Gurders Mantis (Pseudogalepsus nigricoxa)

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Gurders Mantis
Pseudogalepsus nigricoxa
Gurders Mantis (Pseudogalepsus nigricoxa)
Name Gurders Mantis
Name Lat. Pseudogalepsus nigricoxa
Family Eremiaphilid Mantises
Family lat. Eremiaphilidae
Order Praying Mantids
Order lat. Mantodea
Origin Africa
Habitat Savanna
Diet Flying insects
Humidity 40-60 %
Behavior Predatory
Keeping Individual
Care Level Easy
Housing Dry terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 6-12 months
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 4-6 cm
Temperature Day 25-30 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 20 x 20 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 1.6"-2.4"
Temperature Day 77-86 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 10" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of the diurnal Gurders Mantis is in Tanzania in East Africa. They inhabit dry savannas and sparse dry forests, where they live in the branches of trees and bushes or on grasses.


For a female an insectarium of 20 x 20 x 30 cm (L x W x H), for a group of up to 5 males 30 x 30 x 50 cm, can be recommended as a guideline, which should be placed in a quiet place without direct sunlight. A cover of gauze or fine metal mesh is recommended

You need an insectarium not too densely structured with numerous, thin climbing branches (hiding places, visual protection) with a cork back wall, a substrate of sand-earth mixture (terrarium humus) and a small, shallow drinking vessel with water gel or a absorbent cotton drinker.

Small-leaved artificial or live plants (e.g. Ficus pumila, Scindapsus aureus) and branches with dry foliage are suitable for decoration. The insectarium should be finely sprayed lightly with water inside every 2-3 days, preferably in the evening. Too much moisture is not tolerated.

Temp. day: 25-30 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 40-60

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


They are predatory and seize the prey, preferably flying insects, with lightning speed from an angled lying-in-wait position with their tentacles. The food supply should consist of crickets, house crickets, flies (Drosophila) and grasshoppers, small butterflies as well as 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. During molting, no predatory feeders (e.g. crickets) should remain 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

The females are larger and stronger than the slimmer males.

A few days after mating, the female lays an egg package (ootheca). After a few weeks, the larvae hatch. The young are only a few millimeters long, black in color, and resemble ants (mimicry). They should be fed immediately with small fruit flies or microheims so that they do not eat each other (cannibalism)

After imaginal molting, males live for about 6 months, and the life expectancy of females is up to 12 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 (mimesis) due to their body shape and coloration and their often prolonged immobility.

For molting, they often hang upside down in branches or on the lattice cover and slide out of their old shell. 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: HENKEL & SCHMIDT (2010): Taschenatlas Wirbellose für das Terrarium, Verlag Ulmer; ENGELMAN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch