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Tenodera sinensis (Chinese Mantis)


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  • 6 years later...

I appreciate the information in this care sheet. I am, however, a little frustrated by the lack of consistency that seems to come with mantis care. I read the book "Praying Mantis Ultimate Care Guide" by Thomas Green cover to cover and it has great general information and a lot of warnings about setting up a habitat, but nothing specific enough. I guess part of the problem is the habitat depends completely on the type of mantis you are getting.

I am interested in becoming a mantis owner, but have never owned one. I would love some specific, step by step instructions on how to prepare an enclosure for a Chinese praying mantis. If I want to use a small glass aquarium I understand I need a mesh top. Do the mesh holes need to be small enough to prevent fruit flies from escaping? Do I have to modify this depending on how large or small the mesh holes are? Can a mantis crawl up glass or do I need to add popsicle sticks to the glass to allow for more climbing?

What should the substrate be? Thomas Green warned about adding plants and organic matter to an enclosure because it promotes mold growth and can also make it harder to maintain consistent humidity. 

Can I add branches from a living plant, or should it be fake? I don't plan on using living plants. 

If the Chinese mantis needs to hang from the mesh ceiling to molt, how does it get there? Should I provide sticks that go all the way to the top of the enclosure or do they climb up the glass?

How do you monitor humidity and temperature. Can I use my home thermostat, or should I invest in a thermometer in the enclosure itself? What about humidity percentage?

I read on Panterrapets.com that crickets are not the best food for praying mantids because they can potentially carry virus' that kill your mantis. What are your thoughts on that?

I am pretty opposed to caged pets, but I am fascinated by praying mantids. They have a short life span and don't need large enclosures, therefore it feels ok to try this out. I am taking it seriously and don't want to practice on live mantids to figure this stuff out. I want the first one to get the best care possible. 

A response to this would be great, but seeing as it's been 6 years since this care sheet was posted, I doubt anyone will ever read this. Thanks in advance if you respond!

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I recommend just using a 32oz deli cup for a Sinensis until L6, then you can do a fancier enclosure. This species is really easy so don’t sweat it!  Just watch out for over feeding.

Maybe add a small fake plant to make the deli cup pretty as long as it doesn’t interfere with molting.

They can climb plastic and glass pretty easily but if you are worried just add a sheet of shelf liner and they should be able to climb it just fine.

Thermostats aren’t needed, as long as the temp is above 70 you should be good to go. Humidity isn’t really valid although it can help with molting, it’s more internal moisture that does the trick.

Crickets are not good, they can carry bacteria &/or parasites. Another heads up, never feed carrots to feeders they will melt your mantis from the inside. If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me or just comment on here and ping me :)

P.S. maybe check out the book “Keeping the Praying Mantis” by one of our own users @Orin

Edited by MrGhostMantis
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