Pseudocreobotra is a genus of flower mantises that contains several species below it. Each species looks strikingly similar to each other in color and appearance, but vary slightly in size. All specimens in this genus are native to Sub-Saharan Africa, and are known for having a prominent spiral-shaped eyespot on their forewings that gives them a striking deimatic display, as well as spiny protrusions on the underside of their abdomens as adults. They are also visually similar to the Creobroter flower mantises of Asia, but do belong to different subfamilies. Although they are sometimes difficult to breed in captivity, due to high aggression on the part of the females, they are otherwise easy to rear in captivity.
The African Flower mantis (Pseudocreobotra ocellata) is the little twin sister of the Spiny Flower mantis (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii). They have the same coloring and markings as the Spiny Flower mantis, they just come in a bit of a smaller package, meaning adult female Spiny Flower mantises can get up to 2 inches long, while an adult African Flower mantis can only get up to 1.5 inches long.
As early instar nymphs, they are almost completely black. But as the nymphs grow, their colors can change drastically with each molt, and they can have a combination of stripes, spots and patches of any color of the rainbow!
Native to sub-saharan Africa, the African Flower Mantis likes low humidity, warm temperatures, and a lot of ventilation. It is best to keep temperatures around 80-85°F, and relative humidity (RH) between 40% and 60% for them. Therefore, they should be kept in well-ventilated enclosures such as mesh or screen cages, with silk plants (such as an Ivy Branch, Leafy Branch, Orchid Flower, or White Flower) and an easily disposable substrate such as sphagnum moss, or even just a paper towel that you can change once a week.
The mantises currently for sale are generally 2nd or 3rd instar (L2/L3), meaning they have already molted 1-2 times. They are currently eating fruit flies, so be sure to have the proper prey items on hand when your mantis arrives.