Keeping Baby Praying Mantids - Mantis Nymphs
Some information on keeping praying mantis nymphs.
The sizes of nymphs depend on their age and species. When the nymphs hatch from their egg (Ootheca), they are very tiny, anything from 5mm - 10mm in size. At this stage they can be very difficult to raise while so small, eating aphids and small fruit flies.
We recommend purchasing a nymph when it starts feeding on micro/small crickets. By this age, the nymph has gone through its most hazardous and challenging stage of its life. The nymph will have moulted at least two or three times, so will be slightly larger in size and easier to keep. As the nymphs grow up, they can start to eat larger foods such as meat flies, wax worms and small locus.
Although they rarely drink water, you should spray the nymphs at least once a day, so they may drink if needed (only while young). Some species do need more moisture then others, so spraying is ideal. The water also helps with humidity, and when young, this needs to be slightly higher so they have no problems in moulting. This again, is a hazardous time for a young nymph. So a wet piece of cotton wool can be placed at the bottom of the container to help. The nymphs have to go through several stages of sheads before becoming adults.