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Giant Praying Mantis

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Giant Asian Praying Mantis

Giant Praying Mantis

Name Dutch: Giant Praying Mantis
Scientific name: Hierodula Membranacea
Age: Several weeks to months
Height: Men no larger than 8 cm and women up to 9 cm
Day temperature: Average 25 degrees
Humidity: 40-70%
Activity: Day active
Legislation: None
Stay: Terrariums
Recommended Dimension: 20 x 20 x 30 cm

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The Giant Praying Mantis (also known as the "Giant Asian Mantis" or "Hierodula membranacea") is a striking insect with a wide range of color variations. Specimens kept in captivity can be light green, yellow, fawn or brown, depending on the environment and conditions in which they are kept.

It is one of the largest species of praying mantis successfully kept in captivity, which explains their popularity with insect enthusiasts. Females are generally larger than males, and this difference in size and shape between the sexes is a common feature in praying mantises.

Males have narrower bodies and slightly longer wings, while females are wider and have wings that reach down to the abdomen. These wings can be striking and beautifully textured, often with intriguing patterns and colors, serving as visual cues to attract mates during the mating season.

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Holding A Praying Mantis

Feeding and Hunting

The Giant Praying Mantis hunts for prey using a typical "sit-and-wait" hunting strategy, common among praying mantises. This hunting technique is also known as "ambush predation". Here's how it works:

  1. camouflage: The Giant Praying Mantis is excellently camouflaged thanks to its color and shape, making it virtually invisible among leaves, branches or other vegetation in its natural environment. It can adapt perfectly to the color of its surroundings, allowing it to set up a clever ambush for its prey.
  2. Sit and wait: Once camouflaged, the praying mantis will sit still on a leaf, branch, or other surface. It uses its long and thin front legs to hold on to the substrate, keeping it inconspicuous and undetected by potential prey.
  3. Attack: When an unsuspecting insect or small animal comes within range of the Giant Praying Mantis, it strikes with lightning speed. With its sharp front legs, it grabs its prey with precision and power. These legs act as grabbers and are equipped with thorns to hold prey firmly.
  4. Catch and food processing: Once the prey is captured, the mantis uses its strong jaws to immobilize and sometimes even digest it while it is still alive. This process is known as "partial external digestion". Then the praying mantis uses its saliva to apply the digestive enzymes to the prey, which breaks down the tissue and makes it easier to digest. Then he can aspirate and feed the soft tissue.

This hunting strategy is extremely effective, mainly because of the camouflage and element of surprise. The Giant Praying Mantis is able to capture prey quickly and efficiently, making it a successful and formidable predator in its ecosystem.

Praying Mantis Eating

Feeding a Giant Praying Mantis 

Nutrition plays an essential role in caring for your Giant Praying Mantis. Praying mantises are true carnivores and in captivity you must feed them with an appropriate diet. As true carnivores, they have a diet consisting of a variety of live insects, such as mealworms, fruit flies, cockroaches and small crickets up to size 3.

Feed your Giant Praying Mantis on average 3 times a week to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. Keep a feeding schedule yourself to prevent overfeeding, as this can cause health problems with a fatal outcome.

It is also important to remove uneaten prey from the enclosure to avoid disturbance during the molt and prevent the diet from mistaking your mantis for a potential snack.


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Holding a Giant Praying Mantis

Keeping a Giant Praying Mantis as a pet can be a fascinating experience for insect lovers. They have intriguing behavior and their imposing appearance make them a favorite among hobbyists. However, carefully meeting their natural needs is critical to providing a healthy living environment.

Furnishing a suitable terrarium is of great importance to provide a comfortable living environment. We recommend choosing a special insect terrarium that is at least 3 times the length of the animal in height and at least 2 times the length in width. A size terrarium that is often chosen is 20x20x30cm.

Provide plenty of climbing opportunities, such as plants, fake plants and branches, to help the Giant Praying Mantis feel comfortable. In addition, it is important to ensure a temperature of about 25 °C, with a night-time drop to at least 18 °C. Humidity levels of 40% to 70% should be maintained, with regular spraying of water helping to maintain proper humidity levels.

Praying Mantis Holding

Care of your Giant Praying Mantis

The feeding schedule is essential as Giant Praying Mantises are carnivores. Providing a varied diet of live prey ensures that they get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

By drinking drops of water from its habitat, a Giant Praying Mantis ensures that it stays hydrated. That is why it is important to spray your terrarium regularly with a fine mist, so that small water droplets are deposited on the leaves and surfaces. Your praying mantis can then ingest these drops to rehydrate itself.

Remove faeces and any food scraps from the terrarium to keep it clean. We recommend completely replacing your terrarium's bedding every 6 to 8 weeks. Do this carefully so as not to disturb your praying mantis! Regular maintenance ensures that your praying mantis is in a healthy and hygienic environment.


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