Giant Asian Mantis (Hierodula grandis)

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Giant Asian Mantis
Hierodula grandis
Giant Asian Mantis (Hierodula grandis)
Name Giant Asian Mantis
Name Lat. Hierodula grandis
Family Mantids
Family lat. Mantidae
Order Praying Mantids
Order lat. Mantodea
Origin South Asia
Habitat Rainforest
Diet Flying insects
Humidity 50-70 %
Behavior Predatory
Keeping Individual
Care Level Easy
Housing Semi-humid terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 5-10 months
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 7-10 cm
Temperature Day 25-30 °C
Temperature Night 20-24 °C
Housing Size 30 x 30 x 50 cm
US Units
Size 2.8"-4"
Temperature Day 77-86 °F
Temperature Night 68-75 °F
Housing Size 10" x 10" x 20"

Distribution and habitat

The range of the diurnal Great Indian Mantis ranges from India to Bangladesh and Myanmar. They inhabit the humid tropical forests, where they live well camouflaged on shrubs and trees


For a female an insectarium of 30 x 30 x 50 cm (L x W x H), for a group of up to 5 males 40 x 40 x 60 cm, can be recommended as a guideline. An insectarium 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: 25-30 °C Temp. night: 20-24 °C Humidity: 50-70

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 should consist of crickets, house crickets, flies (Drosophila) and grasshoppers, small butterflies but also small arachnids and cockroaches, etc.. 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. No predatory feeders (e.g. crickets) should be left in the insectarium during molting, 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. The males have 8, the females only 6 abdominal segments.

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

After imaginal molting, females live for about 8-10 months, males for about 5-7 months.


Prior to 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: Franz Lowak

Source: ENGELMAN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch; HENKEL & SCHMIDT (2010): Taschenatlas Wirbellose für das Terrarium, Verlag Ulmer