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Twig Praying Mantis

Twig Praying Mantis
Popa spurca

The Twig Praying Mantis is a fascinating praying mantis that imitates a small stick.

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What does a Twig Mantis look like?

Just like a twig that has fallen from a tree branch. Every part of this Mantis is camouflaged. They have matching bumps and growth rings and even the eyes look like wood!

From young Nymphs to Adults their colour is normally a dark brown, but this can sometimes range into a tan colour. Adult females only have wings that cover approx. half of the abdomen and they measure 65mm. Males are thinner and smaller, only measuring 50mm.
The front arms are large and have a yellow colour on the inside. The length of the arms allow them to catch prey nearly its own size, as they are very aggressive towards food.

When disturbed, immediately they adopt a camouflage display. The front arms stick straight in front and they sometimes wobble side to side. If they feel threatened, they will throw themselves to the ground and lay motionless!

Where are Twig Mantids from?

They are found in parts of Africa, mainly the South! They like a temperature of 25-30C (77-86F). They can be kept just above room temperature, but over the winter a heat mat/pad may be required. Don't spray them with water too often, once a week will be fine, try to keep the humidity level at 40-50%.

Is the Twig Praying Mantis easy to keep?

Yes! They love their food, so feeding isn't a problem as they will eat anything that crawls. They will chase their food which is funny to watch! Feed them on anything you can find in the garden, a varied diet is always best. Over winter, buy insects from the site or your local pet shop: crickets, locust, mealworms and wax worms.

Provide this Mantis with a set-up of twigs, branches and some greenery, maybe use some tree bark for the back of the cage to make it look more realistic for the Mantis!

Don't keep these together, only while very young as they are aggressive such eaters and we're sure they will eat each other.

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