Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Praying mantises are among the most popular types of insects, even taking a titular spot in the 1998 hit A Bug’s Life. Depicted to be a “mysterious showman” in the Disney-Pixar animated feature, praying mantises do actually embody degrees of mystery, though their study by entomologists can be described as extensive.
With the popularity of A Bug’s Life, the animated feature led many parents to exotic pet shops looking for pet praying mantises for their kids when the movie first came out.
The Praying Mantis – A Quick Glance
There are different (over 2000) mantis species out in the world, with the African Praying Mantis being the most popular of praying mantis pet types, given their suitability for praying mantis pet keeper beginners.
Generally, praying mantises can live for as long as up to a year, though the specific life expectancy of a praying mantis is dependent on the type of species. Some praying mantis species only get to live for 6 months as adults, as there are species which live shorter adult life spans.
In terms of size, there are known praying mantis species which could grow as large as six inches, though those kept as pets are typically within two to three inches in size. They come in various colors too, again depending on the species, with some all green as others are typically brown like twigs.
In terms of keeping them, praying mantises should be kept in individual tanks since they are not always agreeable with the presence of another praying mantis in the vicinity. A large enough tank – roughly 12 inches x 12 inches – is good enough for an individual praying mantis. Tank temperatures are typically based on the particulars of a praying mantis specie, along with their dietary preferences, with some mantises particular with live meals (insects, mostly).
Though they don’t live that long, praying mantises are relatively easy to keep as pets, an interesting exotic insect to have in households and homes, if accepted by family members.