Indonesian Bark Mantis (Theopompa servillei)

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Indonesian Bark Mantis
Theopompa servillei
Indonesian Bark Mantis (Theopompa servillei)
Name Indonesian Bark Mantis
Name Lat. Theopompa servillei
Family ---
Family lat. Liturgusidae
Order Praying Mantids
Order lat. Mantodea
Origin South and Southeast Asia
Habitat Rainforest
Diet Flying insects
Humidity 60-80 %
Behavior Predatory
Keeping Individual
Care Level Moderate
Housing Semi humid terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 8 months
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 5-6 cm
Temperature Day 26-28 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 20 x 20 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 2"-2.4"
Temperature Day 79-82 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 10" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The range of the Indonesian bark mantis extends from northern India through Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia to the Indonesian Islands. They inhabit tropical rainforests, where they live in the treetops on the trunk or on thick branches


For a female an insectarium of at least 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 branches of different thickness with smooth bark and pieces of bark (hiding places, visual protection), a substrate of sand-earth mixture (terrarium humus), which should always be kept slightly moist, and a small, shallow drinking vessel with water gel or a absorbent cotton drinker. Artificial or live plants and moss cushions are suitable for decoration...

The insectarium should be lightly sprayed with water daily, preferably in the evening. Waterlogging should be avoided.

Temp. day: 26-28 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 60-80

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


They are predatory and seize even larger prey, preferably flying insects, at lightning speed with their spiny tentacles. The food supply should consist of crickets, house crickets, flies (Drosophila, house flies) and grasshoppers, small butterflies but also moths, 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

Adult females are slightly larger than the slimmer males.

After mating, the female lays 5 egg packages (oothecae) after a few weeks. At a temperature of 26 °C and humidity of 70-80 %, 30-60 nymphs hatch each. They should be fed immediately with small fruit flies or microheims so that they do not eat each other (cannibalism).

After imaginal molting, the animals are ready to mate. After that their life expectancy is about 8 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

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 should correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and should be placed 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