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The Lie: Evolution


Praying Mantis Pet Care

By Karl C. Priest 1-6-09

This article assumes that you have obtained an egg case. If you get an egg case in the Fall, keep it refrigerated until the weather is warm enough outside for the mantids to survive and catch prey. When you bring out the egg case, put it is a container that allows ventilation, but will keep the small mantids from escaping. They will be about ant size. Keep 1 (or a few) and let the others go.

If you capture a mantis latter in the summer, just put it in a suitable container and follow the directions.


1. You may keep your baby mantis in its nursery vial (small container) until it molts for the third time.
2. Don't set the mantis' home (container) in direct sunlight.
3. Clean the nursery at least once a week. It's OK to put your mantis in a terrarium, but do not put dead plants in the container. You can try a stick for your mantis to hang on.


1. Feed your pet live insects. Fruit flies (see special notes below) are great for the baby. Do not use spiders or ants.
2. The food you use should be no bigger than 1/2 the size of your mantis. You may need to put the food in the freezer a couple of minutes to slow it down.
3. Feed it as much as it will eat. Like a real baby, it can vary. A grown mantis may eat a cricket every other day.


1. The mantis gets most of its moisture from its meals.
2. For the baby, use a non-medicated Q-tip and moisten it twice a day. Change the Q-tip as needed.
3. An adult mantis may drink from a spoon. You can keep a small medicine cap for water or a damp sponge or mist the side of the cage.


1. A mantis grows by molting which is shedding its "skin" (exoskeleton).
2. It will refuse to eat. Do not bother it when it is molting and don't feed it for several hours afterwards. The new skin needs to harden.
3. Count the segments on the bottom of the abdomen. A boy has 7-8 and a girl has 5-6.


1. If you are careful you can handle your mantis. The baby can move quickly and the adults can fly. Move slowly and talk to it and it will crawl on to your hand.
2. It likely will not bite you. (My wife is the only one I know who claims a mantis bite and it did not break her skin.) If it hooks you it might feel like a pinch. The danger is you will hurt the mantis to get loose.
3. There is a lot more to learn about the Praying Mantis. Each time you see this wonderful creature that God designed remember to say your prayers.

Special notes for feeding babies:

It’s possible to catch “wild” fruit flies and raise them using strategies and recipes obtained from Internet sources, but I have not tried it. I used the instructions and equipment provided by Carolina Biological ( and successfully maintained a supply of wingless fruit flies for about two years. I could have continued indefinitely.


Also see:

AMAZING Mantids (Displaying God's autistic ingenuity)

Ready to Prey