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Lifespan of a Praying Mantis

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by JacenBeers, Sep 3, 2002.

  1. JacenBeers

    JacenBeers Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I have had my praying Mantis for three months now. SHe was a nymph when I got her but she recently had her last molt into adulthood and has beautiful wings. She just layed her eggsac. Does anybody know how much longer she has to live once she has layed her eggs? SHe still has quite an appetite.
  2. johns

    johns Arachnoknight Old Timer


    Once they deposit an ootheca, their time's very limited (i.e. under four months).

    The ooth is infertile as well, I think, unless you forgot to mention the presence of an introduced male.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2002
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Wade

    Wade Arachnoking Old Timer

    She will probably lay more eggs...she may drop between 6 and eight ootheca before it's all over. It's no too late to find a male!

  4. Tarangela

    Tarangela Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    I hate to bring this thread back to life, but I have some real questions here!!

    I captured a female praying mantis the other week, and have been keeping her. She has ate A LOT and before she laid, what I guess is eggs, she was VERY agressive. Spreading wings, and attacking every move I made!! It was unreal! The next morning, there was this brown, hard, gooey cocoon looking thing stuck on the side of the cage (wire). It is about the size of a quarter I guess.

    Is that her eggs? Since I got her from the wild, is it fertile? If it is, when will they hatch, what do they look like, etc.?? I have no idea how to take care of baby mantis?! And she has eaten like 5 crickets a night?!

  5. Sounds like eggs to me. They will hatch in a few weeks if kept warm. If you aren't ready for them to hatch, you can put it in the refrigerator until you are.
  6. Tarangela

    Tarangela Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    Great :p What do I do w/ a bunch of baby mantis???
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
  7. Separate them and feed small pinhead crix and/or fruit flies. Giv them plenty of ventilation. Mist them some too. You don't need any substrate but you will want to have a stick, artificial plant leaf etc for them to climb on. I have kept mantids nearly every summer since 1979. The babys are kinda delicate so expect a few of them to die off.
    I got a real good book while back from Swift Inverts. It's called Mantids: Keeping Aliens. It is only $10 and has much useful info.

    Look for the threads Carolina Mantid and Chinese Mantid Appreciation Thread. I posted some mantid pics there.

    Good luck ;)
  8. Another question about Mandid lifespans....

    Hey everyone. I just recently ordered a pretty good book on mantids, but withe the recent passing of my mantis friend, I have found myself in need of more immediate answers.
    My Questions:

    How long will a mantid live if it does not lay an egg sac (let's just say it was born in captivity and never given the chance to mate)?

    Is it possible/likely that the mantid would die immediately after laying the ootheca?

    Is there a way to determine the virility of the egg sacs?

    Thanks a bunch,
  9. Wade

    Wade Arachnoking Old Timer

    Mantids will lay ootheca wether they've mated or not. They won't be fertile if they haven't mated (unless it's B. borealis). I don't think it effects their lifespan either way.

    Most species will lay more than one before death, but there may be exceptions. If it was an adult when collected, it may have already laid several before you found it.

    I don't know of any way to check the fertility, but if the female was adult when captured there's a good chance any oothec would be fertile.

  10. Thank you so much! I also received some good advice from the folks at InsectAdventures.com, so I think I'm as prepared as possible for whatever may happen with these ootheca.

    Thank you again!!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ghost_tomb

    ghost_tomb Arachnoknight Old Timer

    i've heard that all mantis egg's are fertile and the babies are clones of the female???
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jezzy607

    jezzy607 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    You were given incorrect info. I have been keeping mantids for a long time, and have had MANY unfertilized oothecae from over a half a dozen species including Sphodromantis lineola, Miomantis paykullii, Parasphendale agrionina, Phyllocrania paradoxa, Tenedora sinensis, Stagmomantis carolina, and Deroplatys desiccata, and not a single unfertilized ootheca has hatched! On the other hand, all of my fertilized oothecae have hatched. Supposedly it happens, but very very very rarely! There are a couple of species that strictly reproduce by parthenogenesis (Brunneria borealis) and have no males.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. fuzzy_spider

    fuzzy_spider Arachnopeon

    I was given a Female Mantis.

    I am so sorry to ressurect this thread, but I was just curious. I understand that egg sacs of any kind affect the lifespan of the female mantid. However, let's just say - IN GENERAL - What is the lifespan of a male and female mantid?!!!! I just want a rounded number if possible. Thanks all.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2005
    • Like Like x 1
  14. jezzy607

    jezzy607 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    It has everything to do with what species you have! I am assuming you have a locally caught species (e.g. Mantis religiosa, Tenodera a. sinensis, or Stagmomantis carolina ), if it is any of these, the females will live an average of 3 more months(in captivity) plus or minus a month. The males will live an average of one more month(in captivity) plus or minus 3 weeks.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. missd

    missd Arachnopeon

    Seems like this thread is very old so I hope someone still responds... I have a preying mantis whom I found with a broken leg, I've had her for over a month now, she has laid an ootheca, after which she continued to eat crickets then, she stopped eating altogether - for about a week, I thought she would die, she seemed very weak.... until, today.... she ate a moth I offered her...

    Any idea what's going on with her...
    much appreciated !
    Oh - I believe she's the Chinese variety, small brownish green...
    • Like Like x 1
  16. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoprince Active Member

    Mantids slow right down towards the end. Eventually she'll just stop eating. They become clumsy and uncoordinated and lose their ability to grip. They lie down on the floor and die.

    It's bloody horrible.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. UltimateDracoMeteor

    UltimateDracoMeteor Arachnosquire

    It sucks that praying mantises' lives are so short. They would make such great companions if they lived 10 years!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. Spidermolt

    Spidermolt Arachnoknight

    It's "bloody horrible" but completely true like basin79 said. at this time of year they are all pretty much doomed no matter what.

    Before arachnids I specialized in mantids and mid spring to late October is pretty much the standard life for mantids (meaning the dawn of warmth to the first sign of frost). There's a decent chance that the ootheca is fertile but unfortunately your mantis has reached the end of its life. The best thing you can do now is try to keep the mother as comfortably as possible til she meets her end and then put the ootheca outside in a safe place so it can "weather" until next spring where you can then watch them hatch and then collect a specimen or two to rear.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Hello guys !!!
    I have a wild praying mantis that hangs around my front and back porch ... it looks like a juvenile to me, looks pretty healthy to me ... if I wanted to make it offerings what would I give it .

    Why do praying mantis die after laying their eggs ... what does not allow them to live for more han one year ?

    I apologize for my childish questions but I truly want to know and understand :). Thank you
  20. blacksheep998

    blacksheep998 Arachnosquire

    That's simply how their life cycle works. It's extremely common, and not just among insects. Many animals and plants die after reproducing. Even some mammals.

    Biologists have spent years trying to figure out the exact reason so many creatures do this, and have come up with any number of theories. Sometimes the breeding process is simply too destructive to their bodies to live very long afterwards. In other cases it seems that limited resources means that for the offspring to thrive, their parents have to 'get out of the way' so to speak.

    With many small animals though, their odds of long term survival simply aren't good enough to build a body that can last very long. All evolution cares about is how many offspring you can produce, and if your time is limited due to predation or approaching winter then evolution will select for the individuals that produce the most eggs in the shortest amount of time, and will do so at the cost of everything else.
    • Informative Informative x 1