Indian Flower Mantis Caresheet
The Indian Flower Mantis (Creobroter pictipennis) should be kept in an enclosure that is at least 3 times as tall as the mantis is long, and at least 2 times as wide as the mantis is long. Luckily, Indian Flowers are a very small species, so it is easy to find a suitable enclosure! Adult Indian Flower mantises are 1 to 1.5 inch long, with little difference between the sexes. The enclosure must also have adequate ventilation, and some kind of material on the ceiling of the enclosure which will allow the mantis to hang upside down during molting, as well as an empty space at the top which is at least 2 times the size of the mantis. They can be kept in glass or mesh cages, but enclosures with glass or clear plastic sides and a mesh or screen top are ideal, due to the humidity requirements of this species.
Indian Flowers do best in a living vivarium with live plants and microfauna (e.g., springtails and isopods) who will act as a sort of "clean up crew" by breaking down the mantis's waste and food scraps, thereby reducing the build up of mold and bacteria that can make your mantis sick or even die. You can certainly keep them in temporary enclosures with fake flowers and no substrate, or with an easily disposable substrate such as sphagnum moss or just a paper towel; however, if you choose this approach you must be diligent about cleaning the enclosure and replacing the substrate at least once a week, because the humid conditions required for this species will promote the growth of mold and dangerous bacteria without a healthy population of microfauna to help keep it in check.
We highly recommend PanTerra’s Box for housing this species. Given their small size and humidity requirements, they could happily live in one for their entire lives without any need to move them to something bigger later!
Temperature & Humidity
Indian Flower mantises are native to the tropical rainforests of Asia, so they generally need warm, humid conditions to thrive. The ideal temperature for an Indian Flower mantis is 80°F, but they can tolerate a range between 75°F and 85°F. Humidity should be kept between 60% and 80% relative humidity (RH).
Depending on the amount of ventilation, the enclosure should be lightly misted once a day. Indian Flower mantises kept in mesh or screen cages should have their enclosures misted twice a day to maintain proper humidity. Not only that, misting the enclosure also allows the mantis to drink. Most mantises do not like getting sprayed directly, so it is best to try and spray around the mantis, but if you get them a little wet by accident, it is usually no big deal. Use spring water, distilled water, or water filtered by reverse osmosis (RO). Do not use plain tap water.
Indian Flower mantises prefer flying insects throughout their entire lifecycle.
- L1 – L2 nymphs: Should be fed D. melanogaster fruit flies.
- L3 – L4 nymphs: Should be fed D. hydei fruit flies.
- L5 nymph to adult: Should be fed house flies or blue bottle flies.
These mantises do not have a problem actively pursuing prey insects, as long as they are in close enough range to chase down.
For additional information about the Indian Flower mantis, including breeding and ootheca care please reference the links below:
Indian Flower Mantis (Creobroter pictipennis) Caresheet – Keeping Insects