Peruvian Leaf Mantis Caresheet
The Peruvian Leaf Mantis (Pseudoxyops perpulchra) 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. Females are usually around 4-5 inches long as adults, while males are only 3-4 inches long as adults. The cage must 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.
Peruvian Leaf mantises can be kept successfully 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. They can also be kept in a temporary enclosure such as a mesh cage or screen cage, 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 change once a week. However, if you chose to keep them in enclosures with glass or clear plastic sides, a mesh or screen top from which they can easily hang upside down is necessary.
Temperature & Humidity
Peruvian Leaf Mantises do best when kept between 73°F and 82°F. Ideally, humidity should stay in the range of 50% to 70% relative humidity (RH). The enclosure should be given a light misting at least once a day so they can drink. When kept in mesh cages, we mist their enclosures twice a day. 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), but do not use plain tap water.
These mantises prefer flying insects throughout their entire lifecycle.
- L1 to L3 nymphs: Should be fed D. melanogaster fruit flies.
- L4 and L5 nymphs: Should be fed D. hydei fruit flies.
- L6 nymph to adult: Should be fed house flies, green bottle flies, or small blue bottle flies.
Before choosing to feed any of your mantises crickets, please read Is it Safe to Feed Crickets to Your Praying Mantis?