- Scientific Name: Hymenopus Coronatus
- Native in: Originally in the rainforest of Malaysia, nowadays in rainforests in the south and southeast Asia along the equator
- Average Size as an Adult: Males 1.2 – 1.6 in (approx. 3-4 cm), females 2.7 – 3.5 in (approx. 7-9 cm)
- Diet: Carnivorous, possible prey: Fruit flies, butterflies, gold flies, moths, cockroaches, grasshoppers
- Lifespan: 6-12 Months
- Temperature: 75° F (approx. 24° C) – 82° F (approx. 28° C)
- Humidity: 65% – 80%
- Overall difficulty rating: Medium – High
The Hymenopus Coronatus is a small to medium-sized praying mantis, probably one of the most beautiful onescommonly held as pets. It is among the most popular praying mantis due to its eye-catching coloring. The females are larger than the males. This species was originally native to the Malaysian rainforest and can nowadays be found in rainforests in south and southeastern Asia along the equator. The countries where this orchid mantis can be found include Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Sumatra, and Borneo.
The Hymenopus Coronatus mimics orchid flowers and can therefore be found close to orchids or on them because it’s the best spot for them to hide and catch some prey. The colors can vary between pink, reddish, yellow, white, and green tones, and sometimes with some brown patterns.
Just like all praying mantis species, the Hymenopus Coronatus is carnivorous. Fruits, vegetables, or syrups are not part of the praying mantis diet.
This species is small to medium sizes, and the prey that is consumed is adapted to the size. Bigger prey may injure the praying mantis.
Young nymphs (L1) can be fed with fruit flies (Drosophila Melanogaster) that are widely available in pet stores. Nymphs in L2 and L3 can be fed with bigger fruit flies (Drosophila Hydei), and depending on the size of the mantis (and the prey) after L4 other insects such as moths, butterflies, small roaches, gold flies, bluebottle flies, wax moths, or grasshoppers can be fed. Make sure that the prey is always smaller than the praying mantis. Especially grasshoppers come with a higher risk of injuring the mantis with the hind legs if they are too big of prey.
It’s important to know that praying mantes are loners and tend to be cannibalistic. Once they hatch from their ootheca they will all go in different directions and not stay together.
It is possible to keep nymphs together until the third molt, but after the third molt, the risk of cannibalism increases dramatically. This is why each Hymenopus Coronatus should have its own home.
Due to the high humidity that this species needs, a glass or plastic tank with a mesh lid to allow enough ventilation is a good choice. The height is particularly important because praying mantis molt while hanging upside down. This is why the height of the terrarium should be at least 2 to 3 times the length of the praying mantis. If the praying mantis hits the ground or any decoration during the molting process, it might get stuck and die.
A good enclosure size for an adult Hymenopus Coronatus is 20cm x 20cm x 30cm. Males are usually a bit smaller and can be housed in a smaller cage.
Make sure that the enclosure is properly ventilated through a mesh top and maybe even a mesh side if possible, to allow not only the air to circulate but also let the praying mantis easily move around and dangle from the sides or the ceiling.
The floor of the enclosure should be covered, otherwise, the praying mantis might have trouble moving around. You can use soil, sand, cocoa flakes, gravel, or a mixture of sand and soil. Kitchen paper is also possible and often used for younger nymphs, but the older and more impressive the Hymenopus Coronatus get, the more owners tend to decorate the enclosure a little prettier.
Twigs or smaller plants, as well as fake plants, are a good choice for a praying mantis enclosure. Even though it looks pretty to have matching colors for the praying mantis and the fake or real plant inside of the terrarium, it is not necessary and the colors of the praying mantis will not develop according to the colors you introduce.
The Hymenopus Coronatus can theoretically be kept in a plant in your room without an enclosure, but only if the temperature is warm enough. Males should always be kept inside an enclosure as they are able to fly around once they reach adulthood.
The ideal for this species is between 75° F and 82° F (approx. 24-28° C). Keep in mind that the Hymenopus Coronatus usually lives in the warm and damp rainforests of south and southeast Asia. Temperatures up to 86° F (approx. 30° C) are also good.
At night the temperature can be as low as 64,4° F (approx. 18°C) but should not drop below that.
To be able to maintain the desired temperature, you can either use a heating mat under one part of the terrarium or on the side, or a heating lamp. The heating device should be interconnected with a timer to simulate the different temperatures throughout the day and night in a rainforest.
The ideal humidity for Hymenopus Coronatus is between 65% and 80%. Rainforests are damp which is why the inside of the enclosure should be misted twice a day. Make sure that the air can circulate well, otherwise, mold will grow and might kill your pet.
Younger nymphs generally need higher humidity.
The mantis can be sprayed directly with water and will drink it from the tentacles and from the leaves. A separate water bowl is not necessary.
The Hymenopus Coronatus is very popular because of its appearance. It mimics orchid flowers and comes in beautiful color shades of pink, reddish, yellow, and light green, with white or brown highlights or patterns.
The males are usually around 1.2 – 1.6 in (approx. 3-4 cm), while the females grow bigger with around 2.7 – 3.5 in (approx. 7-9 cm).
The species has very long eyes that go over the edge of the triangular head and give the mantis a unique look.
The head of the Hymenopus Coronatus looks like the part of a flower, where the nectar can be found, which is why many insects fly there, only to end up as prey.
Both males and females have a dark spot on the thorax that can easily be mistaken for a tiny eating fly and thereby attracts other small flies which quickly become a snack for a mantis.
After the fifth molt, males develop a brown band in the neck, and females have a green band.
After molting for the last time and reading adulthood, females have 6 segments on the abdomen, while males have 8.
Both males and females develop wings in the last molt, but only the males can use them properly. The females will only use them if they are threatened. The wings of the males are transparent and the wings of the females are not transparent and are yellowish at the end.
In general, males are darker than females.
The average lifespan of the Hymenopus Coronatus is between 6 and 12 months. Females live several months longer than the males, because after mating the females still need to lay the oothecae while males have no further task. And they are also often eaten by the females right after mating.
Females usually need 3 to 4 months to reach adulthood and afterwards live for another 6 months or longer. They also molt two times more than the males.
Males usually need about 2 to 3 months until the last molt to reach adulthood and usually live for another 3 months.
After the last molt, males and females reach adulthood. After 1 to 2 weeks, the males are ready to mate, while the females need 3 to 4 weeks after the last molt. This difference in timing can prevent the praying mantis from incest which is important because the Hymenopus Coronatus does not cope well with incest.
Once the females are ready to mate, they send out pheromones in the dusk to attract the males. At night, there are fewer predators that can be a risk for the males. The mating process itself can take between 30 minutes and several hours.
During the mating process, the male holds on to her wings to be able to stay on the back. In some cases, the male “drums” on the female’s wings with his fangs.
If you are planning to breed, make sure to feed the female as much as she can eat before introducing a male to her enclosure. Otherwise, the mating process will end before it even started with a dead male and an eating female.
3 to 6 weeks after the mating process was successfully accomplished, the female can start laying fertilized eggs in oothecae which will lead to new nymphs. The oothecae of the Hymenopus Coronatus can be up to 2.7 in (approx. 7cm), and flat but roundish. The color is white in the beginning but will change to yellowish later on. The oothecae are laid on twigs and long and smooth leaves.
The female will continue to lay oothecae every one to two weeks and will lay up to 6 oothcae. Usually, the first ones are the more promising ones, leading to more nymphs.
After 4 to 8 weeks the nymphs will hatch. During that incubation period, the oothcae need to be kept in a damp and warm place with a humidity of at least 60%, but more is better. The ventilation has to be very good because mold on the oothecae will kill the larvae.
One ootheca can contain up to 100 eggs, but on average there will be 40 to 60 eggs that can potentially hatch.
The eggs usually hatch at dawn when the sun rises and the freshly hatched nymphs are only about 0.2 in (approx. 0,5cm). They look like tiny worms and after the first hatch, they look like ants and are black and dark red. This appearance can scare off potential predators.
After the second molt, they will be white and will usually start to look for a good spot on a flower.
Overall Difficulty Rating
This species is very popular among praying mantis keepers because of its very unique appearance. It is often considered as a more difficult species to keep, but it is manageable for beginners. Temperature and humidity need to be kept at constantly high levels, but with the right equipment, this is possible for beginners.
What’s really more difficult for this species is to breed them successfully.
Considering all aspects, this species is categorized as medium to hard to keep as pets.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂