Praying Mantis Food

Praying mantises are carnivores. These means that praying mantis food is usually live insects.  These bugs are sold at gardening stores because they are an alternate choice to insecticides.  These insects have huge appetites, and can eat up to seven houseflies everyday.

A baby praying mantis, or nymph, eats very tiny insects.  Aphids are its preferred meal.  If you have a baby praying mantis pets, feed them by dropping aphid-infested flowers into the cage.  Fruit flies are also a commonly used praying mantis food for baby or juveniles.

A growing praying mantis requires slightly larger meals.  Houseflies are a staple during this stage.  Honeybees, lacewings, earwigs, small spiders, small moths, and certain caterpillars are common prey.  A praying mantis prefers to hunt its food.  It uses its long, serrated arms to quickly grab its prey.  Their swift attacks have inspired martial arts through the ages.  They are also equipped with large eyes, capable of seeing a wide peripheral.

Adult praying mantises require larger insects for meals.  Grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, and flies make up most of its diet.  On occasion, a spider can kill a praying mantis, so be careful if you are using spiders as praying mantis food.

Praying mantises have been known to eat their own kind.  If two praying mantises are kept in the same cage, one of them will be eaten.  Oftentimes, during breeding, the female will kill and eat the male.