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Chinese Praying Mantis

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Scientific name: Tenodera sinensis

The basics:
The Chinese Praying Mantis is a large mantid which is native to China but has been introduced to many other locations worldwide, including North America, to control pest insects. The Chinese Praying Mantis is commonly found in bushes and trees, and prey on other insects, including other mantids.

Appearance / health:
The Chinese mantis looks long and slender with different shades of brown. The adult has a green line down its top set of wings. It is typically larger than most other mantises, growing up to 4 inches in length, and are known as the largest species of mantid in North America.

Behavior / temperament:
The Chinese mantis is a great species for beginners. Not only is it large, but it’s also pretty tame, and will tolerate most handling.

Young nymphs do much better in vials 3 times as tall and 2 times as wide, as the mantis. For adults, anything between a 2 - 10 gallon tank will work for one mantis. Chinese Praying Mantis are highly cannibalistic and should be housed separately.
They will live happily at room temperature (68-75F). High humidity is not needed, but while young, spraying the enclosure 2-3 times a week will help overcome any problems while shedding the old skin. When the wing buds start to swell, or any other signs of shedding approach, it is best to spray the mantis at that point. Leaves and twigs are best inside the tank as it mostly resembles where they would be out in the wild.

Their diet consists primarily of other insects. Finding food small enough though, happens to be a hard part about keeping this species. Appropriately sized crickets and house flies are usually the best to feed. Newborn, first-instar, mantises are best kept communally and may not show an interest in feeding for the first 24-48 hours. Drosophila melanogater fruit flies are the best "first food" for hatchling mantises of most pet species. Breeding:
You can tell sex of these mantis by looking at the body segments; 8 segments for the male, and 6 or 7 for the female. Many people think sexing by antennae is a good way to tell, but it’s really not the best way. The antennae are very similar in both sexes and is often not accurate. When the Mantis goes through its final molt, usually about 2-3 weeks after that it’s ready to breed. Place the female at the top of a plant (normal house plant works fine) and the male a few inches away from her. Once the male gets interested in the female he will start jittering his antennae, and will slowly crawl up to the female. He will hop onto her back and then you will notice the male bending his abdomen around to connect with the female. They can spend many hours mating, but leave them for as long as they need. Interrupting the mating process can end in an unfertilized female. When they are finished the male will hop off to another part of the plant or may start to fly around. One last quick note: Make sure the female is well fed and full, otherwise she may eat the male before, during, or after mating.

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Member photos

from breeders/sellers

(Breeders and sellers have to jump through hoops to get RightPet listings, literally, we make them do circus tricks. Unfortunately no one has met our high acrobatic standards for this animal yet, but hopefully they will soon!)

from shelters/rescues

(We've had no luck finding any of these frisky fellas so far, even though we've put up wanted posters and everything! But don't worry, we're working on it!)

Zoo Med Naturalistic Bush Plant Australian Maple, Large

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