides the necessary humidity. If there is no food, then you need to spray water every day.

Housing . As the mantis grows, it will shed its skin several times, becoming larger in each stage. A small container is suitable for newborn insects, for example, a glass of yogurt, a teenage mantis can be transplanted into a jar of jam or a bottle of milk. The top of the yogurt cup should be covered with a film. A small hole should be made in the film to feed the feed. A tube can be inserted into the hole to provide fresh air. Regardless of the type of container used, branches must be placed in it so that the insect can crawl and hang on them (during molting). The height of the container (from floor to ceiling) should be three times the length of the insect.

Breeding . It is difficult, but easy to distinguish male and female young males from adult mantis: male males have eight lobes on the inside of the abdomen, female males have six. Before mating (separately from each other), the male and female are intensively fed for several days. For breeding, it is desirable to use a large container, otherwise the female can eat a male. Mating can occur immediately or it will take several days. Food must always be present in the cage so that the female can eat during mating. After mating ends, the male settles.

The female (depending on age and species) can lay 30 to 300 eggs. The exit of larvae from eggs is observed between 3-6 months. Young people can be born all at once or at different times. Young praying mantises may be kept together for some time, but then the container should be large, there should be many secret places, constantly live live food, all these conditions will prevent cannibalism. After the second or third molt, praying mantises should be seated.

Credit: Portal Zooclub
When reprinting this article, an active link to the source is MANDATORY, otherwise, the use of the article will be considered a violation of the "Law on Copyright and Related Rights".

Conclusion

As you can understand, a praying mantis will not take away much of your time and energy, the necessary conditions that you need to adhere to not so much. Even for humidity and temperature, you should buy a hygrometer and incandescent lamps once, and understand how many times a week to spray the soil. Praying Mantis - an insect is very fragile, so if you pick it up, try to handle it more carefully. The fact is known that they adore when they scratch their abdomen, try it. If the animal bites you by the finger - do not make sudden movements, most likely the mantis took you for a sacrifice, do not be afraid, their bite is not poisonous. If you take an animal out of the cage, remember that it has wings and can fly away if there is an open window nearby. Watch for this. Perhaps this is the most important thing you need to know in order to start and maintain a mantis. Follow all the rules, and your new friend will delight his presence as long as possible.

Mantis can look at you over your shoulder like an owl, and his fighting stance deserves special admiration.

Such creatures live in many corners of the planet and have more than 2,000 species that have acquired a unique shape due to mimicry to the environment.

Therefore, some of them can be confused with a flower or other parts of plants (trunks, leaves). Average mantis grow up to 7.5 cm.

The most common colors are brown or green with a wide variety of variations. These masters of disguise are staunch predators and are a thunderstorm of crickets, butterflies and other animals of a suitable size.

The life expectancy of a mantis is about a year (6 months as a nymph and 6 months as an adult). In good home conditions, this period can be extended to about one and a half years. Your pet's gender is determined by the number of segments on the inside of the abdomen (thorax). The male has 8, and the female has 6.

The terrarium for Mantodea should be warm (about 24 ° C). For this purpose, use fluorescent lamps and, if not enough, special ground-type heaters (heating pads, stone styling).

The insect shown here also comes in handy for a moonlight lamp at night. A terrarium of 30 liters is suitable for them, where there should be many natural elements that mantises can move around (twigs, living plants, driftwood).

Living plants need to be examined for ticks, mold and parasites. A mixture of coconut, earth and bark is well suited as soil.

Mantis Feeding will vary depending on the stage of growth. If you have a nymph, it is best to feed her fruit flies, small crickets and other small insects.

For a grown-up and molten pet, the menu list includes butterflies, crickets, grasshoppers, and house flies. In nature, they prey on bees, wasps, and even small birds and lizards (on all those who are able to catch and hold). Mantis do not eat dead animals.

The terrarium of such creatures needs to be sprayed to maintain moisture. A shallow drinker is required (no higher than 2 cm). Clean up the garbage left after the mantis' culinary undertakings every day, otherwise his house will become cluttered with paws, wings, and stiff parts of insects.

Gluttonous mantises are better contain lonely. Their insatiable appetite will haunt any settler. Mantodea is not even against cannibalism.

Treat your predator delicately; for a person, it is still rather fragile. Do not attempt to rake it with your hand while cleaning the terrarium or communicating. A praying mantis can prick you (it is more unexpected than painful), and your body’s involuntary reaction to such protection can end in failure for the insect.

Let the pet climb onto the palm or finger. Be patient, and chatting with a praying mantis will bring you many interesting minutes. Sometimes praying mantises like to be stroked along the upper chest (above the upper limbs).

Adult mantis can fly. Therefore, before removing them from the terrarium, close all doors and windows. During molting, Mantodea must be left alone.

Praying mantises live on average about a year. The duration of life depends on the frequency of feeding - the more often you feed, the faster the praying mantis grows old. It must be remembered that females live much longer than males.

A small terrarium is suitable for keeping mantis. For adults, the recommended minimum size is 20 * 20 * 20 cm. For larvae, the size depends on the molting stage. The terrarium should be equipped with twigs, snags, etc. to create a three-dimensional living space, because praying mantises love to hang on branches upside down looking for prey.

The main task of the soil is to pass air well and not mold. For mantis, 2-3 cm of substrate is enough. Coconut soil, a real substrate from the jungle, or dried peeled leaves of oak, birch, etc. are excellent; they all have excellent aerobic properties (allow air to pass through) and maintain the necessary moisture level. We do not recommend using soil for flowers, ordinary soil and td., tk.they may contain chemicals, harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses, and also, with increased humidity, they contribute to the formation of mold!

Praying mantises are wood insects, so they do not need shelter. The main thing is the presence of twigs, because praying mantises love to sit and hunt in the branches of bushes and stems of tall grass. ! Do not use materials taken from nature without pretreatment, as You can bring parasites and ticks! The decoration of the terrarium matters only to the owner, as The terrarium is an interior decoration. The use of living plants and natural materials is possible because and plants and praying mantises need a feeling of day and night (the presence of light during the day and darkness at night). The main thing is to ensure that there is no mold, fungi, ticks, etc. Therefore, it is the terrarium’s decorative ornaments that will be safe for your pet and convenient during cleaning to become the best solution.

For full development, the mantis needs an average room temperature of 23-25 ​​° C. If the room is colder, then you can use heating pads for terrariums. They come in various sizes, are attached to any surface and are suitable for all types of terrariums. They are also used for some tropical mantis species that require an elevated temperature of 28-30 ° C and above.

If the room temperature is within 24-26 ° C, then heating is not needed.

Praying mantises are carnivorous animals, that is, they eat meat. The food for a praying mantis is any creature that fits its size. Tropical adults can even feed on small lizards. The main thing to remember is that food should not exceed half the body of a mantis, otherwise it will be afraid of food, which will lead to stress. There are special feed insects for terrarium animals that are suitable for all stages of the development of the mantis.

You can feed the little mantis as much as you want. Adult - once every 1-2 weeks with a large feed. With more frequent feeding, it is necessary to take smaller feed. Remember, the more often the praying mantis eats, the less it will live, because faster life cycle.

Refusal of feed can be caused by a number of reasons. Here are the main ones:
- the period before molting, all praying mantises refuse to feed in a certain period before molting. The older the mantis, the longer this period lasts.
- period after molting. The situation is similar to the period before molting.
- overfeeding.

Before molting, praying mantises refuse food and therefore if your pet has a thick abdomen, he does not want to eat and / or runs away from food, most likely he is going to molt.

Praying mantises have the ability to regenerate limbs. This means that the damaged limb will grow back or recover in 1-2 molts.

The appearance of midges and ticks indicates the non-observance of the rules for cleaning and maintaining the microclimate in the terrarium (overmoistening, poor ventilation, residues of feed, etc.)

Add. infa:
http://pakor.fotopage.ru/tenodera

So how do you look after him?

  1. This is not a big deal; you only need 10 minutes to leave. per day. You can get a mantis just by buying its egg in a regular garden center, or you can catch an adult. Although the capture is hampered by the ability of the mantis to disguise. It’s easiest to catch a male mantis in the summer, because at night it attracts light,
  2. The home for the mantis must be chosen based on its size.

    The height of the terrarium should be 2 times the length of the insect, and the length should be 3-4 times,
  3. A suitable environment must be created in the container. Plant several plants of the same color in the terrarium as the pet itself. Cover the bottom of the container with a substrate, preferably sand. Also, do not forget to leave ventilation holes in the terrarium,

Useful Tips

  • Be careful with your pet and don’t drop it, otherwise it may die,
  • The longer you watch and take the mantis in your arms, the faster it will become tame,
  • Do not allow excess fluid to accumulate in the terrarium, as it can attract ants,
  • A transparent terrarium for a mantis is better suited, so it will be easier to observe,
  • Food for your pet can be purchased at the pet store,
  • It is better to grow a pet yourself than to catch an adult mantis.

Warning

  • Do not feed your pet too large insects,
  • Be careful with spiders, because they can be poisonous to the mantis,
  • Remember that two praying mantises will never live peacefully in one container and can kill each other.

In people's homes, you can increasingly see unusual pets. Instead of dogs and cats, people are happy to care for snakes and insects. Mantis, content which can not be called difficult, also managed to become a pet.

A mantis is a large carnivorous insect that different unusual appearance and interesting behavior. Although not all people can call him beautiful, he has many fans who are ready to take care of him. If you want to diversify your life with an original pet that will not take up much space, then a mantis is a good choice.

Many people are fascinated by the habits of this predatory insect. It is not in vain that he is noted for his unique body shape, his unexpected manner of freezing, tracking down prey and folding his front paws in a gesture that is very reminiscent of a prayer. The male grows to 5 cm in length. Females are significantly larger than males and can reach a size of 7 cm. The color of this insect is different (from bright green to sand, less often individuals of a dark brown shade).

Usually, mantis are aggressive towards representatives of their speciesTherefore, it is not recommended to keep several insects in one place. The abode of a mantis is a rather spacious container. At the same time, its height should be 3 times greater than the length of the mantis so that it does not feel inconvenience during movement. A small jar is enough for a small insect, but an adult should have space for walking, so it’s better to buy an aquarium that should be covered with a net. If you manage to equip a real terrarium, then your pet and you yourself will definitely appreciate it. The more free space, the more interesting it is to observe an insect.

In nature, mantis live in tropical countries, so the conditions for their maintenance must meet certain requirements. These insects must live at a temperature of at least 20ºС, and better - 23-25ºС. A small thermometer that easily attaches to glass will help monitor the temperature. It is desirable that the environment of the mantis resemble a tropical forest, that is, it contains different plants or fresh leaves, various sticks and stones, on which the pet will be happy to crawl. Praying mantises love to climb the snags or stems of plants and hang downside down from them, looking for their prey. As the soil, you can use dry peeled and chopped leaves of oak, birch and other trees. It is better not to take soil for flowers, as well as ground from the street, as they may contain harmful bacteria, chemicals, and parasites.

When keeping mantis, you will have to monitor humiditywhich insects are very sensitive to. It is enough to spray the soil with settled tap water at room temperature several times a week. You can also use a drinker. But it should be small so that the insect could easily crawl out of it if it gets into the water. Too high a humidity level must not be allowed, as the soil may become moldy.

Lighting is very important for mantis, since they are daytime insects and their activity falls on the bright part of the day. At home, their "sun" can become ordinary fluorescent lamps. But under direct sunlight, praying mantises cannot be lived.

You can feed a small mantis often, but an adult insect should eat less often - once a day. It is worth remembering that these predatory insects are prone to overeating and obesity, which in rare cases lead to death. You can feed the mantis with any small insects. But the latter should not be caught in nature, because they are often carriers of parasites and dirt. It is better to find a proven source of aphids, Drosophila flies and other insects (for example, some pet store).

Mantis can be picked up without harm to health. These pets are quite slow and completely harmless to humans. But still, do not make sudden movements, make noise or scare the insect in any other way. It can suddenly run away, fall and be injured. If you act carefully, then the mantis will surely please you with good behavior.

Types of mantis: photos and names

Scientists have counted about 2,000 different types of praying mantises, we, unfortunately, will not be able to bring them all in our article, but in our opinion we will describe the most interesting representatives.

The common mantis lives in most countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa. An ordinary praying mantis is a very large representative of the praying kingdom, reaching up to 7 cm (female) and 6 cm (male). As a rule, they are green or brown in color, the wings are well developed, at least to fly from branch to branch for a mantis is not an ordinary problem. The abdomen is ovoid. You can distinguish this type of mantis by a black speck, which is located on the coxae of the front pair of legs from the inside.

Obviously, the birthplace and main habitat of this species of mantis is China. The Chinese mantis is quite large, females reach up to 15 cm in length, but the sizes of males are much more modest. They have green and brown colors. A characteristic feature of Chinese praying mantises is their nocturnal lifestyle, while their other relatives sleep at night. Also, young individuals of Chinese praying mantises do not have wings that grow only after a few molts, then they acquire the ability to fly.

Mantis Creobroter meleagris lives in southwest Asia: India, Vietnam, Cambodia and several other countries. Usually reach 5 cm in length. Colors are white and cream. You can recognize them by strips of light brown color, which pass through the whole body and head. Also on the wings have one small and large spot of white or cream color.

He is the mantis Creobroter gemmatus especially loves the moist forests of southern India, Vietnam and other Asian countries. This species is small, females grow only up to 40 mm, males up to 38 mm. The body is more elongated than other relatives. And for added protection, on the hips of the Indian mantis there are special spikes of different heights. Painted in cream colors. Representatives of this species are excellent flyers, both males and females, due to their low weight, moreover, both pairs of wings are well developed. Interestingly, they have a spot on the front wings, similar to an eye with two pupils, which scares away predators. Flower mantises live, as follows from their names in the flowers of plants, where they guard their prey.

He is the mantis Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii lives in countries of southern and eastern Africa. In lifestyle, size, it is very similar to the Indian flower mantis. But its coloring is especially interesting - it is really artistic, on the upper pair of wings there is an interesting pattern resembling a spiral or even an eye. On the abdomen of this species there are additional spines that gave it such a name.

Orchid Mantis - in our opinion is the most beautiful representatives of the praying mantis of the world. It also received its name not for nothing, but precisely for its outward resemblance to beautiful orchids, on which he actually hides in an ambush, awaiting another victim. Females of orchid mantises are exactly twice as many males: 80 mm versus 40.And orchid mantises, even among other mantises, are distinguished by amazing courage, representatives of this species are not afraid to attack even insects that are twice their size.

Eastern heteroheta or spiky-eyed mantis is one of the largest mantis in the world (the female reaches 15 cm in length) and lives in most of Africa. These mantises live in the branches of bushes, the benefit of their appearance also resembles twigs.

Mantis breeding

And here we go to the most interesting part, namely the reproduction of praying mantises, as a rule, having a sad and tragic end for males. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, but let's start in order. The mantis males with the onset of the mating season (usually in autumn) using the charm organs begin the search for females ready for mating. Having found one, he performs a special “marriage dance” in front of her, transferring him to the rank of a sexual partner. Then the mating process begins, during which the female mantis has a bad habit of biting off her male’s head and then completely eating it. Some scientists believe that this behavior, which is more than terrible in our opinion, also has its biological reasons - having eaten her "groom", the female replenishes the reserves of nutritious protein substances necessary for future offspring in such a simple way.

Although it also happens that the male manages to get away from his “beloved” in time, than to avoid the sad fate of food.

After some time, the fertilized female lays eggs, while enveloping them with a special sticky secret, which is secreted by their special glands. This secret serves as a kind of protective capsule for the eggs of future praying mantises and is called the ooteca. The fertility of the female depends on her species, usually the female is able to lay 10 to 400 eggs at a time.

In the eggs, the mantis larvae stay from three weeks to six months, after which they crawl out of the eggs. Further, their development proceeds at a rather fast pace, and after about 4–8 molts the larva degenerates into an adult mantis.

Terrarium

It will be a very exotic and unusual act to have a domestic praying mantis, isn't it? Nevertheless, there are people who have such “pets” and if you also want to join them, the first thing you will have to take care of is the terrarium. A relatively small, glass or plastic terrarium with a mesh cover is suitable, its dimensions should be at least three times the size of the mantis itself. Inside, it would be nice to place twigs or small plants along which the mantis will climb trees.

Where to buy a mantis and how much does it cost?

You can find Bogomolov in some pet stores or look for ads for the sale of these wonderful insects on the Internet.

The price of a mantis primarily depends on the species. So, common mantis (Mantis religiosa) can be purchased for 500-1000 rubles, orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus) - for 3000 rubles, Spiked flower mantis (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii) - for 1500-4000 rubles. The most expensive species, perhaps, is the mantis "devil's flower" (Idolomantis diabolica) - 11-12 thousand rubles.

It should be noted that for beginners it is better to pay attention to the types that are easy to maintain. For example, the African (large) mantis (Sphodromantis centralis) is easy to maintain and the most popular among beginners.

It is best to acquire mantis larvae (nymphs). When you take an adult mantis to the house, you cannot know its age. It is possible that the insect will quickly die, without giving offspring. Unfortunately, the age of the mantis is short-lived - only 5-9 months, rarely, with proper maintenance and care, 1 year. Adults live only about two months. Males usually die first - after the breeding season, they lose the desire to hunt, they become exhausted and lethargic.

When you choose a nymph, give preference to the active. Examine limbs for damage.The abdomen should be full.

How to take a mantis in hand?

For a man, praying mantises are not dangerous, but, like any living creature, in the event of a threat, they either flee or try to defend themselves. Therefore, when you inspect the insect, take it in your hands without making sudden movements, otherwise the mantis can briskly run and fall. Adult praying mantises are able to protect themselves from injuries during a fall - they spread their wings, thereby reducing the rate of fall. But for a young nymph, a fall usually ends with a ruptured abdomen. If a mantis takes a threatening pose, it’s best not to touch it: the prickly spikes on your front legs can scratch you.

To take an insect in order to examine it, you need to correctly. The movements should be slow and smooth. The hand is carefully brought up from the back and fingers are put under the legs of the insect so that it is completely in the palm of your hand. It is impossible to press and squeeze a mantis.

In general, it is not worth taking a mantis without special need. Better put your palm up and let the insect climb onto it yourself (you can slightly push it).

The most “economical” housing for a mantis is a specially equipped plastic container, in which it is also necessary to create a “home environment” - place twigs, put soil on the bottom. The height of the container should be 2-3 times the length of the insect.

If you plan to breed mantis, then you will need several terrariums or containers, since most species of mantis cannot be kept in groups.

Keep in mind that mantises are thermophilic: for a comfortable existence, most species need a temperature of +23 - + 25 ° C, and for some tropical species - +28 - + 30 ° C. To heat a terrarium, you can use a conventional incandescent lamp, which also serves as a light source . Thermal heating pads for terrariums are also suitable for heating. However, do not forget that too high a temperature is detrimental to the mantis. A small thermometer, which is mounted on the glass, will help control the temperature.

Is it possible to keep a mantis without a terrarium, right in the room?

Some species can live without a terrarium. For example, females Hierodula, Sphodromantis, Mantis. They can be settled on domestic plants. The main thing is not to forget to feed your predator in time, then it will not leave its familiar place. And remember: the room should have a temperature suitable for this type of mantis.

Think in advance if you can provide the mantis with the food you need. This rather voracious and capricious predator eats only insects, and it is alive and mobile, and nothing else. You will have to buy cockroaches and other feed insects at the pet store or breed them yourself. Another option is to catch grasshoppers, moths, etc. in the warm season. in a forest, garden or park.

Why does a mantis refuse to feed?

A praying mantis loses its appetite for molting - this is normal. After molting, he can also starve for some time. Praying mantis can refuse food even if the proposed insect is too large for him.

Praying mantises are not toxic and pose no danger to humans. In very rare cases, a large mantis can take your fingers for prey, grab them and bite them.

Where to get a mantis and how much does it cost?

Before we figure out what are the features of keeping a mantis at home, the photo of which can be seen in our article, let's find out where to get such an unusual pet. These predators can be seen in some shops selling exotic animals. An alternative is buying online.

People who previously did not contain insects should pay attention to the African mantis, which is unpretentious in care and will cost relatively inexpensively - about 500 rubles. For comparison, the same one costs about 3,000 rubles.The most beautiful, unusual and expensive is a view called a bloody flower. The price of such a pet is from 10 thousand rubles.

What do mantis eat?

What is keeping and feeding a mantis at home? Of particular importance is proper feeding. In the warm season, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers that can be caught on the street can become food for such a pet. As for the natural habitat of these predators, here they do not disdain even stinging insects, such as wasps and bees.

Keeping a praying mantis at home in winter requires the purchase of feed at a pet store. Potato larvae, all kinds of crickets, caterpillars, cockroaches, bloodworms will do. Some of these insects should be cultivated at home. However, you should not catch ordinary Prussians for a mantis, since they can be infected with chemicals. Spiders are often dangerous for such a pet, since some of them are poisonous.

Feeding Features

It is immediately worth noting that the process of eating a praying mantis is an entertaining sight. This predator prefers to carefully disassemble the victim in parts, slowly chewing on individual pieces and casting hard chitin aside.

You can offer your pet food in several ways: launch victims in his home or serve with tweezers. If preference is given to the first option, in this case the insect, which is used as a feeding, needs to be slightly pressed in advance. Thus, it will be easier for a praying mantis to catch movable prey. Be that as it may, for this predator it is imperative that the prey be alive.

Be sure to check whether the pet eats all the food offered. For example, bloodworms and caterpillars dry too quickly. Their decaying remains can cause the spread of infections. Therefore, all the insect scraps must be removed from the home of the mantis.

An important principle of keeping a mantis at home is its restriction in food. Adults are extremely gluttonous. Gorged mantises can die as a result of damage to the abdomen. It should also be taken into account that the more food a predatory insect consumes, the less its life will last.

Where to put the pet?

Keeping a mantis at home requires the preparation of a special home. The most suitable option is a terrarium with good ventilation. The minimum parameters of such a container should be 15x15x20 centimeters. The inner space should not be empty. All kinds of branches should be placed here. After all, a praying mantis needs objects on which it can crawl. A good decor would be artificial or living plants.

The most simple and affordable housing for such a pet looks like a regular plastic container. You can also use a glass aquarium. In the latter case, it will be possible to freely observe the behavior of the insect. If you plan to keep mantis at home with a view to breeding them, you need to take care of the preparation of several terrariums. After all, these predators are able to demonstrate rather aggressive behavior towards relatives.

Mantis love warmth. In their home, a comfortable temperature should be maintained at a level not lower than 23 ° C. A normal light bulb, which will also serve as lighting, will become a good heater. If you wish, you can spend money on buying a heating pad. However, one must keep in mind that heat is also detrimental to praying mantises. It is important that the temperature in the insect's housing does not exceed 30 ° C. The situation will be controlled by the use of a small thermometer that can be mounted on the wall of the terrarium.

How to drink a mantis?

Like any other living thing, this insect will need access to moisture.For this purpose, you can use a container with a spray, with which it is enough to spray water on the walls of the pet's home. In addition, so that the mantis does not feel thirsty, a small lid filled with liquid should be put in the terrarium. Next to such a drinker should be placed a few sticks, for which the insect can hold.

Is a mantis dangerous to humans?

Despite their predatory nature, such pets are not able to harm the owner. Praying mantises are absolutely not poisonous. Only in some cases, these insects can perceive the human finger as potential prey. However, their jaws are too weak to bite through the skin and cause significant pain.

There are some tips for keeping at home:

  1. Care should be taken when handling your pet. In no case should the insect fall from a high height. Otherwise, the mantis can get injuries that will lead to its death.
  2. The more often people will be near the terrarium, the faster the insect will domesticate. So that such a pet does not show aggression towards others and does not feel fear, it must be picked up periodically.
  3. It is necessary to ensure that excess fluid does not accumulate in the mantis home. This omission can lead to the development of pathogens in the substrate and attract small pests.
  4. Where it is better to spend energy on self-growing a pet than to acquire an adult. In this case, keeping a mantis at home will bring much more pleasure.

A mantis is an arthropod insect that belongs to the order of a mantis (lat. Mantodea, Mantoptera).

The origin of the international name "Mantodea" is reliably unknown. This detachment received the Russian definition due to some similarities between the front limbs of the insect and human arms bent at the elbow joint. In this position, the mantis is ambushed and awaits prey, shaking its head from time to time. Due to this peculiarity of behavior, as well as due to associative perception, an insect resembling a person who reads a prayer got its name.

Taken from the site: artfile.me

How to feed mantis at home

Live food. Grasshoppers, cockroaches, flies are perfect. Some species of mantis will not mind eating ants. And with all this they need to be fed regularly, so keeping such “pets” can be a bit of a troublesome task. But you do not need to drink mantis, since they get the necessary body fluid from food.

  • One of the styles of Chinese wushu martial arts is named after the mantis, according to legend, this style was invented by a Chinese peasant who watches the hunting of mantis.
  • In the Soviet Union at one time they wanted to use mantis industrially as biological protection against pests of agricultural plantations. True, this undertaking had to be abandoned, since the mantis also ate beneficial insects, the same bees.
  • From ancient times, praying mantises were frequent heroes of various myths and legends among African and Asian peoples, for example, in China they personified stubbornness and greed, and the ancient Greeks attributed to them the ability to predict the coming of spring.

How to choose a mantis?

It is best to acquire mantis larvae (nymphs). When you take an adult mantis to the house, you cannot know its age. It is possible that the insect will quickly die, without giving offspring. Unfortunately, the age of the mantis is short-lived - only 5-9 months, rarely, with proper maintenance and care, 1 year. Adults live only about two months. Males usually die first - after the breeding season, they lose the desire to hunt, they become exhausted and lethargic.

When you choose a nymph, give preference to the active. Examine limbs for damage. The abdomen should be full.

Where to put the mantis?

The most “economical” housing for a mantis is a specially equipped plastic container, in which it is also necessary to create a “home environment” - place twigs, put soil on the bottom. The height of the container should be 2-3 times the length of the insect.

If you plan to breed mantis, then you will need several terrariums or containers, since most species of mantis cannot be kept in groups.

Keep in mind that mantises are thermophilic: for a comfortable existence, most species need a temperature of +23 - + 25 ° C, and for some tropical species - +28 - + 30 ° C. To heat a terrarium, you can use a conventional incandescent lamp, which also serves as a light source . Thermal heating pads for terrariums are also suitable for heating. However, do not forget that too high a temperature is detrimental to the mantis. A small thermometer, which is mounted on the glass, will help control the temperature.

How to feed a mantis?

Think in advance whether you can provide. This rather voracious and capricious predator eats only insects, and it is alive and mobile, and nothing else. You will have to buy cockroaches and other feed insects at the pet store or breed them yourself. Another option is to catch grasshoppers, moths, etc. in the warm season. in a forest, garden or park.

How to determine the gender of a mantis?

It is easy to determine the sex of an adult mantis: on the inner part of the abdomen, the female has 6 lobes, and the male has 8. Another sign that distinguishes the male from the female mantis is the presence of a feathery antennae in the male. In addition, the female mantis is usually larger and thicker than the male. When determining the sex of young individuals, difficulties may arise.

Pin
Send
Share
Send