Egyptian Mantis – Miomantis paykullii: Keeping Guide

Dwelling in the heart of arid landscapes and grassy plains, the Miomantis genus presents us with the mesmerizing Egyptian Mantis, scientifically known as Miomantis paykullii. This diminutive yet captivating mantis species holds a unique charm with its remarkable features and intriguing behaviors.

Miomantis paykullii
© hadanie7, (CC-BY)


Physical Traits and Adaptations

Miomantis paykullii, commonly referred to as the Egyptian Mantis, is a sight to behold. Its modest size is a testament to the elegance that resides within the world of insects. As a small and beautifully designed mantis, this species stands out not only for its appearance but also for its remarkable survival strategies. When faced with danger, the Egyptian Mantis employs its agile and nimble legs to perform astonishing leaps and rapid dashes, escaping threats in a heartbeat. The males of this species, in particular, exhibit exceptional flying prowess, allowing them to navigate their surroundings with grace.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Egyptian Mantis is its knack for blending seamlessly into its environment. Its optimal adaptation to dry grass and wood wool grants it the ability to vanish from sight with ease. As it positions itself amid the drab hues of its chosen habitat, the mantis becomes practically indistinguishable from its surroundings, creating an efficient camouflage that assists both in evading predators and ambushing unsuspecting prey.

Habitat and Distribution

Inhabiting the velds nestled amidst bushes and grasslands, Miomantis paykullii finds its niche in the steppes and dry habitats of various regions. Its extensive distribution spans across Egypt, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauretania, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. This widespread presence showcases the adaptability and resilience of the Egyptian Mantis in diverse ecological settings.

Social Dynamics and Behavior

It’s essential to note that Miomantis paykullii should not be kept in groups due to their highly aggressive nature. While nymphs up to the L4/L5 stage can coexist harmoniously with sufficient food, caution must be exercised to separate them as they mature further. Adult females, in particular, display significant aggression, emphasizing the importance of maintaining solitary conditions for these captivating insects.

Color Variants

The Egyptian Mantis delights with a diverse array of color variants, ranging from subtle shades of brown to vibrant hues of green. These variations, both in color and tone, contribute to the species’ captivating appearance and individuality, making each mantis a unique representation of nature’s creativity.

Keeping Difficulty

For those intrigued by the realm of mantises, the Miomantis genus presents an opportunity. Easy to keep and breed, Miomantis paykullii is recommended even for beginners in the world of mantis husbandry. The freshly hatched nymphs, though minuscule, hold an inherent resilience that aids their survival. Their tiny size is compensated by their minimalistic dietary requirements, allowing enthusiasts to embark on the fascinating journey of raising these captivating creatures.


Males of the Egyptian Mantis exhibit a modest stature, typically measuring around 3.5 centimeters in size. This compact form, however, houses a bundle of energy and adaptability that adds to the allure of the species. The male’s lifespan is relatively concise, spanning approximately four months. This duration includes both the nymph phase and the adult stage, each lasting two months.

When it comes to distinguishing between male and female Egyptian Mantises, the task becomes surprisingly intriguing. As nymphs progress to the L5 stage and beyond, differentiation becomes possible through the careful counting of abdominal segments – males possess a total of eight. Once they mature into adulthood, males display a slender build, with wings extending beyond their abdomen. This distinctive feature sets them apart from their female counterparts.


In contrast, female Egyptian Mantises command a slightly larger size, ranging from approximately 3.5 to 4 centimeters. Their extended lifespan spans around six months, with the same division of two months as nymphs and four months as adults.

The process of distinguishing female mantises also centers on the count of abdominal segments. From the L5 stage onward, females boast six segments, allowing for convenient identification. In their adult form, female Egyptian Mantises are characterized by a more compact physique compared to males. Their wings, though present, are not as long as the abdomen, further contributing to their distinct appearance.

Life Cycles and Roles

These differences between males and females extend beyond mere physical attributes. They play essential roles in the species’ survival and reproduction. The relatively shorter lifespan of males reflects their primary purpose: reproduction. Males dedicate their limited time to mating, employing their agile bodies to seek out potential partners.

On the other hand, females undertake a dual role, spanning nurturing and perpetuating the species. Their comparatively longer lifespan allows for a more extended period of nurturing eggs and ensuring the survival of the next generation. This duality of roles showcases the harmonious balance that exists within the species, where each gender plays an essential part in the lifecycle of Miomantis paykullii.

Egyptian Mantis
© shahar chaikin, (CC-BY)

Ideal Terrarium Conditions

As you embark on the journey of housing the captivating Egyptian Mantis (Miomantis paykullii), it’s essential to understand the intricacies of their habitat requirements. Crafting an ideal enclosure ensures the well-being, growth, and reproduction of these remarkable insects.

Lighting and Temperature

Daylight serves as an adequate light source for the Egyptian Mantis, but to enhance their environment and provide a consistent rhythm, consider using halogen lamps or other appropriate lighting. Maintaining a light cycle of around 12 hours mimics natural conditions, promoting the mantises’ well-being. Temperature plays a crucial role; keeping the daytime temperature within the range of 24°C to 30°C ensures their vitality. Nights should be kept relatively warm, not dipping below 20°C.

Managing Humidity

Maintaining the right humidity levels is imperative for the Egyptian Mantis. Daytime humidity between 50% to 60% and nighttime humidity ranging from 60% to 70% closely replicates their natural habitat. Regularly misting the enclosure every 2 to 3 days helps to sustain this balanced moisture. It’s crucial to note that while nymphs require a slightly more humid environment, stagnant moisture should be avoided to prevent any issues related to excessive dampness.

Terrarium Dimensions and Design

When it comes to terrarium dimensions, attention to detail is key. For single mantis keeping, a terrarium measuring at least 10cm x 10cm x 10cm provides sufficient space. However, for communal rearing of nymphs up to the L4/L5 stage, consider a larger space of approximately 20cm x 20cm x 20cm, accommodating around 20 tiny mantises. Creating a safe environment for molting is crucial – ensure that there’s ample hanging space for mantises to molt securely. Implementing materials like window screen mesh at the top of the enclosure allows them to attach and hang safely during molting.

Enclosure Decor and Substrate

To mirror the Egyptian Mantis’ natural habitat, enrich the terrarium with various elements. Branches, plants, twigs, leaves, and bark sticks create an engaging and lifelike environment. These additions not only provide aesthetic value but also serve as hiding spots and surfaces for molting. For the substrate, an earth-sand mixture or pulp offers a suitable base that retains moisture without becoming waterlogged.

Catering to Nutritional Needs

Addressing the mantises’ dietary preferences is crucial. Egyptian Mantises relish a diet of Drosophila, flies, moths, cockroaches, and crickets. This varied menu ensures their nutritional needs are met and encourages their overall well-being.

Breeding Egyptian Mantises

Breeding Miomantis paykullii unveils a series of intriguing behaviors and intricate processes, shedding light on the species’ reproductive journey. Understanding the phases and nuances of their breeding cycle adds depth to the wonder of these remarkable insects.

Breeding readiness and Copulation

Male and female Egyptian Mantises exhibit distinct readiness for copulation after their final molting. Males typically become copulation-ready around a week after their last molt, while females achieve this status within one to two weeks. The copulation process itself is a captivating affair, lasting approximately 2 to 4 hours. Without elaborate courtship rituals, the male swiftly recognizes the female and engages in the mating process.

As soon as the male recognizes the female, a fascinating dance begins—one without the conventional courtship rituals often seen in the animal kingdom. With remarkable agility, the male swiftly leaps onto the female, bypassing any formalities. Even if the female attempts to capture the male, his rapid and skillful movements ensure he lands adeptly on her back, eluding her grasp.

Ootheca Formation and Incubation

Approximately four weeks after their final molt, the female embarks on the intricate task of constructing oothecae, or egg cases. These are usually affixed to leaves and branches, a meticulous process that showcases the species’ adaptive instincts. Female may lay up to 10 fertile oothecae in her lifetime, each can sometimes even reach a size of 5 centimeters. These oothecae are characterized by their longish oval shape, ribbed texture, and a distinct yellowish hue.

The period of ootheca incubation holds its own set of nuances. Maintaining a temperature range of 25°C to 30°C and humidity levels between 50% to 70%, accompanied by bi-daily misting, supports successful incubation. This stage spans around three weeks, during which the oothecae gradually mature. Once hatched, these egg cases yield an average of 20 to 40 nymphs, with a potential maximum of up to 74. These hatching nymphs, measuring a mere 6mm, showcase the species’ characteristic brown-black striped appearance, resembling their larger counterparts.

Breeding and Nurturing

Breeding Egyptian Mantises requires attention to temperature and humidity. Maintaining an environment of 25°C to 30°C and a humidity range of 60% to 70% fosters optimal conditions for successful mating and reproduction. Interestingly, the mating process is direct, as the male promptly approaches the female without any formal courtship. His agility allows him to evade the female’s advances and effectively initiate the mating process.

A clever tip to facilitate successful mating involves providing the female with a source of food. By engaging her in the act of eating, the male can approach her more readily and initiate copulation while she’s distracted.

Caring for Nymphs

Once the nymphs hatch, their minuscule size and unique appearance are evident. These wet-looking brown-black striped nymphs mirror the appearance of their larger counterparts and require minimal food to thrive. Providing small prey, such as springtails or D. melanogaster, supports their growth and development during this crucial phase.

In essence, the journey of breeding Egyptian Mantises delves into the intricacies of their reproductive behavior, ootheca formation, and nymph hatching. By embracing the species’ distinct habits and adapting their environment to mirror natural conditions, enthusiasts can witness the wonder of life unfolding within the world of Miomantis paykullii.

Egyptian mantis close up
© Hila Taylor, (CC-BY)


In the delicate web of nature’s wonders, the Egyptian Mantis (Miomantis paykullii) emerges as a captivating enigma. Its story unfolds through agile courtship, the creation of intricate egg cases, and the emergence of minuscule nymphs. With their mesmerizing rituals devoid of traditional courtship, these insects demonstrate the art of adaptation and survival in arid landscapes.

From crafting optimal enclosures to comprehending copulation readiness, ootheca incubation, and nymph nurturing, each stage reveals nature’s ingenuity. The Egyptian Mantis embodies adaptation, survival, and evolution in its elegant form.

As we conclude this exploration, we’re reminded of life’s interconnectedness and the lessons within the minutiae. Breeding Egyptian Mantises offers a glimpse into the tapestry of existence, where even the smallest beings have stories to share and insights to offer. In the Egyptian Mantis’ dance, we find a reflection of life’s intricate beauty and tenacity.

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