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Introduction & Books about mantis care

Praying mantises are enjoying growing popularity in exotic pet keeping. You can often find them on terraristic shows, occasionally in zoo shops and increasingly online. They are also excellent pets for children and adolescents, as they can learn how to handle and care for a living being – with little space and time.

They are cheap to buy and maintain, take up little space and are easy to keep.

The commercially available species represent only a small part of the immense variety of colours and shapes of this group of animals. Not only their extraordinary appearance, but also the easy-to-realize housing parameters make them a grateful roommate. As lurking hunters they have a relatively low urge to move, making some species also suitable for free-range-keeping. Even if they feed on predators, they are non-toxic and harmless to humans.

Book recommendations (scientific):

  • The Praying Mantids – Edited by Frederick R. Prete, Harrington Wells, Patrick H. Wells ans Lawrence E. Hurd. The Johns Hopkins University Press. A very comprehensive book about ecology, taxonomy, reproduction, sensory systems, motor behaviour and defense strategies.
  • Mantids of the Euro-Mediterranean Area. R. Battiston, L. Picciau, P. Fontana and J. Marshall; wba handbooks 2 (2010). A handbook for the study and identification of the 127 species of Mantids living in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

Information from M&M Wüst: