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Rhombodera valida

Shield mantis

Rhombodera valida adult Weibchen

General Information

Scientific name: Rhombodera valida
Common name: Shield mantis (with others)
Distribution: India & Southeast Asia
Habitat: Trees and bushes
Size: Female up to 10 cm
Male up to 9 cm
Livespan: Female up to 2 years
Male up to 1,5 year
Colour variations: None
Aggressivity: High*
Difficulty: Middle

*up to L2 group-housing possible


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

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

  • Rhombodera basalis (DE HAAN, 1842)
  • Rhombodera crassa (GIGLIO-TOS, 1912)
  • Rhombodera flava (DE HAAN, 1842)
  • Rhombodera megaera (REHN, 1903)
  • Rhombodera zhangi (BANG & DONG, 1993)



Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 30 x 30 x 30 cm
  • 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 22 - 25 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

Relative humidity:
Days ~ 50 - 60 %, nights higher


  • Substrate: Soil, sand, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals sometimes stay on the ground)
  • Thick branches (also horizontal/bent) with ~ 2 - 4 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 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 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:
min. 6 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 4 cm
Form: round with pointy end
Colour: light brown
Oviposition place: thick branches and bark
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 6 weeks
Interval: ~ 2 - 3 weeks
Amount: up to 4 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 6-8 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 200
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 5 mm

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


This species has the typical appearance of shield mantids (with big neck shield). It is hardly distiguishable from Rhombodera basalis. However, R. vailda is supposed to have a broader neck shield (pronotum).

It is a very aggressive species which also catches prey the same size as themselves (cockroaches etc.). Group-keeping is not recommended!


  • Own expercience

Often available in the shop.