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.

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.

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