October 2010


I live in the Antelope Valley, which is a dry high desert located in southern 
California. This afternoon I went outside to dump the trash and noticed my cat 
playing with an insect of some sort. Upon closer inspection I was able to 
identify it as a praying mantis- but not the green ones I'm used to seeing...I 
had never seen one like this so I took a mental note of it. Well, my cat ended 
up swallowing it :( (sorry) but I could tell the mantis was in a defensive I went inside and started googling and I came to discover that it was 
actually a peacock mantis or Pseudempusa pinnapavonis. I was unable to find any 
useful information online related to this species of mantis and I was wondering 
if yo umight have anything to add....such as where they originate from-- I did 
read an article indicating that Pseudempusa pinnapavonis is an invasive species 
to the you know anything else about these little guys?
Hi Leslie,
Sorry you weren't able to capture the mantis. I've also seen my cat rip apart a mantis years ago. I've
never worked with Peacock Mantids but it seems they are becoming more popular in the pet industry. 
I believe they span a few countries in the southern parts of Asia. Judging from photos, I'm guessing they 
would have the feeding/hunting tenacity similar to stick mantids ...not as aggressive as Hierodula or 
Sphodromantis spp. But aside from the striking patterns on the wings in the threat posture, other characteristics 
seem to be typical of mantids. Nonetheless, this would be a nice species to have in your collection. -JSY


My name is Edel. Winter is approaching here and the temperatures have been down to
the mid 30's. My boyfriend found a Praying Mantis and decided to bring her inside
for he said she would soon die outside with the frosts coming. We have had her a
little bit over a week and have done some pretty good research. She hangs out on the
curtain/curtain rod in the kitchen and has become accustomed to us. She will get
down from the curtain while I'm doing dishes and climb up my arm and sit on my
shoulder or head. She has been feasting on crickets and discoid roaches, which she
loves over the crickets. 
Today she is laying her question is, should I feed her right after she
is done laying or do a give her a bit to rest before I introduce the food item. 
Thank you for your Wonderful website. 
Hi Edel, 
Thank you for the interesting story. Sorry for the late reply. By this time, your mantis would have laid her eggs and
I imagine she would be feeding (aggressively) already. Where did she lay the eggs? If you don't want them hatching
too early inside the house, secure the egg case safely outside. - JSY
Hi, Thank you for your reply. Yes, she has laid her eggs, on the kitchen curtain. lol I am assuming, from looking at it, that
we won't be able to separate the egg case from the curtain. We will cut a square on the curtain around the egg case. I 
wanted to redo the kitchen anyway. Hahaha.....she is Absolutely Amazing. Takes crickets from our hands and is not the bit 
scared of us. It is my first experience with such an Amazing creature and I am thrilled that I have this opportunity. 
We do have the option of placing the egg case in a critter carrier. When the eggs hatch, will the babies automatically eat
each other, or if I provide enough baby crickets, will they settle for the crickets. 
Thank you. 
Hi Edel,
I'd like for you to consider the situations that you'll face if you decide to raise the mantids during the winter, but before that,
keep in mind that the eggs may not hatch at all (but you need to assume that they will). Also keep in mind that your mantis 
may lay more eggs as long as she's fed well.
New born mantids are extremely tiny (about a centimeter). They will need to eat almost constantly. As I suggested to others, even
if you do have access to fruit flies & micro-crickets, it would still be a nightmare trying to raise a large number of mantids. Some 
breeders keep baby mantids in one large container loaded with hundreds of fruit flies and/or micro-crickets, and let the strong 
mantids survive. 
When the mantids are down to a manageable number (15-30), they are eventually separated, placed in different
containers, and raised individually. Keep in mind, potentially hundreds of mantids will die in this process. However, if you wait until 
spring, you'll be able to take in 1, 5, or 10 mantids to raise while the rest will be born into the wild with a fair chance at life. Also, 
if you find that they are too difficult to raise, you will have the option of releasing them. You will not have that option during the winter. 
To answer your question, the mantids will go for smaller prey before they attempt to cannibalize each other. But when you
say "enough" crickets for a couple hundred mantids, you're talking thousands of micro- (or pin-head) crickets
(literally the size of pin-heads), weekly. Please let me know what you decide. -JSY

Hello Mantis Man,
I am so happy to have found your site! It's been VERY informative so I'd like to
thank you for creating it!
My 9 year old had befriended a female mantis (her name is Bay) and we have SIX egg
sacs in our flower pot on the front porch. Unfortunately, Bay passed away tonight
and now Mitchell would like to care for the egg sacs in the house. My question
(actually, several) is what type of container/environment would be best for them?
Should they remain outside during the incubation period (we live in southern Pa.)
or would bringing them in just make them hatch sooner? And once they hatch, what
type of diet? Feeder crickets would be too big for them and we don't have fruit
flies hanging around!
I told him we wouldn't move the egg sacs until I heard back from you so that we can
make sure we do what's best for the babies.
Thank you in advance for your help!
Hi Carole, 
I would suggest keeping the eggs outside in a secure area where it should endure the PA winter.
If you don't have fruit flies or micro-crickets available, the newly hatched mantids won't survive. Even
if you do have them available, it would still be a nightmare trying to raise a large number of mantids. Some
breeders keep baby mantids in one large container loaded with hundreds of fruit flies and/or micro-crickets, 
and let the strong mantids survive.
When the mantids are down to a manageable number (15-30), they are
eventually separated, placed in different containers, and raised individually. Keep in mind, potentially hundreds
of mantids will die in this process. However, if you wait until spring, you'll be able to take in 1, 5, or 10 mantids 
to raise while the rest will be born into the wild with a fair chance at life. Also, if you find that they are too difficult 
to raise, you will have the option of releasing them. You will not have that option during the winter. Please let me know
what you decide. -JSY

hi my name is thomas and i recently found a praying mantis outside of my house i
want to keep him as a pet but there might be a problem with him i think hes sick it
looks like his wings are just falling apart
example: kinda like when a leaf turns brown and it just crumbles and crunches, his
wings look similar to that
can you help me find out whats wrong with him and if so how to help him
Just wanted to let you know how informative and interesting we found your web
site to be. 
We just had a mantis come by and lay her ootheca in our mum plant. It was so
great to watch! Now I would like to ensure that the nest is safe and the babies
will hatch in the Spring. Do you have any suggestions as to what if anything I
could do to assist the process? I was hoping to plant the mum in my garden but
I don't want to disturb the ootheca. We live in Michigan.
Thanks for any help you could give us.

Hello Georgia,
Sorry for the late reply. Yes it is a wonder to watch a mantis laying her
eggs. Assuming that you have that mum plant right outside your house,
probably the only threat to the eggs would be birds. It is too cold right
now in Michigan for other insects to be a threat. If you have an open
screen porch to keep the mum plant in that would be a plus since you can
protect the eggs and at the same time be a cold enough environment. Just
as long as the eggs experience the cycle of fall and winter so that the
eggs don't hatch too early. Keeping eggs indoors can be too warm.-MM

Hi Thomas,
How's your mantis? Don't worry about the wings. Are all six legs functioning well? Is each leg able to grip the surface
(a branch, the floor, your hand, etc.)? Can she hunt & eat properly?
Can you send a photo of your mantis? -JSY

Hi Georgia,
Where is the ootheca now (or where is your mum plant)? The ootheca should be kept outside so that they won't
hatch early. It's ok to relocate it. There's really not much else you can do to assist the process. There is a chance,
however, that the ootheca may be picked off by a squirrel or bird, etc. If you wish, you could build a cage around it 
for added security. -JSY

November 2010

Thanks for a great site !!
I am looking for an answer to a PM question . Every year I see a few 
wandering around the shrubs in my yard.
I usually find one or two ootheca . This year I actually discovered 
a female just finishing the depositing process
and i got a picture of the ootheca while it was still white.
Just last week I saw one just beginning the process and got some more 
pictures & video.
This last one was deposited on a bean vine that I was just about to cut 
down - I really need to
remove this dead vine. I think I've tried to move an ootheca in other 
years and never had noticed that the eggs had
lived. I wondered if the stem they were on had to be "alive" and 
perhaps kept them hydrated ????
My question is.... If I cut a section of the vine stem with the ootheca 
and move it to an elevated stem in a Azalea or
some evergreen and secure it in with twist-ties, should the eggs live 
Thanks Don

My daughter has an adult female mantis. She produced an egg sack a few days ago.
Today the mantis is awkward, stumbly, and not climbing on her perch and behaving
normally. Is she lacking something, or has she met the end of her life cycle? If
you could email me the answer, I would greatly appreciate it..thank
Just writing to congratulate you on a very informative and interesting site. Having
long been fascinated by the creatures we have now moved to italy (from the UK) and
get to see them in the wild. My wife watched a female laying her egg sack yesterday
and, interest in how long it will take them to hatch, is what brought us to your
We have a Westie (West Highland White Terrier) who is, by nature and breeding, a
ratter so any sign of movement usually causes him to run across the garden to see
what is there. I watched, a few weeks ago, as he saw a Mantis climbing a low wall. I
was about to stop him but then, remembering the legendary aggression, thought I'd
wait and see how the Mantis coped. Admirably as it turned out. Our little dog, not
aggressive in manner but very curious, ran to the mantis and tried to nudge it with
his nose, only to get nipped and then stand 3 feet away barking. The mantis did not
budge and established itself as "alpha leader" until the dog left it alone.
I have attached a few photos, you must have many already so apologies if they are
too much.
Many thanks for the mantis facts
Kind regards
Pete and Sue

We have a mantis that we've been enjoying for about three weeks and today
she started spinning the egg cocoon. I'm not sure what we need to do now.
Years ago I had a cocoon and put it in a brown bag in the window and all the
babies hatched (it was awesome!) and we let them go in our yard. This cocoon
is in a glass tank. Should we just put it in the dark basement for the
winter? I really want to see the babies hatch and make it into the real

My son found a praying mantis about a month ago.  He decided to place it in a large
critter cage and take care of it like a pet.  He placed a branch with leaves
attached in the cage along with sticks on the bottom and a moist paper towel.  He
has been feeding it crickets - which is very interesting to watch.  A couple weeks
ago the mantis laid eggs and attached the sack near the vent openings in the critter
cage.  We currently have the cage in the house and continue to provide food and
water for the adult mantis.  Is there any special care we need to provide for the
egg sack?  When the young ones hatch, will they be able to escape through the vents
in the critter cage?  (We live in Littleton, Colorado.  The mantis is brown and
about 1.5 - 2.0 inches long - if that matters).  We would love to see the young
hatch and be able to release them in our yard.  Do you have any suggestions/advice
on caring for the eggs?  Any information is appreciated.

Thank you for your time,


Good morning,thank you for your Informations on Praying Mantises,l know
already a lot by watching them on my Butterfly bushes,but wasn't sure about
the  age,it helped me to read your article.When it gets cold I cut the
branches with  the egg sacks off and store them in a safe place in the garage
usually in an old  flowerpot that still has soil in it,so l can just stick them
in the pots.When  spring comes ,l take the branches and stick them in the
garden and watch  them closely to see when they hatch.It is really a miracle to
watch them tiny  little mantises to hatch.Again thank you for the article
and have a great  day,sincerely, Mrs.West

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