The ghost mantis is a uniquely beautiful species of praying mantis adored in the community for its distinctive camouflage as a deciduous, dying leaf. The ghost mantis is an exception to the usual appearance of beginner-friendly species, making them one of the most beautiful mantids new keepers can own. Ghost mantis are considered very easy to care for, requiring temperature and humidity conditions that are simple to fulfil.
Ghost mantis prefer flying, aerial prey, such as blue / green bottle flies, and waxmoths (adult waxworms). Nymphs should be fed D.hydeii fruit flies until they grow a little larger, after which we recommend moving on to flying prey around 1/4th the size of the ghost mantis’s body. Ghost mantis do not have the largest appetite, and respond well to hand-feeding. Despite their preferences, Phyllocrania paradoxa may accept other forms of prey, such as crickets, locusts, cockroaches, and mealworms.
Like all mantis, Phyllocrania paradoxa require an enclosure at least 3x as tall as their total body length so they may safely extend downward during the molting process. Ghost mantis will thrive at around room temperature, and need a relative humidity of around 60% RH. A humid enclosure can be maintained by using a substrate such as coco-coir, sphagnum moss, or other moisture-retaining substrates. If necessary, a heat mat can be attached to the side of the enclosure to keep temperatures warmer.
Ghost mantis can be sexed as nymphs by noting the shape of their head crest. Male ghost mantis have thin, jagged head crests while females tend to be smoother and thicker. Both male and female ghost mantis reach a similar size of around 2 inches long, however, females tend to be physically bulkier, with males being more streamlined and thin. Both male and female ghost mantis can fly.