African Lined Mantis

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Other common names: Giant African Mantis; Ghana Mantis; Afrikanische Gottesanbeterin

Scientific name: Sphodromantis lineola

The basics:
The African Lined Mantis is a member of the Mantidae family which is native to sub-Saharan Africa. Sphodromantis lineola live in trees and bushes and use their bodies as camouflage to hide as they wait to prey on insects.

The African Lined Mantis is one of the most commonly kept pet Mantids. They are aggressive predators, and are easy to feed. However, like all Mantids, Sphodromantis lineola are cannibalistic, and only one individual should be kept in an enclosure.

Appearance / health:
This is not a very large, or colorful mantis. Their color is usually a dark brown color or a bright green color. Average size for this mantis is usually between 3-4 inches. Females are always larger than the males. Sphodromantis lineola can be distinguished from Sphodromantis baccettii by the lack of blue-black spots on its forearms.

Behavior / temperament:
African Mantids are usually docile and easy going. They are only aggressive while feeding; they usually don‘t let the food hit the ground before catching it. Handling is not recommended as they can fall and get injured. These are very active mantids and make wonderful additions to anyone’s collection; beginner or expert alike.

Ideal enclosures would be fully ventilated and three times the size of the mantis itself. Usually a pre-made or handmade 10 gallon fully ventilated enclosure works fine. Younger specimens may be kept in similar enclosures, just smaller.
Temperatures should be kept around 70-85F with humidity levels around 60-70%. Substrate is not important but may be potting soil, coco fiber, or any soil like substrate. Tank décor is the most important and should be a variety of twigs, branches, vines, and fake (or live) plants. They also need a fully horizontal branch with room underneath it so they can hang upside down during molting.

Adults should be offered variety especially before breeding time. Offer crickets, flies, moths, and other insects. Babies should be offered fruit flies, pin head crickets, and other small insects. If more than one are being housed together, always make sure food is abundant to prevent cannibalism.

Two weeks following their last molt, these mantids are ready to breed. Make sure both male and female mantids are well fed, then introduce the male into the females enclosure. If the female is receptive, she will allow the male to jump on her back and begin copulation. Copulation can last from one hour up to one full day. Once the male is finished he will run for dear life so the female will not eat him. Once the female lays her egg case, keep it just the same as the adults enclosure temperature and humidity wise. After 4-6 weeks later, 100s of nymphs will begin to hatch. Care for the babies, just as this care sheet suggests.


common exotic pet, large mantis species


violet eyes, active hunting behaviour, African wild version

African Lined Mantis Health Tip

African Lined Mantis

From DLlE Sep 2 2012 9:54AM


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