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African Occellated Mantis
(Pseudocreobroter occellata)
by Jon Fouskaris
*Information provided by Frank Somma

African Occellated Mantis
Specimen provided by Kelly Swift.
Photo taken by Kelly Swift.

       The African Occellated Mantis is a neat invertebrate pet. These colorful little mantids are easy to breed in captivity, therefore they are fairly common at the moment. They are between 25 and 40 nymphs per ootheca (eggcase). African Occellated Mantids have a look of their own, with a unique design on their wings, and a spiky appearance. They are pros when it comes to catching prey, and will catch a flying insect right out of the air! Like most mantids, the African Occellated Mantis should be kept well ventilated. A screen cage works best for this, just make sure the holes aren't too big for the live prey or baby mantis to escape through. Also, as with other mantid species, they need perches for molting, therefore, branches are necessary. They also need to be fed and misted every other day. Not a starter species, but you don't have to have much experience to keep this mantis. African Occellated Mantids make a good species for an "advanced beginner". In conclusion, the African Occellated Mantis is a nice and rewarding mantis to keep in captivity.
Range Savannahs and tropical forests of Africa.
Type Arboreal.
Diet Babies eat flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, moths, flies, and other large insects. 
Full Grown Size 2 to 3 inches.
Growth Fast speed.
Temperature 75 to 82 F.
Humidity 75 to 80%.
Temperament Docile and calm.
Housing For mantids, a screen cage is best, and is recommended more than any other enclosure. Babies can live in a small screen cage. Adults can live in a large screen cage. Height is more important than floor space.
Substrate 2 to 3 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.
Decor Branches, live plants, vines etc. make good climbing accessories. They also need these decorations to hang upside-down on a branch or a leaf for molting purposes. Moss can be added for floor cover.
Other Names Bulls-eye Mantis, and #9 Mantis.

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