19 Types of Praying Mantis (With Pictures & Identification Guide) - (2024)

Are you also someone who thought there was only one kind of praying mantis?

Because I certainly did. It was only recently that I discovered there are around 2,300 species of praying mantis found on Earth. With Keeping Insects as a reference, we’ve compiled a list of 19 species of praying mantis found all around the world. Each of these species varies in size, build, color, and living conditions.

So, keeping everything in mind, let’s dive straight into learning more about the 19 types of praying mantis.

Table of Contents

19 Types of Praying Mantis

1) Iridescent Bark Mantis

Scientific Name Metallyticus splendidus
SizeFemales are around 31 millimeters while males measure 21 millimeters.
IdentificationIridescent black body with males in blue-violet and females in golden-green.
Geographic LocationSoutheast Asia

Male mantises have a blue-violet wardrobe, while females have a chic golden-green look.

This mantis’ eggs are tiny and take around 80-90 days to hatch.

Unlike other mantises, these iridescent mantises can be both day-hunter and nocturnal and can be found hunting for food under the moonlight.

Raising the bark mantis as a pet can be challenging but the reward is having a rare and stunning companion.

2) Carolina mantis

Scientific Name Stagmomantis carolina
SizeFemales are around 47-60 mm while males are around 54 mm
IdentificationDusty brown, gray, or green color long wings
Geographic LocationNative to North and South Carolina

The male Carolina mantis is known to be one of the sly insects with its slim, long wings, measuring a modest 4.5 cm that camouflages with the branches.

The female Carolina mantis is usually big, with a bulky silhouette and short wings.

If you are planning to have them as your pet, make sure to keep the temperature from 9 to 22 degrees Celsius, and don’t forget to mist the enclosure twice a week.

The female Carolinas start by laying egg sacs (ootheca) with each sac protecting 20 to 40 eggs.

3) Chinese Mantis

Scientific Name Tenodera sinensis
SizeOver 11 cm (4.3 inches)
IdentificationBrown and green mantis with a distinguishable yellow spot between the legs
Geographic LocationNative to Asia but also found in the United States

The Chinese mantis has a brown and green body with brown wings and a green line on the edges.

Males are identified by their slightly shorter antennae and up to 50% of their romantic encounters end in cannibalism.

A popular choice among mantis enthusiasts, the Chinese Mantis is a common pet, easily adaptable to human care.

4) Wandering Violin Mantis

Scientific Name Gongylus gongylodes
SizeUp to 11 cm (4.3 in) for females and the males are around 9 cm
IdentificationLeaf-like appendages, resembling a slender violin silhouette
Geographic LocationFound in Southern India, Java, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand

The Wandering Violin Mantis is a long and slender insect with limbs that resemble a violin’s silhouette.

When it comes to hunting down prey, it’s a sit-and-wait predator, patiently swaying its body like a tiny branch waiting for the best moment to strike up.

It thrives in group housing setups, where it peacefully coexists with its fellow mantises. But like the Chinese Mantis, they take up cannibalism, especially when the food supply runs low.

It is sensitive to temperature, humidity, and the quality of its food, making it quite a tedious task to take care of this mantis.

5) Devils Flower Mantis

Scientific Name Idolomantis diabolica
SizeFemales grow up to 13 cm while the males grow up to 10 cm
IdentificationWhite-and-green-striped mantis with the males featuring feathered antennae.
Geographic LocationNative to Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Somalia, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Uganda

Devil’s Flower Mantis is a white and green striped mantis with red, white, black, and blue markings all over its body.

Despite the devil’s flower mantis’ bold appearance, it is easily stressed and prone to panic and prefers a quiet life.

This mantis chooses minimal cannibalism in the group and a preference for peaceful coexistence.

From the need for specific temperature and humidity levels to ample hiding spots this mantis has specific requirements for robust growth.

6) Thistle Mantis

Scientific Name Blepharopsis mendica
SizeAround 5 to 6 cm
IdentificationIt has creamy-white to beige with light green stripes, distinctive orange and blue-white spots on its front legs, and a pointed shield on its back.
Geographic LocationFound in North Africa, the Canary Islands, parts of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, southern Asia, and the Canary Islands.

This mantis sports a creamy-white to-beige combination with light green stripes and veins on its wings.

It also has orange and blue-white spots on its front legs, flaunted in a threatening posture to deter predators.

Unlike the other insects, the Thistle Mantis prefers a laid-back approach, relying on its natural camouflage to patiently wait for unsuspecting prey.

When in danger, it raises its wings, holds its forearms in a sideways pose, and reveals bright colors.

Their diet consists of a variety of flying insects but they avoid eating crickets as they are bad for mantis health and fertility.

7) Budwing Mantis

Scientific Name Parasphendale affinis
SizeFemales are about 7 cm while the males can grow up to 4 cm
IdentificationLight to medium brown body with dark and light spots
Geographic LocationFound in East Africa

When feeling threatened, the female Budwing Mantis strikes a pose, spreading its wings to reveal a stunning display of bright yellow-orange coloration underneath.

The Budwig Mantis showcases a certain degree of sexual dimorphism in terms of its size, as the females take the spotlight at 7 cm, the males stand at a modest 4 cm.

If you are planning to keep them as your companion then a spacious terrarium at least three times their length in height and twice in width is a must.

8) European Mantis

Scientific Name Mantis religiosa
SizeFemales are about 8 cm, while males grow up to 7 cm
IdentificationLight green mantis with distinctive black spot and white dot pattern on the inside of the front legs and yellow dots on the forearms
Geographic LocationOriginally from Europe, but also established in North America.

The European Mantis has a beautiful and captivating light green ensemble adorned with a bold black spot and white dot pattern on its forearms.

Females, at about 8 cm, flaunt their slender bodies with shorter antennae, while the males, who are 7 cm, boast longer antennae and wings.

Their courtship involves cautious approaches, with males freezing and staring while the females leap by attacking.

9) Egyptian Pygmy Mantis

Scientific Name Miomantis paykullii
SizeAround 1 inch in adulthood
IdentificationSleek and petite, with colors ranging from light green to dark brown
Geographic LocationAfrican countries, including Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal, Togo, and Israel

The Egyptian Pygmy Mantis is a tiny insect measuring just around one inch in adulthood.

It comes in a variety of chic colors—light green, beige, light brown, and dark brown.

Despite their petite stature, they can be active stalkers during hunting and maintain a calm demeanor, rarely bothered by larger prey.

Egyptian Pygmy Mantises are not picky eaters; from fruit flies to small crickets, moths, and green bottle flies—these mantises appreciate a wide diversity of food.

10) Arizona Unicorn Mantis

Scientific Name Pseudovates arizonae
SizeUp to 6.5 to 7 cm
IdentificationDark brown body with distinctive black and light brown stripes, featuring dual “horns” on the head
Geographic LocationNative to North America, particularly Arizona

The Arizona Unicorn Mantis has a dark brown body with black and light brown stripes and two tiny “horns” on its head.

It is a master of Zen, waiting and embracing the art of patience while relying on its impeccable camouflage to blend seamlessly into the background.

Call it high maintenance but for successful mating, it requires a temperature above 30 °C, ensuring a warm and cozy atmosphere.

11) Spiny Flower Mantis

Scientific Name Pseudocreobotra wahlbergi
SizeApproximately 4 to 5 inches
IdentificationIt has white with green stripes, an eyespot on its forewings, and a black and yellow swirl pattern on its back.
Geographic LocationNative to southern and eastern Africa, specifically sub-Saharan Africa

The spiny flower mantis has a white body with vibrant orange and green stripes and wings that resemble a mesmerizing eye-catching swirl.

The insect transforms from a black nymph to a light green to a yellow, pink, or even red adult.

When threatened, it spreads its forewings, appearing larger and revealing eyespots that startle potential predators.

Mantis females are not only larger and heavier but also exhibit aggressive behavior by consuming the male.

12) Giant African Mantis

Scientific Name Sphodromantis baccettii
SizeFemales are around 8 cm, while males can grow up to 6 to 7 cm
IdentificationThe mantis has a distinguished blue-black spot on the femur.
Geographic LocationEndemic to West Africa, specifically found in Kenya and Somalia

The Giant African Mantis has a green body with a hint of yellow-green at times and a distinctive blue-black spot on its femur.

It has an aggressive hunting style as this mantis actively pursues its prey, usually larger than its size.

It prefers a cozy atmosphere, with the ideal temperature around 25 °C.

During the mating season, the female, larger and broader, can get a bit aggressive towards the male.

13) Orchid Mantis

Scientific Name Hymenopus coronatus
SizeFemales are around 6 to 7 cm while males are about 2.5 cm long
IdentificationBeautiful pink and white mantis
Geographic LocationFound in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia

The Orchid Mantis has a stunning pink and white body and leg lobes that mimic flower petals.

Interestingly, they can switch between soft white and bright pink hues in a matter of days.

The adult female Orchid Mantis grows to a decent length of 6 to 7 cm, while the male stands at a modest 2.5 cm.

It perfectly camouflages with flowers, with lobes resembling flower petals and a swaying motion.

14) Indian Flower Mantis

Scientific Name Creobroter pictipennis
SizeFemales are around 4 cm, while males are 3 cm
IdentificationThis mantis has a creamy white body with green-brown blotches and striped green and brown legs
Geographic LocationNative to Asia

The Indian Flower Mantis has a creamy white body adorned with green-brown blotches and striped legs. When feeling threatened, it unveils a vibrant yellow-white eye patch.

With an ability to mimic flowers, particularly with its eye-catching wings and foreleg spread, it is known to play a great game of hide-and-seek.

The ideal terrarium for the mantis is a spacious 15 x 10 x 10 cm, complete with fake plants and perches.

15) Giant Asian Mantis

Scientific Name Hierodula membranacea
SizeFemales are about 8–9 cm and males grow around 7–8 cm
IdentificationIt is a green-to-beige-colored mantis
Geographic LocationNative to Asia

The Giant Asian Mantis showcases a multitude of colors ranging from green to beige, with some individuals even sporting a hint of pink.

It is also an active predator, fearlessly attacking prey half its size or smaller.

The Giant Asian Mantis needs specific enclosure conditions to survive, from 24°C to a well-ventilated, spacious home, with a terrarium size recommendation of 30 x 20 x 30 cm.

Whether young nymphs or adults, the Giant Asian Mantis prefers a solitary lifestyle as a way to prevent cannibalism.

16) Ghost Mantis

Scientific Name Phyllocrania paradoxa
SizeAround 45–50 mm long
IdentificationLeaf-like body mimicking dead leaves
Geographic LocationNative to Africa

The Ghost Mantis has a leaf-like body adorned in shades of dark brown, sand, and even green, helping it to effortlessly blend with nature.

It is a sit-and-wait predator, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Unlike the others, the ghost mantis allows multiple individuals to coexist peacefully in one enclosure.

A newborn Ghost mantis resembles black ants in both appearance and behavior aiding in their evasion from predators.

17) Gambian Spotted-Eye Mantis

Scientific Name Pseudoharpax virescens
SizeAdults are around 3 cm
IdentificationThe mantis has a white to creamy underside, a dark green back, shiny green wings, pink accents, and red hindwings.
Geographic LocationNative to Gambia, West Africa, and widespread across Western, Central, and Eastern Africa.

The Gambian Spotted-Eye Mantis is a petite mantis species from the Gambia, West Africa.

It has a white to creamy underbelly and a dark green back complemented by shimmering wings with hints of pink.

Despite its modest size of 3 cm, it bravely stands up against predators much larger than itself.

When at rest, it appears green, but when it is threatened it reveals its red wings.

It is advised to keep these mantises in solitary confinement to prevent cannibalism, except for very young nymphs.

18) Dead Leaf Mantis

Scientific Name Deroplatys desiccata
SizeFemales reach about 9 cm, while males grow up to 7-8 cm.
IdentificationThe mantis has a distinctive shield on the prothorax
Geographic LocationNative to Malaysia

The Dead Leaf Mantis perfectly imitates a withered leaf by featuring brown hues, dark spots, and light patterns, creating a convincing forest floor illusion.

When threatened, it unfolds its wings, showcasing a large black spot and striking black-and-white patterns to scare the predators.

While not aggressive, housing the individuals together often leads to cannibalistic encounters.

It thrives in tropical conditions, that is, it prefers temperatures between 26°C to 35°C and is rarely seen in places with temperatures of 22°C or below.

19) African Mantis

Scientific Name Sphodromantis lineola
SizeFemales are about 8 cm long and the males are 6-7 cm
IdentificationFemales are larger with wings reaching the end of the abdomen.
Geographic LocationFound in Sub-Saharan Africa

Known for its large size, the African Mantis is cherished as a pet for its fierce hunting skills and manageable care requirements.

Coming in shades of green, beige, or brown, the African Mantis showcases a versatile color palette highly influenced by its environment.

If you want to add a purple touch to your mantis, you can opt for the brown mantis species, as it flaunts striking purple eyes.

The female African mantis fearlessly pursues prey, while the males are slightly more cautious with oversized prey.


This concludes another informative article on the 19 species of praying mantis. While some flaunt a vibrant green hue, others master the art of mimicry by camouflaging with dead leaves or colorful flowers. These creatures are not only cunning but also swift, having evolved to escape and defend themselves despite their small stature.


Image Credits:https://www.keepinginsects.com/praying-mantis/species/

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19 Types of Praying Mantis (With Pictures & Identification Guide) - (20)


Hi everyone, my name is Shawna, and I’ve always been fascinated by the fascinating diversity of flora and fauna that our naturehas in it. I am currently studying biotechnology and am particularly interested in animal biotechnology, delving into the intricate processes that define their true nature and uniqueness.

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