Ghost Mantis

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Scientific name: Phyllocrania paradoxa

The basics:
The Ghost Mantis is a small species of praying mantis from Africa, which is remarkable for its leaf-like body. It is the sole member of the genus Phyllocrania.

Appearance / health:
Compared to many other Mantodea, the ghost mantis is a "miniature species" growing to only 45 to 50 millimetres (1.8 to 2.0 in) long. It comes in various brownish shades from very dark brown (almost black) to greenish gray. An individual's colors change between molts and are also dependent on light and humidity levels.

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. Ghost mantises are considered one of the more communal mantis species. They tend not to cannibalize, even when underfed.

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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