Ghost Mantis Eating Fruit Flies

I’m totally infatuated with my new Phyllocrania paradoxa, or Ghost Mantis. I got two, but will probably look for at least two more soon. I believe they are both females, so I need a couple males as well. I’ve raised several generations of Chinese mantis in the past. They were cool insects, but the Ghosts step it up a notch with their active hunting behavior.

The Phyllocrania paradoxa native range is in Africa and Madagascar. Their bodies mimic dead leaves very effectively.

Phyllocrania paradoxa

Getting these, of course, has sparked even more interest, and a lot of browsing through pictures online. Here are some of my current favorites.

The Thistle Mantis, Blepharopsis mendica, from

thistle mantis

The Shield Mantis, Choeradodis rhomboidea. source: social media, original unknown.

Shield Mantis, Choeradodis rhomboidea

The Orchid Mantis, Hymenopus coronatus, found at


And the Violin Mantis, Gongylus gongylodes, from

violin mantis

I could keep going, but I’ll leave it at that for now. My collection will definitely be growing, but I’m going to take it slow for now.


  1. Devin says:

    Wow, it’s great to see someone else in the area who is into mantids. I just got my first successful hatch of ghost mantids recently, 8 hatched but I’ve lost one since and the other seven seem to be doing great. I have all kinds of egg cases but so far only one hatched, I’m hoping at least one or two others where fertile as well but we’ll see.

    I also have one sub adult thistle mantis that I’m pretty sure is female so if you know anyone who has any please let me know, i would love to breed her too.

    • Ryan says:

      That’s awesome! Hopefully more hatch! Unfortunately, mine have died without me finding a male, so I’ll have to start over with new ones.

      Simon Elliott might have thistle mantids. I got my ghosts from him just as he was getting into mantids. He vends at some of the shows up north. I’m not sure if he vends at Portland shows though, and I haven’t seen mantids for sale at his table when he does. You could also try mantis groups on Facebook. There are lots of people selling and trading to get pairs.

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