Complete Mantis Habitat Kit

Note: There is an $8 additional fee if you want this product shipped express mail over the standard express mail price of $27. This is because it requires a slightly larger/heavier box than what we usually ship mantises in. There is no additional shipping cost if you choose priority mail at checkout. We do not guarantee live arrival with priority mail if your temps are 33 degrees or below the night before delivery (when your package is unloaded from the plane in the middle of the night). In that case, please choose express! Mantises are great shippers in cold weather but fruit flies are not, and sub-freezing (32 degrees) becomes dangerous. Express mail is highly recommended as winter temps set in.

This kit includes the following products as pictured (but does not include a mantis):

  • 32 oz deli cup with poly-fiber lid with molting patch
  • Glued in flowers (color varies)
  • Choice of coconut fiber OR moss substrate
  • Small fruit fly culture
  • Small misting bottle

This Complete Mantis Habitat Kit includes everything you'll need to successfully raise a young mantis nymph for the first three to four months of its life. The early instars (L1 to L4) are the critical growing stages where difficulties sometimes arise for the novice keeper. Most of these issues are attributed to three factors: (1) Inappropriate sized cage (the mantis isn't near to its food), (2) Lack of humidity (the mantis has difficulty shedding/molting its skin, (3) Improper feeders (feeder insects too large or of undesirable types are offered).

This product bundle will take the guesswork out of setting up your first mantis pet's enclosure by dealing with each of those three problem areas. First, it is the correct size for a cage for instars (instars are the stages between each molt) from L1 to L4 for all hobby mantises. For smaller to medium species they can actually complete their entire series of molts through to maturity in this cage (for example, Spiny Flower Mantises). The lid on this 32 ounce insect cup provides all the necessary ventilation for your pet but not so much that all the humidity will escape from the cage. Additionally, we have glued a strip of plastic, white screen to the underside of the lid to provide a textured surface for your mantis to molt from. We ship a "cutting" of fake flowers already-glued to the inside of the cup (as pictured). We don't guarantee any particular color to be in stock and ship random colors in general. However, you are welcome to ask for a particular color if you would like to. Just include a note when you go through checkout in the "instructions" field and pick, perhaps, two colors of your preference and we'll try.

Second, this setup comes with your choice of substrates. Substrate is a very critical component of your pet's cage because it not only provides a natural looking ground layer that helps to disguise the presence of tiny bits of frass (insect excrement), but more importantly it helps to maintain humidity in the cage. In the dropdown menu you can select either greenish brown sphagnum moss, or the darker brown coconut fiber option (pictured above). My personal preference is for the coconut fiber as it packs more densely and feeder insects are less likely to have small nooks to hide in. In either case we ship enough to line the bottom of your cage three times over. This allows you to change the substrate a couple times during your pet's growing stages if you wish to. And remember to wet down either substrate 2 or 3 times per week, or as needed. Not dripping wet but enough to raise the humidity in the container. This is more important if your mantis has not shed its skin in a while, and less important if it has very recently.

Third and finally, this kit comes with a fruit fly culture. This isn't the giant 32 ounce culture that produces thousands of flies, but a small appropriately sized one tailored to smaller numbers of predatory pets (like a single mantis). An L2 mantis may eat only a fly or two every few days but an L4 mantis can take down a dozen flies every two or so days. The goal here is for your pet to have a plump-looking abdomen most of the time. And keep in mind that you should never feed all the flies out of a fruit fly culture unless you see that the culture is actively about to produce new flies (evidenced by larvae wriggling in the media at the bottom of the culture or, better yet, cocoon-like pupae on the sides). The reason you don't want to empty your culture of flies is because the culture will continue to produce flies for 4 to 6 weeks if there are always some adults around to breed and lay eggs. After that it is usually about time to upgrade your mantis pet's feeder size to something bigger anyway.

Consider adding the book "Praying Mantids Keeping Aliens" by the hobby's most prolific care guide author, Orin McMonigle, at a $2 discount for only $14 in the options below.

Please note that if you purchase multiple kits, additional shipping may be required. We will contact you or you can contact us, in advance of ordering. Thanks!

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  • Item #: bic861
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