Do Praying Mantis Need a Heat Lamp?
Everything You Need To Know To Get The Temperature Right
Keeping praying mantis as pets is a great hobby, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Beginner mantis keepers often worry about the equipment they will need for their new pets.
Do praying mantis need heat lamps? The short answer is – they might.
The truth is, most mantis species can survive at room temperature without a heat lamp. However, this will depend on the conditions inside your home and the species of mantis you are keeping.
While many mantis species will be fine without additional sources of heat, it’s important to pay attention to the temperature inside the mantis enclosure, as all mantises are sensitive to heat.
Keep reading if you want to learn more about maintaining the right climate in your mantis enclosure.
Do Praying Mantis Need Heat?
Just like all living beings, praying mantis need some form of heat to survive. Since they are cold-blooded, mantis actually need warmth to keep them moving – they don’t produce their own body heat like mammals.
Therefore, heat is especially important to the praying mantis. But exactly how much heat? This will depend on where the particular species of mantis comes from.
What Temperatures Do Praying Mantis Need to Survive?
Can mantis be kept at room temperature? Well, many of them can, but it’s important to be precise about what we mean by ‘room temperature’ in this case.
What may appear as a small difference to us can actually be huge for the gentle mantis. Many mantis species will do well at a temperature that ranges between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In particular, the most common mantis species – the Carolina Mantis, the Chinese Mantis, and the European Mantis will thrive in this temperature range.
However, you should keep in mind that every species of mantis has its own specific requirements in terms of temperature and humidity levels (see table below).
This is because praying mantis are found in almost all corners of the world, which also means a wide range of habitats.
One example of a mantis that needs special care is the Wandering Violin Mantis. This stunning species is native to India and Sri Lanka and it thrives in hot weather.
The ideal temperature for this species is around 95 degrees Fahrenheit, although it can tolerate even hotter conditions.
Although they don’t mind the temps dropping to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night, the Wandering Violin Mantis will not be happy if not warmed up during the day.
Praying Mantis Temperature & Humidity Chart by Species
Below you’ll find a quick reference table with typical temperature and humidity requirements for different mantis species.
Keep in mind that this is just a rough estimate and there is some variability to it. The temperatures can be allowed to drop at night, like in nature.
Additionally, it’s important to pay attention to other factors besides warmth. The key is learning as much as possible about the original habitat where the mantis comes from and trying to create a similar environment.
|Mantis Species||Temperature (F)||Humidity (%)|
|Chinese Mantis (T. Sinensis)||71 – 86||50% – 60%|
|African Mantis (S. Lineola)||72 – 86||50% – 60%|
|Carolina Mantis (S. Carolina)||70 – 85||60% – 80%|
|European Mantis (M. Religiosa)||74 – 82||40% – 65%|
|Ghost Mantis (P. Pardoxa)||80||60% – 90%|
|Giant Asian Mantis (H. Membranacea)||77 – 86||60%|
|Spiny Flower Mantis (P. Wahlberghii)||77 – 86||60%|
|Orchid Flower Mantis (H. Coronatus)||77 – 95||60% – 80%|
|African Flower Mantis (P. ocellata)||77 – 86||60 – 80%|
|Budwing Mantis (P. affinis, P. argionina)||79 – 82||50%|
|Dead Leaf Mantis (D. desiccata)||79 – 95||50% – 80%|
|Gambian Spotted-Eye Mantis (P. virescens)||68 – 85||40% – 60%|
|Wandering Violin Mantis (G. gongylodes)||86 – 105||30% – 40%|
|Devil’s Flower Mantis (I. diabolica)||86 – 105||60% – 80%|
|Unicorn Mantis (P. arizonae)||65 – 83||40% – 50%|
How to Warm Up a Mantis Enclosure
How do you know if your mantis needs additional heating? Well, once you’ve figured out the recommended temperature range for the species in question, compare that to the temperature inside the room where you’ll be keeping the mantis.
If it’s too cold – you’ll need to warm up the enclosure using one of the methods below.
Now, you could always wing it and use trial and error to figure out what works best for your new pet, but there is a possibility you could harm your mantis that way.
If you want to be sure the temperature conditions are right, it’s best to take a thermometer and measure the exact temperature inside the enclosure.
The overall temperature in your house might not be the same as that in the enclosure. The enclosure could be colder or warmer, depending on where it is located, and whether there is a draft or something that radiates heat nearby, for example.
Over time, as you get familiar with the typical behavior of your mantis, you might be able to notice how it reacts to changes in temperature. (For example, when a mantis is too cold, it will often become less active than usual).
A Word About Temperature Variations
The right temperature is very important for mantis because they are cold-blooded (just like all insects).
What that means is that their bodies don’t produce heat, and they do not possess the ability to regulate their own body temperature without outside help.
Now, the way mantis actually regulate their body temperature in nature by using the environment out there. If they need more warmth, they will bask in the sun, or hide in the shade if they need to cool down.
For best results, you’ll want to create an enclosure where a mantis will be able to do the same. If your enclosure is in a sunny area, then you can create sunny and shady spots.
If heating by an artificial heat source, try to place it on one side of the enclosure. This way, the mantis will have a warm area and a slightly colder area to use as it pleases.
As mentioned before, most mantis are pretty resistant to short-term drops in temperature, just like the environment gets colder during the night in nature. However, if left in the cold for too long, the mantis will die.
Heat lamps are a common method for heating up mantis enclosures. You can buy specialized heat lamps made for insects or reptiles, but you don’t have to.
Since mantis typically live in small enclosures, and don’t need extremely hot temperatures, a regular lightbulb will work just as well.
You can use any kind of light bulb, just make sure to consider how much heat the bulb actually produces. This is not something we often think about, but some light bulbs can actually get quite hot.
Old-school iridescent light bulbs can heat up your enclosure in no time, but it’s important to take care not to heat too much.
LED light bulbs, on the other hand, produce very little heat so they can be too cold for the challenge of heating up your mantis habitat.
You can experiment with different wattages and different types of lightbulbs until you get the temperature just right.
Heat Pads and Heat Cables
Heat pads and heat cables are heating elements made specifically for reptile and insect enclosures. They can be found for relatively cheap and are a great way to keep your mantis warm.
As you might guess, a heating pad is a flat mat that radiates heat, while a heating cable radiates heat directly from a long cable.
Both of those solutions are easy to use. They are made for heating up enclosures and they will generally not get too hot, which is good.
However, you should still be careful when choosing a heating pad. You don’t want to get the enclosure too hot, so avoid getting overly large heating elements.
Many heating pads and cables can be used with a thermostat, and this is a great way to ensure the temperature inside the enclosure stays in the right range.
A Mantis Room
Now, this is not something many beginners will want to do, but many insect enthusiasts actually keep an insect room in the house.
This way, you can just maintain a good temperature and humidity levels in the whole room, and not each enclosure individually.
This is definitely fun, but, as we said – it’s not for everyone.
Mantis Heating Precautions
When heating up your mantis enclosure, the number one thing to try to avoid is extreme temperature. No matter if it is too hot or too cold, a mantis will not do well if the temperature changes a lot.
One common cause of overheating people often forget about is actually the sun.
Placing transparent solid containers such as those made of plastic or glass in direct sunlight can cause them to overheat and practically overheat your mantis inside.
Conversely, drafts and open windows can cool the mantis enclosure more than one would expect. If the heating in your house gets turned off at night, that is another thing to be careful about.
Sure, mantis don’t mind getting a bit chilly at night, but don’t let it get too cold.
When using heat lamps or other heating elements, it’s best to make sure that the mantis cannot actually touch the source of heat.
They could end up hurting themselves if this happens. That’s especially true in case of lightbulbs, so keep them away from the reach of the mantis.
Are Praying Mantis Sensitive to Light?
Yes, praying mantis are sensitive to light. All mantis have two large eyes that face forward. This is what gives their faces the unique look.
These eyes are, of course, sensitive to light. Mantis rely greatly on their eyesight when hunting. They are typically diurnal, which means they are active during the day.
While many mantis do well in low-light conditions too, enough light can make the enclosure feel more natural.
If you are wondering if praying mantis are sensitive to light in the sense that too much light can hurt them, then the answer is no.
The compound eyes of a praying mantis can withstand looking at bright light, and even if the cells were damaged, they would quickly recover.
Do Praying Mantis Need Sunlight?
While mantis can benefit from having enough light, they are not dependent on sunlight. That means they also don’t need specialized UV lamps.
Reptiles, for example, need special UVB lights when kept in captivity to mimic the sun, but a mantis will be happy with enough warmth and light from any source.
Bonus Tip: How To Heat Baby Praying Mantis
No matter if your own praying mantis has laid eggs, or if you purchased them, you might be wondering about heating up the enclosures for baby mantises.
In nature, praying mantis hatch when the temperature is right, and you’ll need the same conditions to let them grow in captivity. While not all mantis babies need heating, some might.
As you might know, mantis usually need to be kept in separate enclosures. Young mantis nymphs are typically placed in individual plastic cups or other small containers.
Heating each of those individually would be tricky, as any heating element could easily overheat the enclosure and creating different temperature areas for the mantis would be almost impossible.
An easy way to maintain a stable temperature is placing multiple cups for individual baby mantis in another large enclosure. Then, you can warm up the whole area with a light bulb or heat pad.
If you do this, it’s best to use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature periodically.
- Praying mantis are cold blooded, which means they rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature
- For this reason, the correct temperature range is extremely important when keeping mantis as pets
- Heat lamps might or might not be needed
- This depends on the time of year, the temperature in your home, and the species of mantis
- A mantis enclosure can be easily heated with a heat lamp or regular light buld
- Heating pads and heating cables can also be used
Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:What Do You Need For A Praying Mantis Habitat?
A Beginners Guide to Keeping Praying Mantis as a Pet
3 Best Kind of Praying Mantis to Keep as Pets
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