Praying Mantis insects are amazing alien like beings. They are unlike any other insect as they do not normally evade humans by running away and hiding like other insects do. Even mantids in the wild do not seem to fear humans. Mantids raised in captivity enjoy the company of their human keeper and they really seem to enjoy the company of children and adults alike. Praying Mantis insects are highly intelligent, some hobbyists even swear that mantids are psychic! They do seem to know your next move. Pet mantids will amaze all who decide to raise these wonderful creatures. Each mantis has a unique personality, some seem to seek more human attention more than others, but all seem to enjoy human companionship. If you plan to "hold" your mantis, read the information below first and see the handling mantids section. You must not be at all afraid of a mantis. Anyone who is afraid of a mantis insect must not be allowed to handle them. For those who are afraid, it is look, but don't touch. Always make sure that your mantis has been well fed and has been offered water prior to handling. Offer food, if the mantis accepts, feed all they will capture and eat. After feeding, offer some purified water with one mist on the surface surrounding the mantis. Allow the mantis to drink all it wants. After feeding and watering, allow the mantis to step up onto your fingertip.Tiny hatchlings may scatter away at first, but they become completely calm and tame within 15 minutes or so. The baby mantids enjoy sitting on your fingertip, swaying from side to side, seemingly dancing. Adult mantids like to sit on your hand, on your arm and some will even perch on your shoulder and sit completely still. The mantids make direct eye contact with you while sitting on your fingertip or on a mantis perch you provide on your desk. If mantids are well fed prior to being allowed out of the container for a while, they will not roam. They will sit on a comfortable perch and visit with you. Looking around allot. Mantids like to climb upward, which should be kept in mind when picking them up. Some mantids are very brave and will jump at your face and land on your chest, if you raise such a mantis, you must understand that they intend no harm when they do this. Mantids are kind and gentle creatures when they are hand raised indoors. Even a wild collected mantis can become tame in a short time. Mantids very rarely bite humans. Only one out of thousands of mantids have bitten me. The bite did not hurt and the mantis nibbled only because the mantis was thirsty. I was new to raising Mantids at that time. I now feed and water mantids well before handling. They are much more calm and easier to handle when they have been fed and watered prior to handling so be sure to do the same with your pet mantids. Some mantids are very aggressive towards prey, some are very timid and will actually starve if they are not hand fed. Tiny hatchlings feed on small wingless fruit flies. Some mantis species' such as the B Brunneria stick mantis and the G Grisea Bark Mantis must be fed micro insects such as spring tails or mites before they can handle even the tiniest of fruit flies. T Sinensis (Chinese Mantids) and Stagmomantis species' will easily capture and eat fruit flies and 1 week old micro crickets. See more details on food in Chapter 3, Feeding mantids. Mantids make excellent pets, they are so intelligent and entertaining that you will forget your pet mantis is an insect. Welcome to the mantis hobby!

1. Your first pet mantis
2. Handling your pet mantis
3. Outdoor and Indoor Mantids ~ Housing Mantids
4. Temperature, ventilation and humidity
5. Feeding mantids
6. Molts and growth
7. Breeding and ootheca (egg case) production
8. Ootheca Incubation ~ Hatching Mantis Eggs
9. Hazards and dangers to avoid when raising a pet mantis
10. Legal information ~ Mantis Species' ~ Legal U.S. Native / USDA Accepted Adventive Mantids vs. non native invasive illegal Foreign Mantids
11. Praying Mantis and Mantis Ootheca identification, Short list of U.S. Native Praying Mantis
12. Special techniques
13. History of the praying mantis in human culture
14. Basic mantis physiology
HOME ~ Return to the front cover page of the guide to raising U.S. Native Praying Mantis Insects