Blepharopsis mendica – Egyptian Flower Mantis: Keeping guide

The Egyptian flower mantis, scientifically known as Blepharopsis mendica, is a captivating middle-sized mantis species that belongs to the Empusidae family. With its stunning appearance and enchanting behaviors, this unique insect has earned its reputation as a fascinating creature in the world of mantids. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the extraordinary world of the Egyptian flower mantis. From its striking features and habitat preferences to its specialized diet and reproduction, we will uncover the secrets behind this mesmerizing species. Join us as we discover the allure and beauty of the Egyptian flower mantis and learn how to provide the best care and breeding practices to ensure their well-being and conservation.

Blepharopsis mendica

Description and Behavior

Nymph Stages (L2 to L4)

At the L2 stage, Blepharopsis mendica nymphs showcase a striking coloration of black or redbrown, devoid of any mimicry. As they progress to the L3 stage, the black stripes gradually fade away, revealing a light-brown appearance. By the L4 stage, their distinct appendages become recognizable, signifying their imminent transition to adulthood.

Adult Appearance

As fully grown adults, Blepharopsis mendica mantids boast an enchanting appearance. Adorned with a stunning light-green color, they exude an air of elegance and grace. The presence of beautiful stripes on their bodies further enhances their allure, adding to their charm as they sway gracefully on branches or leaves.

Social Behavior

Notably, Blepharopsis mendica mantids display remarkably low aggressiveness. This unique trait allows them to be kept together until the L5/L6 stages, providing enthusiasts with an opportunity to observe their social interactions and developmental progress. The ability to cohabitate during their early stages is a fascinating aspect of their behavior, fostering an engaging experience for keepers.

Considerations for Maturity

As Blepharopsis mendica mantids approach maturity, certain precautions should be taken into account. To prevent potential conflicts during adulthood, it is advisable to separate bigger nymphs by sex or maintain them in individual enclosures. By understanding and respecting their social dynamics, keepers can create a harmonious environment that supports their growth and well-being.

Habitat and Keeping

Natural Habitat

Blepharopsis mendica is naturally found in hot and dry habitats, primarily dwelling in bushes and thorny bushes. These regions, often characterized by arid and sunny conditions, create an environment conducive to their survival. Their choice of habitat provides ample opportunities to hunt and capture their preferred flying insect prey.

Terrarium Conditions

  • Single Keeping: For a single mantis, a terrarium with dimensions of at least 20cm x 20cm x 30cm is recommended. This size allows ample space for movement and exploration.
  • Community Keeping: If keeping multiple mantises together, a larger enclosure is necessary. Opt for a terrarium with dimensions of at least 50cm x 50cm x 60cm, ensuring enough room for around 6 males.

Lighting, Temperature, and Humidity

  • Lighting: Halogen lamps or other heating lamps are suitable light sources to mimic their natural sunny environment. Maintain a light cycle of about 12 hours.
  • Temperature: Keep the daytime temperature between 30°C to 40°C. For the Canary Islands subspecies, maintain a slightly lower temperature of around 25°C to 30°C, and during the break period, reduce it to 15°C to 20°C.
  • Night Temperature: Make sure the nighttime temperature does not fall below 18°C.
  • Humidity: Maintain daytime humidity levels at 30%-40% and increase it slightly to 40%-50% at night. Regularly mist the enclosure once a week, and during the break period, mist 2-3 times a week.

Decorations and Substrate

Creating a stimulating and comfortable environment in enclosure is crucial for the well-being of Blepharopsis mendica. Suitable decorations, such as branches, plants, and grasses, offer opportunities for climbing and hiding, mimicking their natural habitat. Additionally, pasting one side of the terrarium with cork provides a textured surface that they can cling to.

For substrate, an earth-sand-mixture, sand, pulp, or dry grasses can be used to create a suitable base. These substrates allow for burrowing and laying eggs while also helping to maintain proper humidity levels within the enclosure.


To meet their dietary needs, Blepharopsis mendica mantids thrive on a variety of flying insects. Their preferred diet includes Drosophila, flies, moths, and cockroaches. Providing a diverse and nutrient-rich diet is essential for their growth and overall health.

By carefully considering the natural habitat and specific requirements of Blepharopsis mendica, keepers can create an optimal terrarium environment that supports their active lifestyle and ensures their well-being and longevity.

Blepharopsis mendica care guide

Breeding and Reproduction

Sexing Methods

  • Nymph Stages: Sexing Blepharopsis mendica nymphs can be accomplished by counting the abdominal appendages at the bottom of the abdomen. Males have six appendages, while females have five.
  • Adulthood: For adult males, look for double-combed antennas and a thin body. Adult females, on the other hand, have a bigger abdomen and normal, short antennas.

Copulation Readiness and Duration

  • Male: Males typically become ready for copulation approximately 10 days after their last molt.
  • Female: Females reach copulation readiness around 10-14 days after their last molt.
  • Copulation Duration: The copulation period usually lasts around 3-6 hours, during which the male transfers sperm to the female for fertilization.

Ootheca Formation and Incubation

  • Ootheca Formation: After successful copulation, the female will produce an ootheca, a protective egg case. Oothecae are usually formed about 4 weeks after the female’s last molt.
  • Incubation Period: The incubation period of the ootheca lasts around 12-14 days, during which the eggs develop inside the case.
  • Factors Affecting Incubation: Factors like temperature and humidity can influence the incubation period. Maintaining appropriate conditions is crucial for successful egg development.

Hatching and Raising Nymphs

  • Hatching: When the incubation period is complete, the ootheca will hatch, and tiny nymphs will emerge. On average, there can be up to 60 nymphs in a single ootheca, although the number can vary.
  • Nymph Size: Newly hatched nymphs are typically around 6mm in size and display a black or redbrown coloration similar to the larger nymph stages.
  • Raising Nymphs: Carefully transfer the nymphs to a separate enclosure with suitable conditions, including appropriate temperature, humidity, and feeding. Ensure that the nymphs have ample space and access to the proper diet to support their growth and development.

Breeding and raising Blepharopsis mendica nymphs can be a rewarding experience, and understanding the various stages of reproduction is essential for a successful and fulfilling breeding journey. With proper care and attention to the needs of both adult mantises and their offspring, you can witness the fascinating process of life unfolding within these exquisite creatures.

Challenges and Tips for Successful Keeping

Potential Challenges

  • Cannibalism: Mantis species, including Blepharopsis mendica, are known for their cannibalistic tendencies. During the nymph stages or in a community setup, there is a risk of cannibalism, especially if the mantids are not well-fed or if they feel overcrowded.
  • Male Copulation: Sometimes, males may not show interest in mating. This could be due to various factors, including stress or environmental conditions.
  • Ootheca Development: Factors like incorrect temperature and humidity levels can impact ootheca development, leading to unsuccessful hatching or low nymph viability.

Tips and Best Practices

  • Proper Feeding: Ensuring that the mantids are well-fed is essential to reduce the risk of cannibalism, especially in community setups. Providing a steady supply of appropriate prey items is crucial.
  • Individual Housing: To minimize aggression and potential injuries, consider individual housing for mantids during their later nymph stages and adulthood.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain a stable and suitable temperature throughout the breeding process, as fluctuations can affect mating behavior and ootheca development.
  • Monitoring and Observation: Regularly monitor the breeding pairs and observe their behaviors. This helps identify potential issues and allows for timely adjustments to improve breeding success.
  • Misting: Regularly mist the enclosure to maintain optimal humidity levels for successful ootheca development and hatching.

Special Considerations for Canary Islands Subspecies

  • Break Period: The Canary Islands subspecies of Blepharopsis mendica requires a break period during its development. Lowering the temperatures to around 15°C to 20°C can facilitate this break and improve overall breeding success.
  • Adapting Conditions: The unique climate and habitat of the Canary Islands subspecies mean that they may have different temperature and humidity preferences compared to the main species. Research and adapt their care accordingly to ensure their well-being and successful breeding.

Additional tips and facts

Hunting Abilities

  • Masterful Hunters: Blepharopsis mendica mantids are highly skilled hunters, specializing in capturing flying insects. Their slender bodies, coupled with lightning-fast reflexes, make them formidable predators in their natural habitat.
  • Camouflage Masters: These mantids possess an incredible ability to blend in with their surroundings. Their green coloration and intricate patterns allow them to become virtually invisible to unsuspecting prey.
  • Patient Ambushers: When hunting, they adopt a patient approach, remaining motionless for extended periods until an unsuspecting insect comes within striking distance. Their stealthy ambush tactics make them efficient and effective hunters.

Caution with Crickets

  • Avoid feeding adult females with crickets, as it can lead to potential problems or health issues. Opt for a diet consisting of suitable flying insects, which aligns with their natural feeding preferences.
  • Monitor Health and Behavior: Keep a close eye on the mantids’ health and behavior. Any sudden changes or abnormalities should be addressed promptly. Consulting with experienced keepers or a veterinarian familiar with mantis care can be beneficial.
Blepharopsis mendica keeping


In conclusion, Blepharopsis mendica, commonly known as the Egyptian flower mantis, stands as a mesmerizing member of the mantis world. From its nymph stages, characterized by stunning black and redbrown colors, to its adulthood, donning an elegant light-green hue with captivating stripes, this species never fails to captivate enthusiasts and keepers alike.

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