Asian Mantis (Hierodula patellifera)

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Asian Mantis
Hierodula patellifera
Asian Mantis (Hierodula patellifera)
Name Asian Mantis
Name Lat. Hierodula patellifera
Family Mantids
Family lat. Mantidae
Order Praying Mantids
Order lat. Mantodea
Origin South and Southeast Asia
Habitat Tropical forest
Diet Live insects
Humidity 60-70 %
Behavior Predatory
Keeping Individual
Care Level Easy
Housing Semi humid terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span ♂ 4, ♀ 8 months
Protection No
Metric Units
Size ♂ 6 cm, ♀ 7 cm
Temperature Day 24-28 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 30 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size ♂ 2.4", ♀ 2.8"
Temperature Day 75-83 °F
Temperature Night 68-75 °F
Housing Size 10" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The Great Japanese Mantis is widely distributed from southern China and Japan through Southeast Asia to New Guinea. They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests where they live well camouflaged on shrubs and trees


A terrarium or insectarium of the size 30 x 30 x 30 cm (L x W x H) can be recommended as a guideline, when keeping a group correspondingly larger. A container with a cover made of gauze or a fine metal grid is best suited, which should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

You will need an insectarium not too densely structured with finger-thick climbing branches (hiding places, privacy screens), climbing plants and pieces of bark, with a cork back wall, as well as a small, shallow drinking vessel with water gel or a cotton trough. Artificial or live plants (e.g. Ficus pumila, Scindapsus aureus) can be used for decoration. The substrate of coconut fiber, vermiculite or sand-loam-peat mixture should always be kept slightly moist. Daily, the insectarium should be finely sprayed with water inside (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better. Waterlogging should be avoided at all costs.

Temp. day: 24-28 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 60-70

The lighting duration should be max. 12 hrs. Light sources that also produce the necessary heat are ideal.


They are predatory and seize even very large prey, preferably flying insects, at lightning speed with their spiny tentacles. The food supply consists of fruit flies (Drosophila), flies, house crickets, crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, small arachnids, etc., according to their size. It is important to regularly add minerals and vitamins (e.g. by dusting the feeders). The quality of the feeders can be enhanced by feeding overripe fruit and honey water. A few days before, during and after molting, they refuse to eat. During molting, no predatory feeders (e.g. crickets) should be left in the insectarium, as during this time the animals are unprotected and may become prey themselves. A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Adult females are slightly larger and stronger than the slimmer males. Males have 8, females only 6 abdominal segments. Females are sexually mature 3-4 weeks after the last moult (imaginal moult), males already after about 2 weeks

After mating, which lasts several hours, the female lays the first of 5-6 egg packages (oothecae) after about 2 weeks. At a temperature of 25-28 °C and a humidity of about 60 %, up to 100 or more nymphs hatch after 4-6 weeks. They should be fed immediately with small fruit flies or microhermits so that they do not eat each other (cannibalism).

After imaginal molting, females live about 6-8 months, males about 3-4 months.


There is a green and a brown morph. They are very aggressive and group keeping is only recommended up to L4/L5, after that the animals should be separated.

Before mating, a large food animal should be offered to the female to reduce the risk of her eating the male. It is recommended to keep females singly.

They have very good camouflage due to their body shape and coloration as well as their often long-lasting immobility and are very similar to a leaf (leaf mimesis).

For molting they hang upside down in the branches or on the lattice cover and slide out of their old cover. Therefore they need at least one body length of free space below them.

Before purchasing, an insectarium should be prepared that meets the species-specific needs. Good ventilation without drafts is necessary, as well as equipment for measuring temperature and humidity. The lighting must correspond to the day-night rhythm appropriate for the species and must be installed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The insectarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Alex Rinesch

Source: ENGELMAN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch; EHRMANN (2002): Mantodea - Gottesanbeterinnen der Welt, Natur und Tier-Verlag