Short care sheet for Orchid Mantis:
Size: up to 7 cm females, about 2.5 cm males
Day: 26-30C / Night – 20-22C (females)
Day: 20-21C (males) / Night – up to 18C
Humidity: 60-70%, spray regularly
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Orchid Mantis is probably one of the most iconic species that is very well known to public and so this is one of the most wanted mantids in captive culture. By its appearance it looks very similar to an orchid flower – not only because of white & pink coloration, but also by morphology (for example, wide limb petals). Especially colourful are nymphs and especially newborns – they are coloured in contrast red and black (most probably mimicry to ants).
Although basically this species is not incredible difficult to keep, it needs much more attention from keeper as they can be stressed very easily (especially when very young), they are very sensitive to humidity (this is recommended to keep nymphs dryer than adults) and also they are pretty moody in regards of feeding and breeding. Males are significantly smaller and grows faster, so one of the most difficult part for many keepers is to “synchronize” growth rate of nymphs of both sexes correctly as adult males grow old very quickly. From other side they can be easily eaten by females what happens very often if female was not properly prepared.
Remark: Starting from L4-L5 instar you can easily distinguish males and females by its limb petals – females have much wider petals than males.
Speaking of feeding – as this is flower mantis it is specializing on catching flying prey and the best food for these insects are House, Green or Blue Bottle Flies (Musca sp./Lucilia sp./Calliphora sp.), young nymphs are accepting fruit flies D. hydei very well. For nymphs of older instars and adults you can offer cockroaches (Pallid or Lobster Roaches, as example), especially if you need to speed up their growth or prepare females for further breeding.
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