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Gender determination of mantises (sexing)

Males and females of all mantis species can be distinguished by the number of their sternites (the segments you can see on their belly):

Males got 8, females only 6 visible sternites. When mantises reach their fourth instar (L4) you usually can recognize the difference with the naked eye. Often you don´t even have to count. Usually it´s enough just to look at the last segments of the abdomens downside (belly): If the last segment is about as long and wide as the previous one – it´s a female. If the last segments become smaller and thiner – it´s a male. But when fully grown (adult), males also have an extended (longer) last segment.

Example of Hierodula membranacea adults:

 

Example of Hierodula membranacea nymphs (sevenths instar – L7). The segments of the male become smaller, whereas the females last segment is still big and wide:

 

Many species have more and even easier characteristics, by which you can distinguish the sexes

Thicker antennae of subadult and presubadult males (Idolomantis diabolica, Gongylus gongylodes, Blepharopsis mendica and others):

Additional small spike at the end of the males abdomen which you can see from the third or fourth instar (L3 or L4). (Idolomantis diabolica, Gongylus gongylodes, Blepharopsis mendica, Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii and others)

Still unsecure if you have a male or female? Just send an email with pictures to contact@mantidsandmore.com… we are happy to help you out!