The Mighty Mega Mantis: Plistospilota guineensis

Prepare to be amazed by the captivating world of the Mega Mantis, scientifically known as Plistospilota guineensis. This astonishing mantis species is a true marvel of the insect kingdom. Its unique characteristics and intriguing behavior make it a fascinating subject for enthusiasts and researchers alike.

Plistospilota guineensis
© jvdwinden, (CC-BY-NC)


Taxonomic Tidbits

Taxonomic LevelClassification
Genus & SpeciesPlistospilota guineensis

Nymph Nurturing

At the nymph stage, the Mega Mantis exhibits distinctive traits that set it apart. During the L2 phase, these nymphs boast a larger size compared to their earlier counterparts. While their appearance lacks the mimicry seen in some mantis species, their sheer size is a testament to their potential. This evolutionary strategy is designed for growth and survival, enabling them to adapt and thrive in their environment.

The Mega Mantis, Plistospilota guineensis, belongs to the family Mantidae, nestled within the subfamily Mantinae. Its taxonomic journey leads us to the tribe Polyspilotini, providing insight into its evolutionary lineage. This mantis species falls under the order Mantodea, which is a part of the super-order Dictyoptera.

Unveiling History

The grand debut of the Mega Mantis in the scientific community was orchestrated in the year 1965. This groundbreaking description paved the way for further exploration and understanding of this remarkable creature. With its first official appearance in the realm of taxonomy, the Mega Mantis took its rightful place as a noteworthy addition to the diverse world of praying mantises.

Habitat Harmony

The Mega Mantis finds solace and sustenance in the lush landscapes of West Africa. Its presence graces countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Liberia. A true inhabitant of warm and damp regions, this mantis species thrives among bushes and shrubs characterized by less tangly branches. This specific habitat preference aligns with its natural instincts and contributes to its overall survival strategy.

Feisty Feeding Frenzies

A distinctive trait that sets the Mega Mantis apart is its high level of aggressiveness when it comes to both prey and other mantises. This bold demeanor is a key factor in its ability to secure sustenance and assert its dominance in its ecosystem. The Mega Mantis is not one to back down from a challenge, and its predatory prowess is a spectacle to behold.

Shades of Nature

While the Mega Mantis embraces its natural appearance without an array of color variants, its sheer presence and behavior captivate the observer. It doesn’t rely on flashy hues to make an impression; instead, its formidable size and intriguing behavior speak volumes about its unique role in the intricate web of life.

Overwhelming Prey

A hint of the Mega Mantis’s remarkable capabilities lies in its ability to overpower relatively massive and robust prey. This serves as a testament to its strength and cunning hunting tactics. Imagine a mantis conquering prey that seems to be in a league of its own. This awe-inspiring feat underscores the Mega Mantis’s place at the top of the food chain in its chosen habitat. They can even hunt for small mices, lizards or hummingbirds!

Differences Between Males and Females

The enchanting world of the Mega Mantis, Plistospilota guineensis, extends beyond gender distinctions, offering a captivating glimpse into the lives of its male and female counterparts. From size disparities to lifespans, these differences illuminate the unique paths each gender takes within this remarkable species.


Prepare to be awestruck by the male Mega Mantis, whose distinct characteristics define its role in the ecosystem. Clocking in at an approximate size of 9 centimeters, these males exhibit a modest stature compared to their female counterparts. Their compact size, however, belies their remarkable agility and prowess, attributes that play a crucial role in their interactions and survival.

Lifespan: The lifespan of male Mega Mantises is a testament to their resilience. With a duration of around 7.5 months (including both nymph and adult stages), these males embark on a journey of approximately 9 moltings. This journey, marked by growth and transformation, is a testament to the intricate process of maturation that these males undergo.

Sexing: Identifying male Mega Mantises is a straightforward endeavor that involves keen observation and attention to detail. From the L6 stage onward, one can discern males by simply counting the abdominal segments—eight segments are a defining trait of these males. In their adult form, males sport long antennas, appearing thinner and smaller compared to females. The presence of eight abdominal segments further solidifies their gender identity.


Females of the Mega Mantis species command attention with their distinctive attributes and roles within the ecosystem. Their size, ranging from approximately 10 to 11 centimeters, underscores their importance as the primary nurturers and reproducers. Their larger stature serves as an advantage in performing the tasks required for the continuation of the species.

Lifespan: Female Mega Mantises embark on a more extended journey compared to their male counterparts. With a lifespan of around 11 months (including both nymph and adult stages), these females experience approximately 10 moltings during their transformative journey. This extended lifespan is a testament to the arduous yet essential role they play in sustaining the Mega Mantis population.

Sexing: Distinguishing female Mega Mantises involves a similar process of counting abdominal segments, providing valuable insights into their identity. From the L6 stage onward, females are discernible by their six abdominal segments. As adults, females display a more compact and larger physique compared to males. Their abdomen, notably more corpulent, is a defining feature that sets them apart.

Gender TraitsMale Mega MantisFemale Mega Mantis
SizeApprox. 9 cmApprox. 10-11 cm
Lifespan~7.5 months (~9 moltings)~11 months (~10 moltings)
Sexual Identification8 abdominal segments6 abdominal segments
Adult AppearanceLong antennas, thinner and smallerMore compact, larger, corpulent abdomen

The gender distinctions within the Mega Mantis, Plistospilota guineensis, offer a deeper understanding of the intricacies of this species. From size variations to transformative lifespans, males and females play essential roles in the delicate balance of nature. Each gender’s unique attributes contribute to the enchanting tapestry of life that unfolds within this captivating mantis species.

Enclosure Care Guide

These captivating creatures deserve a well-designed space that caters to their unique needs and behaviors. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a curious beginner, these guidelines will help you provide a thriving environment for your Mega Mantises.


Plistospilota guineensis thrive with ample natural daylight, but supplementing their environment with halogen lamps and similar light sources can enhance their well-being. Aim for a light exposure of approximately 12 hours a day. This ensures that they receive the right amount of light to support their activities and natural behaviors.


Maintaining suitable temperatures is essential for the comfort and vitality of your Mega Mantises. During the daytime, aim for a range of 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). Nighttime temperatures should not dip below 20°C (68°F) to prevent stress and discomfort. This temperature gradient mimics their natural habitat and promotes healthy development.


Creating the ideal humidity levels is crucial to the well-being of your pet. During the day, maintain a humidity range of 50% to 70%. When night falls, adjust the humidity to a slightly higher level of 60% to 80%. Regularly spraying the enclosure every 1 to 2 days helps maintain optimal humidity levels, ensuring your mantises stay hydrated and content.

Enclosure Dimensions

Whether you’re keeping a single Mega Mantis or a community of nymphs, providing adequate space is paramount. For single keeping, an enclosure with dimensions of at least 25cm x 25cm x 35cm is recommended. If you’re housing nymphs up to L4 in a community setting, an enclosure measuring at least 20cm x 20cm x 30cm will accommodate around 10 larvae. Having sufficient space allows your mantises to explore, molt, and thrive.

Enclosure Design

Designing the perfect environment involves attention to detail. Incorporate natural elements like branches, twigs, and plants to create a comfortable and stimulating space for your Mega Mantises. A mixture of earth and sand, along with pulp, can serve as the substrate for your enclosure, providing a suitable foundation for both aesthetics and practicality.

Facilitate the molting process for your Plistospilota guineensis by providing adequate hanging space. Ensuring they have a secure area to hang during molting is crucial for their well-being. Using materials like window screen mesh at the top of the enclosure offers a safe and practical solution for this essential stage of their development.

Nutritious Nourishment:

To cater to the dietary needs of your Plistospilota guineensis, offer a diverse range of food sources. Drosophila, flies, moths, crickets, cockroaches, migratory locusts, and Zophoba are excellent choices to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet for your mantises. Variety in their diet contributes to their overall health and vitality.

Companions in Keeping:

If you’re looking to expand your mantis collection, consider species with similar care requirements. Plistospilota validissima and Polyspilota aeruginosa are options that can be kept using similar enclosure conditions. Ensuring compatibility in terms of environmental needs will make ite easier to care for multiple praying mantis species.

Breeding Mega Mantises


For a dance of reproduction to unfold, timing is crucial. Male Mega Mantises are primed for copulation approximately 3 to 5 weeks after their last molt. Female readiness follows closely, occurring around 4 to 6 weeks post-molt. This synchrony sets the stage for the intricate courtship ritual that leads to copulation.

Copulation Duration

During the copulation ritual, Mega Mantises engage in a captivating display of connection that can last anywhere from 9 to 23 hours. This intricate bonding process plays a pivotal role in fertilization and sets the foundation for the next stage of their journey.

Ooth Building

Within 4 to 6 weeks of their last molt, female commence the mesmerizing process of building oothecae, or egg cases. These capsules of life serve as nurturing vessels for the next generation. Each ootheca, cylindrical with a semicircular cap, boasts a distinctive dark green hue that hints at the life within.

Egg to Hatch

As the ootheca takes shape, it requires meticulous care to ensure successful incubation. Maintain a temperature of 30°C and a humidity level of 70% to 80%. Spritzing daily sustains the ideal environment for the development of the embryos within. The incubation period spans 6 to 8 weeks, culminating in a moment of awe as the ootheca gives birth to new life.


Behold the spectacle of up to 215 nymphs emerging from a single ootheca. These hatchlings, measuring 11mm in size, resemble larger nymphs and embody the promise of the future. The nurturing care provided during incubation contributes to their vitality and strength as they embark on their journey.

Temperature and Humidity

Creating the perfect breeding environment involves careful consideration of temperature and humidity. Maintain a temperature range of 25°C to 35°C and humidity between 60% and 70%. Regular misting ensures the optimal humidity levels. However, be cautious of stagnant moisture, which should be avoided to prevent complications.

Ootheca Incubation

Incubating oothecae demands strategic preparation. Provide a spacious box, with dimensions starting from a minimum of 20cm x 20cm x 20cm. This ample space accommodates the multitude of nymphs that will hatch.

A Tip for Success

Elevate your breeding endeavors with a clever strategy. Provide food for the female, keeping her occupied with prey while the male approaches for copulation. This distraction paves the way for successful mating interactions, contributing to a seamless and successful breeding process. When female is busy eating she is way less likely to eat male’s head.

Mega Mantis


In our journey through the realm of Mega Mantises, Plistospilota guineensis, we’ve uncovered the captivating details that make these creatures truly remarkable. From their enclosures to their breeding habits, we’ve delved into the intricacies that shape their world.

Creating the ideal habitat, understanding their behaviors, and witnessing the miracle of breeding are all part of the enchantment these mantises bring. As keepers and observers, we’re privileged to glimpse the wonders of nature in action.

So, as you venture forth with the Mega Mantises, may you find inspiration in their beauty and marvel at the delicate balance of life they represent. Embrace the joy of discovery, the thrill of understanding, and the endless fascination they offer.

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