The Fascinating World of the Budwing Mantis: Parasphendale agrionina

Get ready to be amazed by the captivating Parasphendale agrionina, commonly known as the Budwing Mantis. This remarkable mantis species falls under the Parasphendale genus, and let me tell you, it’s a world of wonder waiting to be explored.

Parasphendale agrionina
© Diogo Luiz, (CC-BY-SA)

Genus Overview

Parasphendale mantises are truly a sight to behold. With their distinct characteristics, they’re known as normal-type mantids. One standout feature is the reduced wings in females, which adds a unique touch to their appearance. Their robust arms, especially in females, are a testament to their strength. These mantids boast a compact body structure and sport striped colors that provide them with optimal camouflage.

But that’s not all – these mantises are no shrinking violets when it comes to their habitat preferences. They thrive in bushes within velds and open, dry areas. Their natural habitat choice resonates with their resilient and tenacious nature.

However, there’s a twist to their temperament. Parasphendale mantises have a high level of aggressiveness, making solo living the ideal choice. You can keep nymphs up to L4/L5 together, as well as adult males. But, be quick to separate the females to avoid any conflicts.

Species Diversity

The Parasphendale genus boasts diversity with at least 9 distinct species described so far. Some of these captivating species include Parasphendale affins, P. africana, P. costalis, and P. minor. Each species adds a touch of uniqueness to the already mesmerizing world of mantids.

Nymph Transformation

Witness the enchanting transformation of Parasphendale nymphs:

  • L2: Black and remarkably mimic ant-like features.
  • L3: A metamorphosis into the species’ characteristic appearance, resembling larger nymphs.

Species Specifics

Species Specifics
Scientific NameParasphendale agrionina
First DescriptionGERSTAECKER, 1869
SpreadingEthiopia, Kenya, Tanzania
HabitatBushes, small trees, velds, open, dry areas

Distinct Traits and Behavior

  • Aggressiveness: A standout feature of the Budwing Mantis is its very high aggressiveness, particularly when it comes to hunting prey and interactions with other mantises.
  • Color Variants: While this species doesn’t showcase color variations, its unique characteristics more than make up for it.

Size and Lifespan

  • Male Size: Approximately 5cm
  • Female Size: Around 6cm
  • Male Lifespan: Lives for about 5.5 months (including nymph and adult stages), undergoing around 6 moltings.
  • Female Lifespan: Enjoys a longer life of around 10 months (including nymph and adult stages), undergoing approximately 7 moltings.

Distinguishing the Genders

  • Male Sexing: From L5 and beyond, males are slender, smaller, and thinner compared to females. In their adult form, males exhibit long and thin antennas, with wings longer than the abdomen, making them adept flyers.
  • Female Sexing: As females reach L5 and beyond, they become more compact and larger than males. In their adult phase, females are significantly more compact than males. They sport a substantial abdomen, short and thin antennas, and reduced wings, rendering them unable to fly.

Parasphendale agrionina, the Budwing Mantis, is a living masterpiece of nature. With its distinct characteristics, aggressive nature, and captivating transformations, it’s an enthralling addition to the world of mantises. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a curious newcomer, this species is bound to leave you in awe. So, why not venture into the realm of Parasphendale agrionina and discover its mesmerizing secrets firsthand?

Keeping Guide for the Budwing Mantis

This comprehensive guide delves into the nitty-gritty details, ensuring you’re well-equipped to provide the best possible environment for these captivating creatures.

Light and Temperature

  • Light Source: While daylight is a natural choice, consider enhancing it with halogen lamps, LED lights, or similar sources. These mimic natural lighting conditions and promote healthy growth.
  • Light Length: Aim for approximately 12 hours of light exposure each day. This duration aligns with their natural day-night cycle, aiding in their activity and well-being.
  • Daytime Temperature: Maintain a temperature range of 25°C to 32°C during the day. This range ensures their comfort and supports their metabolic processes.
  • Night Temperature: Avoid temperature drops below 20°C at night. This helps prevent stress and maintains their vitality.


  • Daytime Humidity: Maintain a humidity level between 40% and 60% during the day. This ensures adequate moisture for their hydration and overall health.
  • Nighttime Humidity: Increase humidity slightly during the night, aiming for 50% to 70%. This mimics the higher humidity levels often present in their natural habitats.
  • Humidity Maintenance: Regularly mist their enclosure every 2 to 3 days to sustain the desired humidity levels. This imitates natural dew and mist in their environment.

Terrarium Dimensions and Decor

  • Single Keeping: Provide a spacious environment with a terrarium size of at least 15cm x 15cm x 20cm for a single mantis. This offers ample space for movement and exploration.
  • Community Keeping: If housing multiple mantises, cater to their needs by allocating a terrarium size of at least 20cm x 20cm x 20cm for larvae. Adult males require a more generous space of around 30cm x 30cm x 50cm, with provisions for approximately 5 males.
  • Terrarium Decor: Mimic their natural habitat by incorporating branches, twigs, and barksticks. These elements provide climbing opportunities and places for them to rest and molt.
  • Molting Preparation: To facilitate safe molting, create hanging spaces within the terrarium. Attach objects at the top, such as window screen mesh or thin branches. This allows them to securely anchor themselves during the molting process.

Terrarium Essentials

  • Terrarium Substrate: Opt for a substrate that balances earth and sand, or even incorporate pulp. This substrate choice supports their natural behaviors and aids in maintaining humidity levels.
  • Food Variety: Offer a diverse diet including Drosophila, flies, moths, crickets, and cockroaches. This varied nutrition ensures they receive essential nutrients for optimal growth and development.

Each aspect of this guide contributes to creating an environment that mirrors their natural habitat and promotes their overall well-being. Keep in mind that the Budwing Mantis is a complex creature with unique preferences. By closely observing their behavior and making adjustments as needed, you’ll become a skilled keeper who ensures their happiness and health.

Breeding the Parasphendale agrionina

Prepare to unlock the secrets of successful breeding as we delve into the intricate world of the Budwing Mantis, Parasphendale agrionina. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies needed to navigate the captivating journey of bringing new life into the mantis realm.

Mating and Copulation Insights

The mating dance of the Budwing Mantis is an intricate affair, with timing playing a pivotal role. As males reach their peak condition approximately 10 days after their last molt, they become ready for the intricate process of copulation. Females, on the other hand, exhibit their peak mating readiness between days 10 and 14 post-molt.

Copulation, a process of vital importance, can extend anywhere from 4 to 10 hours. During this time, the male diligently transfers his genetic material to the female, setting the stage for the forthcoming reproductive journey.

A Word of Caution: While embarking on the journey of breeding these mantises, it’s essential to be mindful of their heightened aggressiveness during this period. Careful observation and management of interactions are vital to ensure both their well-being and a successful breeding outcome.

A strategic tip to enhance the breeding process involves offering the female some prey before introducing the male. This seemingly simple gesture keeps the female occupied with eating, reducing the likelihood of aggression during copulation.

Ootheca Development and Characteristics

After a successful mating session, the female commences the creation of the ootheca, the egg case that cradles future generations. This construction process initiates within 10 to 14 days after copulation, as the female intricately crafts a secure haven for her offspring.

The ootheca, a marvel of nature, presents itself in a range of sizes, from 3cm to 5cm. Its distinctive longish round shape provides a suitable enclosure for the developing embryos. Dressed in a light brown hue, these oothecae harmonize with the natural environment, ensuring optimal camouflage.

The Art of Incubation and Hatching

The ootheca’s incubation period is a critical phase, demanding precise environmental conditions. To ensure successful development, maintain a controlled temperature range of 25°C to 30°C. The delicate balance of humidity is equally important, with levels set between 30% and 50%. A gentle misting every third day safeguards against undue drying.

The anticipation during the 4- to 5-week incubation period culminates in the emergence of a new generation. Hatching brings forth a cohort of 50 to 180 miniature mantises, each measuring around 6mm in size. Clad in a striking black hue, these hatchlings exhibit ant-mimicry, a clever adaptation for survival.

Creating the Ideal Breeding Environment

The breeding environment is a key factor in successful propagation. A consistent temperature of 25°C to 30°C cultivates the conditions for optimal mating. Humidity, a critical aspect, should be maintained at 50% to 70% to provide the necessary moisture. Regular, careful spraying every 1 to 2 days maintains the delicate equilibrium required for flourishing offspring.


As we conclude this comprehensive guide, we reflect on the captivating world of the Budwing Mantis, Parasphendale agrionina. From their intricate characteristics to the art of breeding, we’ve delved deep into the fascinating life of these remarkable creatures.

Throughout this journey, we’ve uncovered the secrets of optimal husbandry for the Budwing Mantis. From providing the right lighting and temperatures to crafting a suitable habitat complete with branches and twigs, we’ve aimed to replicate their natural environment.

Breeding, a pinnacle of this journey, reveals the complexities of their life cycle. The delicate balance of timing, meticulous care of ootheca, and nurturing the emerging hatchlings reflect the awe-inspiring intricacies of nature’s wonders.

With each detail shared in this guide, you’re poised to embark on an adventure that offers not only insights into mantis care and breeding but also an opportunity to connect deeply with these captivating creatures. The journey of nurturing the Budwing Mantis is a tapestry woven with observation, care, and a profound appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

If you found this article interesting, don’t hesitate to share it on social media!

May interest you

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *