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Feeding praying mantids wasps

Small Nymph Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tyne and Wear, UK



My adult female Idolomantis has just polished off a rather large wasp, it was extremely crunchy! She seemed to choose her strike carefully so perhaps they instinctively know to handle them with care. I know some keepers don’t recommend feeding them to mantids but I am always keen to offer as much wild caught prey as possible and as bees and wasps are among the most abundant insects on the planet it seems likely they are an important part of the wild mantid diet.
Just as many mantids have evolved be dependent on flowers, so have bee’s (which have a particularly intricate relationships with flowering plants) and wasps and it seems unlikely that mantids would not have developed strategies to exploit this readily available food source. Even under captive conditions the mantis still has the opportunity to avoid prey and I have seen this happen on numerous occasions.


Junior Member Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: DEVON, UK

flight muscles and pollen


I agree, I’ve fed bees and wasps to every species that would take them.
I’ve never had even a close moment using them [thats not to say it can't happen though] ive had Sphodromantis sp eat wasps sting first, waving their mouth parts around in a circle as they try to grab their first mouthful, the sting. Which incidentally was stabbing away at the mantids mouth-parts quite
savagly until bitten..
Wasps are a very formidable predator and could potentially kill your Mantids,
but bees seem less mobile & determined when captured and always seem to just struggle and not fight back. They are also usually covered in pollen too.
As far as nutrition is concerned,variaty is important. most mantids feed on flying insects for a large part of there life and i always “treat” my mantids with healthy looking wild caught [my own back garden] flying insects.
I only feed honey bees as they are numerous workers, i never feed the larger bumble bee types as they are less numerous in the nest and would be missed more.

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