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Hierodula membranacea

Giant Asian mantis

Hierodula membranacea female adult

General Information

Scientific name: Hierodula membranacea
Common name: Giant Asian mantis
Distribution: South & Southwest Asia
Size: Female up to 10 cm
Male up to 9 cm
Livespan: Female up to 2 years
Male up to 1,5 years
Colour variations: Grass green, light brown or yellowish
Aggressivity: High*
Difficulty: Easy (typical beginners species)

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

Systematics

Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Mantinae
Tribe: Paramantini
Genus: Hierodula

First description (year): BURMEISTER (1838)

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

 

Keeping

Species is suitable for free-range keeping.

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.

Temperature:
Days 22 – 30 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

Relative humidity:
~ 40 – 50 %

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals seldom stay on the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) with ~ 1- 2 cm diameter, bark
  • Living or artificial plants (Beware of pesticides!)
  • Clean with vinegar or biodegradable glass cleaner (afterwards rinse with clear water)

 

Feeding Recommendation

L1 /L2 Small fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and
Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L3/L4 Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L4/L5 Greenbottle flies
L6 to adult Bluebottle flies

This species also 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.
If nymphs or adults, the rule is always the same. See also here.

Additionally:

  • adult: females thicker and males thin with wings reaching over abdominal end

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females and males in L10
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 3 weeks
Females ~ 4 weeks

Copulation duration:
~ 3 – 12 Stunden

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 4 cm
Form: roundish/oval
Colour: brown
Oviposition place: thick branches
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 4 – 5 weeks
Interval: ~ 10 – 14 days
Amount: up to 6 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 6 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 300
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 7 mm

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

More

This relatively big species is perfect for beginners. It is easy to keep and quite robust. Many are kept free on a plant.

If females are not available (as they are always wanted), an alternative would be Sphodromantis or other Hierodula species.

Sources

  • Own expercience
  • www.mantisonline.de (July 2017)

Often available in the shop.

Pictures

Hierodula membranacea oothecae
Hierodula membranacea ootheca hatched
Hierodula membranacea hatching
Hierodula membranacea hatching
Hierodula membranacea L1
Hierodula membranacea L2
Hierodula membranacea L3
Hierodula membranacea L4
Hierodula membranacea male subadult
Hierodula membranacea male last segments
Hierodula membranacea female last segments
Hierodula membranacea female display
Hierodula membranacea mouth parts
Hierodula membranacea feeding