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Deroplatys dessicata

Giant dead leaf mantis

Deroplatys dessicata female adult

General Information

Scientific name: Deroplatys dessicata
Common name: Giant dead leaf mantis
Distribution: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo
Habitat: Tree trunks, ground near in tropical forest
Size: Females uo to 8 cm
Males up to 7 cm
Livespan: Females uo to 2 years
Males up to 1,5 years
Colour variations: Light over dark brown to black
Aggressivity: Middle*
Difficulty: Middle

*up to L3/L4 group-housing possible (males in adult stages also in groups)


Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Deroplatyinae
Tribe: Deroplatys

First description (year): WESTWOOD (1839)

More species of this genus (similar housing and appearance):


Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 30 cm
  • Group-housing: from 30 x 30 x 30 cm for 3 adult males
  • Small nymphs can be reared in smaller enclosures (for moulting they need twice their body length free space downwards)

Two ventilation areas (gaze at top + front) adviced to prevent waterglogging.

Days 25 - 30 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

Relative humidity:
Days ~ 60 - 80 %, nights a little higher


  • Substrate: Soil, moss and dry leaves (animals often stay on the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) and bark pieces
  • Living or artificial plants (Beware of pesticides!)
  • Clean with vinegar or biodegradable glass cleaner (afterwards rinse with clear water)

Feeding Recommendation

L1/L2 Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei) or firebrats
L3/L4 Greenbottle flies or small crickets/roaches
L5 - to adult Bluebottle flies and crawling insects

This species preferrably feeds on crawling insects like crickets/roaches etc.

Feeder insects in the shop...

Gender Determination

In general: 8 visible sternites (ventral segments) at males, 6 at females (compare with Hierodula membranacea).


  • Adults: Inner sides of upper wings of females have a dark eye spot, males only have stripes.
  • from ~ L4: Pronotum (neck shield) of females with clearly hindwards showing tips (not at males).


Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females in L9, males in L8
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 2 weeks
Females  ~ 4 weeks

Copulation duration:
~ 10 - 20 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: ~ 2 cm
Form: roundish to disk-like
Farbe: brown/yellowish
Oviposition place: thick branches or under leaves
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 5 - 8 weeks
Interval: ~ 12 - 25 days
Amount: up to 8 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 6 - 7 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 60% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 100 (avergae 40)
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 12 mm

All given information only for orientation. Actual facts always depend on temperature and food availibility etc.!


With a little luck you can experience their impressive threat behavior. At rest, however, they are well camouflaged between dry branches and leaves.

Large prey is easily captured. They also like lurking near the ground.

The males are a bit shy and can fall to the ground in case of danger (and pretend to be dead). They then remain motionless for several minutes on their backs.

Females have large backwards showing tips / extensions at their pronotum (in contrast to D. lobata).


  • Own expercience
  • www.swissmantis.ch (November 2007) Website not available anymore
  • www.mantisonline.de (July 2017)

Often available in the shop.