Keeping Praying Mantids - Mantis Housing and Habitat
Mantids can only be kept together while very young, and a few species when adult. This is because mantids are canalbalistic and will eat each other!
You do not need a large expensive cage
While they are young, they will be happy in a small plastic fish tank or equivalent suitable container. Put fine netting over the top and place a twig inside so the nymph has something to hang off. Most mantids will hang upside down to mimic live/dead leaves (this is what most species look like).
The praying mantis needs room shed its skin
If there is not enough space to hang upside down and slip out of their old skin, the mantis may become stuck and can either be slightly deformed after the shed or could even die! As the mantis start to shed and grow in size, simply move them into into larger housing such as sweet jars. When adult, place them in a large clear fish tank or equivelant container with plenty of twigs and leaves. The temperature should be 20C to 25C as they do come from tropical countries. This temperature seems to suit every species and allows the mantids to grow at a steady pace.
Spray the mantis with a fine mist of water every week (everyday while young nymphs) to keep it slightly humid in the container. In the summer, this may have to be carried out more frequently, due to the excess heat. Try not to spray too much water into the container, as this could cause mould to form.
If you like you can place false or real plants around the tank to recreate the mantids natural environment. This will not only make the tank look more attractive but increase the welfare for the mantis.