You won’t find a meaner, greener killing machine than the giant African mantis. This little critter is similar to the giant Asian mantis, being just a little smaller but infinitely more aggressive. We truly do warn new keepers to be wary of this species – while they’re undoubtedly hardy with easy-to-fulfil environmental conditions, they have a seemingly insatiable hunger and desire to feast on everything – including your fingers. While this ferocity is not usually apparent in nymphs, adult female giant African mantis display their aggression in full force. There are few other species as exciting to feed as these little critters. Giant African mantis are several different species all belonging to the genus Sphrodomantis, including Sphrodomantis viridis, gastrica, and lineola, all of which are beginner-friendly species that make wonderful pets. If you’re looking for an exciting species this is the praying mantis for you.
The Giant African mantis, Sphrodomantis Sp, distinguishes itself from its often-confused cousin, the giant Asian, by its extremely aggressive personality. Growing to around 3.5 inches, the giant African mantis is a larger species of mantis. extremely easy to care for mantids with voracious appetites and are suitable for complete beginners due to their lack of demanding environmental requirements.
Giant African mantis nymphs will thrive on a diet of D. Hydeii fruit flies. As they develop, it is recommended to switch their diet to include crickets, dubia roaches, locusts, green/blue bottle flies, and other appropriate prey. These fascinating creatures are extremely voracious eaters and will happily hunt down prey approximately 1/2 of their body length. Feed until the abdomen becomes full and enlarged.
Giant African mantis are simple insects to care for, needing an enclosure at least 3x as tall as their total body length. This space ensures that your mantis can safely extend downward to shed out of its exoskeleton when molting. Sphrodomantis sp. should be kept at around room temperature, and require a relative humidity level of around 60% RH. Relative humidity can be kept high in an enclosure via the use of moisture-retaining substrates such as coco-coir and sphagnum moss, along with a daily mist of water which also ensures your giant African mantis stays hydrated.
Sphrodomantis sp. can be sexed as juveniles by counting the abdominal segments, with males having several more segments than females. As the giant African mantis matures, the sexual dimorphism between both males and females becomes more prominent. Females are larger and bulkier than males, with rounded, plump abdomens, wings that do not extend past the abdomen, and long antennae. Mature males are smaller and thin, with long antennae and wings that do extend past the abdomen. Females are typically significantly more aggressive than males, with a much greater appetite.