The Ghost Praying Mantis is a madagascan praying mantis with leaf like projections on the legs and head.
This small species grows to aprox. 45-50mm in length when adult. They look similar to the Dead Leaf Mantis, looking like a dead dried up leaf.
A twisted leaf protrudes from the head and on the prothorax (neck) it is flattened with pointed triangular extensions on each side. The walking legs have broken leaf shaped lobes attached and the abdomen also has extensions on either side. Veins run through the wings when adult, making them able to camouflage even better! The colours range from an almost black to a light tan. The males are easily recognised compared to the females, due to their long antennae, almost transparent wings and olive colour.
These are a long-lived Mantis, shedding their skin like other species aprox. every 3-5 weeks until the 4th shed. From here on they eat infrequently and the last shed before adult hood can take aprox. 2 months.
They come from Africa and Madagascar. This species likes to be kept warm at a temperature of 25-30C (77-86F). A heat mat may be needed during the winter months, but in summer you should be fine at room temperature - make sure they are not kept near any drafts! While young spray them 5 -7 times a week with a fine mister. When nearly adult take this down to aprox. 3 times a weeks.
Adult male Ghost Praying Mantis posing for the camera
If you have the correct temperature and fancy a new species, then get one!
They are not like most other Mantids where you must keep them separate due to cannibalism, these live happily in groups and rarely attach each other. Feed them on flying insects if possible, as they will not run after their prey - they are a 'sit and wait' Mantis. If you do feed them crickets/locust etc. make sure the food can get to the Mantis, as they will normally hang from a branch or plant.
You will find while young they eat a large amount of food, but as they become older they eat infrequently as mentioned above. When females are adult, they will eat like no tomorrow - everyday if food is offered!!!
The set up should have plenty of places for this Mantis to hang from, sticks and false plants. They are always hanging upside down so try to provide them with a tall container.
You can keep them together, they eat foods that are only roughly the same size as their heads - mainly flies etc. These live happily toether from newly hatched upto adult hood. The males will hop onto the females backs all the time and this doesn't bother the females one bit!