Ghost mantis
(
Phyllocrania paradoxa)
Size:                 ♂   5-6 cm      ♀   5-6 cm

Food:                flying insects

Temperature:        Day: 80-90 F     Night: 75F

Humidity:        70%

Hatching rate:        20-40 nymphs

This is a nice dead leaf type mantis with a leaf-like stick protruding from the center of the head
which resemble a horn. This species can be found in Africa and Madagasca. They can come in
different type of colors such as brown, green, or completely black. They are well camouflage when
hide behind tree full of leaves. They are not aggressive species so feed mainly on flying insects.
You can hand feed them with crickets or mealworm which will gladly be taken away especially the
more “aggressive” female. This species enjoy additional water misting and drink directly from the
water droplet. Both male and female takes a good 3 weeks to molt into adult. Female will need
food on daily basis while male is not too interested with food. Male of this species is always
skittish and will play dead or fly away when disturbed.

I started this species in 2005, I received 2 pairs of subadults. They both matured into adult after a
lengthy period with plenty of food. Increasing the heat and food supply will speed up the process.
Breeding this species is not difficult. After 3 weeks as adult, introduce them in a large cage with
twigs and leaves and leave them alone. Female of this species seldom attack the male when well
fed. After mating, female produced ootheca every 2 week period for many months. I realized that my
first few oothecae hatched very little nymphs due to the dry condition so I increased the humidity,
slightly more nymphs hatched out from the later ootheca but on average it is less than 10 nymphs.
I then bought an ootheca from Germany hoping that the new blood line will improve the hatching
rate. The ootheca hatched out 49 nymphs!! Which is a good size of breeding stock to continue for
another generation. However, after raising them to L5/L6, I shipped all my stock to a friend to
continue raising them while I have some breathing space to work on my Professional Engineering
license. Unfortunately, my friend failed to breed them. So I have to start with ootheca again… sigh.

Continue with the latest development on this species via Mantis Log. See photo link for more
photos of this species.