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African Twig Mantis

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Scientific name: Popa spurca

The basics:
The African Twig Mantis is a species of praying mantis native to Africa. It takes its common name from its resemblance to twig from a woody plant. P. spurca is the only species in the genus Popa.

Appearance / health:
Female Popa spurca grow up to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long, and males to 7 cm (2.8 in).

Behavior / temperament:
African Twig Mantis are usually docile and easy going. They may get aggressive while feeding. Handling is not recommended as they can fall and get injured.

Housing:
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.

Diet:
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.