Praying Mantis

The Praying Mantis is a perfect beginner pet and is very simple to care for. This beautiful insect is a master of disguise and is at its most active during the day. Mantises love their live food and sunlight, and as long as they’re healthy and happy you’ve got yourself a great friend.

Praying Mantis


  • Behaviour: Diurnal (active during the day)
  • Diet: Insectivore (eats insects)
  • Ease of care: Beginner
  • Handling: Beginner
  • Humidity: 60-90%
  • Life span: Average 1 year (varies depending on specific species)
  • Origin: Worldwide
  • Potential adult size: Up to 6 Inches (varies depending on specific species)
  • Scientific name: Mantodea

Top Tips

  • Mantises drink water drink droplets from leaves so make sure that you mist your terrarium with a spray bottle
  • These insects need wood and branches for climbing over and sleeping under
  • For the most part mantises are content with room temperature and don’t even need a hot spot
  • Mantises eat other insects, and their size will determine the size of their food


Like humans, Praying Mantises are active during the day and they sleep at night. This means that the light and temperature in their terrariums needs to match that of the room they’re in. Their ideal background temperature is 22-25℃, and at night 22℃ will do just fine. 

Unlike many other terrarium-based critters, mantises don’t need a hot spot, so you won't need any additional heating unless your room temperature drops below these guides. If this does happen, you can add a HabiStat Heat Mat, which can be stuck to the outside wall of the glass terrarium along with the Habistat Mat Stat. These can be used all day long or only at night, with the mat thermostat automatically regulating the temperature. Do make sure to place the probe correctly though as your mantis may overheat, potentially causing injury. Also make sure to check temperature regularly – ideally with a reliable thermometer and hygrometer – to make sure that any fluctuations are minimal.

To help your mantis rise and shine, yet sleep soundly at night, put a ShadeDweller on top of the mesh on the glass terrarium. A JungleDawn LED Bar will imitate sunlight and help your terrarium plants to grow, as well as support the day and night cycle. Just make sure that all lamps are fitted correctly and at the right distance as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The décor in your tank is where you can get playful! Your mantis will really appreciate some quality spider bedding to be comfy on. Wood, branches and cork bark are great for climbing on, and hiding and sleeping under; and live or artificial plants will make the space even lovelier, helping to create a little ecosystem.


There are simple things you should do daily to keep your mantis happy and healthy - mist the foliage, spot clean, and check for blockages on the vents to ensure that air can freely pass through.

Every week, remove dirty bedding and give the rest a good shake to prevent bacteria building up. Don’t forget to wipe the glass walls with a reptile-safe disinfectant.

Each month you’ll need to do a deeper clean by completely replacing the bedding, and wiping down and disinfecting the terrarium along with its décor.

Remember: always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with warm water and disinfectant immediately before and after cleaning, feeding or handling your mantis, their terrarium and other equipment.

Equipment Needed

  • HabiStat Glass Terrarium 20x20x30cm (HGT2030) or 30x30x45cm (HGT3045)
  • Heat Mat (when cold)
  • Habistat Mat Stat
  • Arcadia Pro T5 UVB Kit ShadeDweller
  • Habistat Spider Bedding
  • Spray Bottle


Praying Mantises are insectivores, which means they eat insects. To give them a delicious and nutritious diet, treat them to a variety of live insects during the day when they are active.

The size of your mantis will determine the size of its food. Smaller mantises are more than happy to munch on fruit flies and pinhead crickets. Larger ones will delight in suitably sized crickets, roaches, calci-worms and locusts.

To keep your pet hydrated simply regularly mist the foliage in the glass terrarium. The good news is that if you feed it correctly, your insect won’t need any additional supplementation.



Additional Information

Praying Mantises are originally from tropical or dry areas but nowadays they are found pretty much everywhere around the world. These insects also have a very flexible joint between the head and prothorax that lets them turn their head 180°

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