Praying mantises, referred to as mantids, are a fascinating species of insect to keep. Though the American versions are much smaller than their Asian cousins, they are still large enough to keep track of and small enough to easily house. As such they make an interesting and exotic pet and require very little maintenance. Thanks to the Internet many different species of mantid can be easily purchased from all around the world. This guide will explain how to order online and house a praying mantis.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Internet connection
- Credit card
- aper towels
- Transparent plastic containers 1021gr minimum
- Mesh lids
- Rubber bands
- Fruit flies
- Spray water bottle
- Distilled water
Use your computer to search online using the phrase "Buy A Praying Mantis". This will give you plenty of possible sites to choose the mantis you want. Insectstore.com has a wide variety of species available and is very trustworthy.
Give the site your credit card and shipping information, making sure to get a notice of shipment and bill of sale. Keep these in case the mantis never arrives or doesn't survive transport. This is rare, mantids are tough little guys.
Also be sure to purchase foods for the mantis. When young they will eat primarily wingless fruit flies. As they grow they graduate to adult fruit flies and small crickets. Full grown mantids prey on adult crickets and most any other insect they can manage to kill. You can get crickets online or buy them at bait and tackle shops. Also any insects you catch while outdoors can supplement the mantid's diet.
Build the mantid's home using a plastic container which should be able to hold no less than 1021gr. Line the bottom of the container with a paper towel. This should be replaced periodically as it will become saturated with the mantid's waste and moulted shells. The lid of the container should be made of metal mesh, the vinyl mesh used to cover patios is also acceptable.
When the mantis arrives place it in the container and secure the mesh lid with several rubber bands. make sure the sides of the lid are held down tightly.
Feed the mantis daily and use the spray bottle to spritz the underside of the mesh lid with distilled water once every three or four days. Though mantid's gets most of the water they need from the insects they eat, the humidity helps keep their exoskeleton from drying out and flaking off, which can lead to fatal infections.
Ordering A Praying Online
Tips and warnings
- Though no species of mantid can harm a human being, some are aggressive toward each other and should be housed separately.
- Immature and larval mantids should be separated from adults. The adults will eat the little ones.
- Mantids are not particularly long lived, lasting about a year at most, so don't get too attached to one.
- If trying to mate mantids, be aware the male will likely be killed in the process by the female.
- When feeding your mantis insects you caught be aware that if that insect has come into contact with any pesticides, it will sicken and kill the mantis.
- If the container your mantis lives in is too big it may be unable to find its dinner and starve to death.
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