If you think only humans pray, you may just be wrong. Praying mantises, as the name implies, say their prayers too – their front legs clasped together in what appears to be an act of devotion. If you’re into insects, especially live ones, a live praying mantis pet would certainly be fun to keep and watch.
This Chinese praying mantis is a great species if you’re just venturing into the world of insects as it is very easy to keep in captivity. Apart from being large, it is docile and will not have much of a problem with you handling it. Worried about what your new pet will feed on? For a start, your new buddy would be fine with Hydei Fruit Flies, but as he grows, he’ll eat bigger insects like cockroaches, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, and crickets. And some of these insects come around every now and then.
This species will do well in average weather conditions, but 20-26 C (68-78.8 F), or just room temperature would be best. Under warmer temperatures, its metabolism would speed up and that could shorten its lifespan. On the other hand, cooler temperatures would lengthen its lifespan by slowing down its metabolism. Whatever you choose, be sure not to roast your mantis or freeze it – either extreme temperature would be dangerous.
Live Praying Mantis Pet Facts
Try sneaking up on a praying mantis, and you may be shocked to see it turning its head to look at you – a whole 180 degrees. No other insect can achieve this amazing feat. A flexible joint located between the head and prothorax enables them to swivel their heads. No matter how long you keep one, you will always be fascinated by this.
The word “mantis” is derived from the Greek “mantikos,” a word for soothsayer or prophet. These insects strike some as possessing a degree of spirituality, especially when they are waiting for their prey and seem to be praying for a successful hunt.
Female praying mantises cannibalize their mates. Sometimes, they’ll decapitate the poor guy before they start mating. Sounds like the worst pervert I could think of. And surprisingly, the male mantis seems to have its game up a notch when its head is off because the brain which controls the rest of the body, including anything that could give it a measure of self-control, is no longer there to provide any form of restraint. That allows the abdominal ganglion which is responsible for copulation to perform without any inhibition.
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