Popa spurca (Twig Mantis)


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agent A

the autistic flower mantis
Supporting Member
May 17, 2009
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Fort Collins, CO
Popa spurca (Twig Mantis)

Hailing from africa, this stick mimic reaches 3 inches long and is a very easy species to deal with.(agent A)


L1 mortality is pretty low.(agent A)

Males molt one less time than females; females molt eight times, and males molt seven times.(agent A)

if kept cooler and drier, the nymphs can take ten months to reach adulthood. However, if kept warmer and wetter (within reason), it can take less than half as long.

(agent A)


This species is rather sedentary.(agent A)

  • Degree of aggression or timidity
  • Propensity to cannibalize
  • Dynamics of threat display
Captive Environment:

This species doesn't need much room. A 32-oz deli cup suffices until L5 or L6, and then a larger container that is about 7 inches tall will do for the rest of the lifecycle.

The container should be well ventilated and be furnished with clean, dry sticks that are an appropriate width for grasping, as nymphs spend a lot of time posing on sticks.

Temperatures can be anywhere from 65-85 degrees, and humidity should be 50-65%. Higher temps and humidity causes nymphs to grow faster, and if kept cooler and drier, the nymphs can take 10 months to reach adulthood, but warmer and wetter (within reason) can make this time 3-5 months. These guys can be kept together in a net cage for much of the lifecycle given plenty of food and room.(agent A)


This is a very easy species to feed [provide for]. Nymphs will eat a good bit of food, though due to the stick shape should not be overfed. At L1 the nymphs may only be strong enough for melanogaster, but hydei are accepted at L2 without issue. Flies, crickets, roaches, moths, and bees are all good food items for this mantis, and nymphs should be fed every other day, and male nymphs will eat less than females.(agent A)


Breeding this species is usually not an issue, though undersized or unhealthy adults typically won't breed. Males molt one less time than females; females molt eight times, and males molt seven times. Males are ready to breed in just three weeks, and females take just about the same amount of time. Females should be fed well and will start to call soon after molting, but no attempts to breed should be made until she is very fat. Any size container works. Feed the male a fly beforehand, and put him in the cage; introduce the female when he settles down. An issue: these guys can be so sedentary, the male doesnt even notice the female. Making the female move a bit helps, and once the male mounts, he usually won't let go until the job is done. If the female acts aggressively toward the male, and you are sure she's ready, it's because she's about to lay an infertile ooth. Let her lay the ooth, fill her back up for two weeks, then try again. Don't worry too much about leaving them together; I've left pairs in net cages for days without issue. If both adults are ready, they will mate pretty quickly. It can take the male anywhere from ten minutes to six hours to connect, and connection lasts between one and four hours, typically. One mating should suffice, and the female can lay large ooths every 3-4 weeks.(agent A)


Ooths incubate between 70 and 85 degrees with every other day misting for 4-8 weeks before hatching 70-150 black nymphs.(agent A)

  • Physical description and average size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.
  • Diapause if necessary
  • Incubation time and temperature
  • Observed number/s and range of hatching nymphs

  • Health Issues: infections or illnesses encountered.
  • Additional Observations: pertinent information which doesn't neatly fit anywhere else.
  • Photos: up to five may be posted at the bottom of the completed template. Please limit these photos to no more than one of an ootheca, two of nymphs(different instars), one of an adult female, and one of an adult male.
Contributors: agent A, jamurfjr
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