Praying Mantis Information
Praying Mantids are a ferocious predator that goes after many pests. The Praying Mantids are a beneficial insect that has six legs, two wings and two antennae. They also have some special features which makes them very unique. Praying Mantids have the ability to turn there heads 360 degrees! No other insect can turn its head 360 degrees, for other insects necks are too rigid to allow it. Praying Mantids also have bizarre modified front legs; these front legs are referred to as raptorial or raptor like, which are wonderful for grabbing and consuming its prey. These arms are extremely strong and have sharp spikes used to keep a firm hold on its prey. Most species of Praying Mantids have wings however some species do not. Female Praying Mantids usually cannot or will not fly, but male Praying Mantids will and are excellent territorial stalkers of insects. They will spend up to a couple days tracking and waiting to catch their prey. The Praying Mantids use its amazing head to keep its prey in its sight. The head of the Praying Mantids stimulates special receptor that sends out nerve impulses that instantly adjust to the distance and angle of the Praying Mantids prey, allowing it to strike quickly and lethally. The Mantids will deliver a powerful bite to the neck of pest, killing the insect and will ingest its meal. The Praying Mantids are awesome, bizarre and truly a wonderful predator to pests, which helps to control garden pests the natural and organic way.
The expected life span of a praying mantis depends on the species, but the maximum is about a year for the entire life cycle. However, most will only live as adults for about 6 months (less for some species).
Release Instructions for Praying Mantis
Once you have made it home with your insects, you may store them in a refrigerator but DO NOT FREEZE THEM. If stored in a refrigerator, the Mantis eggs will remain unhatched. However we recommend releasing before August. Hatching later than this may not give the baby Mantids time to mature and reproduce before the winter freeze. There are two different approaches to releasing, specifically designed for outdoor or indoor release. Each egg case will hatch about 50-200 baby Mantids.
Outdoor hatching: We recommend tying a string to the piece of the twig the egg case was originally spun around. Hang the egg case about 1 foot off the ground. Once the egg begins to hatch babies will crawl from between tiny flaps in the case and use a silken thread to climb down to the ground or onto surrounding plants. Once the egg has hatched it will be very hard to tell that it has hatched. The babies will disperse and find an area in your yard to call home and the egg case will look the same to most untrained eyes. If you want to make sure they hatch we recommend using the indoor hatching application.
Indoor hatching: Place the eggs of the Praying Mantids in separate clear containers and keep them in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Praying Mantids eggs need at least to be in 70 degrees for 2-3 weeks to get through their incubation period to hatch. However do be patient for it can take up to 8 weeks to hatch, depending on when the mother Praying Mantids have laid their eggs.
Praying Mantids eggs are a large spongy case that protects the eggs that the female Mantids attach onto leaves or branches. When hatching, the young Mantids crawl from between tiny flaps in the egg case and hang from silken threads about 2 inches below the egg case. After drying out, the young will disperse into their surroundings. This will happen within an hour or two. It is very difficult to know if hatching has occurred, unless the elusive and well camouflaged young are found.
Frequently Asked Praying Mantis Questions
Question: What do praying mantis eat?
Answer: Chinese Mantids will eat Drosophila melanogaster and similar small flies. As they grow larger, Mantids will accept House Flies, Blue Bottle Flies and small roaches. Praying Mantids will also consume caterpillars, cockroaches, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, flies, bees and wasps. As they grow larger however they can consume small reptiles and amphibians.
Question: How many Mantis hatch per egg case?
Answer: Each Praying Mantid egg pod or sack can hatch from 50 to 200 baby PrayingMantis.
Question: Can a child take care of a pet mantis?
Answer: Yes, the children can however we recommend that the child is supervised by an adult. From around 11 – 12 years old a child should be able to care for a praying mantis by their self but please advice them to handle with care. A younger child would most likely need help with feeding, adjusting the temperature and the humidity, with cleaning and health checks.
Question: I put my Mantis eggs out and they never hatched! I never saw one baby mantis even after waiting for maximum hatching time of 8 weeks! Did I get a bad egg?
Answer: Although you may think you have gotten a bad egg, generally this is not the case. Praying Mantids eggs do not break open or crack like normal eggs when they hatch. Instead, baby Mantids, less than a quarter inch, force their way out of vents / flaps in the spongy egg shell. Baby Mantids are very hard to see in the environment, so even if you haven’t seen any, chances are that your eggs did hatch. The baby Mantids blend in with their surroundings until they reach adulthood and unless you were monitoring the entire hatching process, then you may not seen them.
Question: How can I make sure that my Mantis Egg Case hatches?
Answer: In order to monitor hatching, we recommend to all of our customers to execute indoor hatching as that is the only way to have full control over the hatching process. Please refer to the above hatching methods for details.
Question: How long does it take a mantids to reach adulthood?
Answer: Praying mantids can take up to five months to reach adulthood.