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Oxyopsis gracilis

South American green mantis

General Information

Scientific name: Oxyopsis gracilis
Common name: South American green mantis
Distribution: Bolivia, Paraguay
Habitat: Tropical rainforest
Size: Female ~ 4.8 cm
Male ~ 4.5 cm
Livespan: Female up to 1 year
Male up to 1 year
Colour variations: -
Aggressivity: Low*
Difficulty: Middle

*group-housing in all stages possible
No guarantee against cannibalism! Always feed very well – especially adult females.


Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Stagmatopterinae
Tribe: Stagmatopterini
Genus: Oxyopsis

First description (year): GIGLIO-TOS (1914)

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

  • Oxyopsis festae (GIGLIO-TOS, 1914)
  • Oxyopsis oculea (REHN, 1920)
  • Oxyopsis peruviana (CHOPARD, 1916)
  • Oxyopsis stali (GIGLIO-TOS, 1914)


Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 30 cm
  • Group-housing: from 30 x 30 x 40 cm for 5 - 6 adults
  • 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 20 - 30 °C

Relative humidity:
Days ~ 50 - 60 %, nights ~ 50 - 70 %.


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

Feeding Recommendation

L1 Small fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)
L2/L3 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 (compare with Hierodula membranacea).


  • adult: Males smaller then females and with almost transparent wings, Males antennae long and arranged like a string of pearls.


Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females in L8, males in L7
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 1 week
Females ~ 2 weeks

Copulation duration:
~ 4 - 10 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: ~ 1 - 1.5 cm
Form: round
Colour: light brown
Oviposition place: -
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 2 - 3 weeks
Interval: ~ 7 days
Amount: up to 13 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 5 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 80
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 5 mm

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


Mantids of the genus Oxyopsis always have a delicate green appearance. The eyes become dark red at nights. Freshly hatched nymphs are quite big, so feeding them does usually not make any problems.

Oxyopsis naturally exists only in the South American continent.


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