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Metallyticus violaceus

Metallyticus violaceus female adult

General Information

Scientific name: Metallyticus violaceus
Common name: -
Distribution: North Africa, Southwest Asia, Turkey
Habitat: Bark
Size: Female ~ 4 cm
Male ~ 3,5 cm
Livespan: Female up to 1,5 years
Male up to 1 year
Colour variations: none
Aggressivity: low*
Difficulty: middle (food specialist)

*Group-housing in all stages possible.
No guarantee against cannibalism. Always feed very well!


Order: Mantodea
Family: Metallyticidae
Subfamily: Hymenopodinae
Genus: Metallyticus

First description (year): BURMEISTER (1838)

More species of this genus:

  • Metallyticus splendidus (WESTWOOD, 1835)


Terrarium (LxBxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 20 cm
  • Group-housing: from 30 x 30 x 30 cm for 4-5 adult animals
  • Small nymphs can be reared in smaller enclosures

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 ~ 40 - 60 %, nights higher


  • Substrate: Soil-sand-mix, Coco fiber (animals sometimes hunt on the ground)
  • Large bark pieces, also stacked for hiding and oothecae building
  • Any living or artificial plants (beware of pesticides or other toxic substances!).
  • Clean with vinegar cleaner or biodegradable glass cleaner (rinse with clear water).

Feeding Recommendation

The best food for all stadiums are firebrats. For feeding small M. violaceus, newly hatched firebrats are suitable. Also, for a short time, small fruit flies (D. melanogaster) can be fed.

Feeder insects in the shop...

Gender Determination

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


  • Males have slightly translucient wings in the adult stage. The wings of the females are metallic shiny and dark.
  • Males in the subadult and adult stages have two very small appendages at the end of the abdomen in addition to the two cerci (which can also be seen in the female).


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 ~ 3 weeks

Copulation duration:

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 1 cm
Form: flat
Colour: light brown
Oviposition place: in holes or columns (wood)
First ooth after adult moult: unknown
Interval: ~ 14 days
Amount: up to 5 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 - 6 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 60% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 25
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 2 mm

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


Diese Art hat nicht nur ein anderes Aussehen als die typischen Gottesanbeterinnen, sie verhält sich auch anders. Im Gegensatz zum frei sitzenden Lauerjäger, wie es fast alle Gottesanbeterinnen sind, versteckt sich M. violaceus gerne in Spalten (z.B. Rindenstücke) und erbeutet nur krabbelnde Tiere. Innerartliche Aggresivität ist kaum zu beobachten. Sie eignet sich hervorragend zur Gruppenhaltung.

Achtung: Sie kann keine glatten Wände hochlaufen und kommt, wenn sie auf glattem Untergrund auf den Rücken gefallen ist, nur schwer selbstständig wieder auf die Beine!


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