Mantis Ootheca (egg case)

We ship ootheca from March until May 1. This means they usually fall earlier than the caterpillar project: and we do suggest they are ordered as early as possible. Please note that the later they are ordered in the year, (such as May and June, or even later), you need to expect a low prognosis of success and for the ootheca to take 10+ weeks to hatch. We do not guarantee success at that times. You will notice the only option is for ASAP: if you do want to risk ordering late, please confirm that with us in special instructions.

To hatch them, you need to bring them up to temperature (18-22 degrees C). Once at temperature, they can take anywhere from 2-10 weeks to hatch, with an average of 3-4 weeks. Our longest historical record is 14 weeks: so prepare for a wait and include this in your plans. The warmer and more humid it is, the quicker they typically hatch.

We do not offer any guarantee, refund, replace, or reimburse failed egg cases as there is an accepted 5% chance of the egg cases being infertile (and no way to determine this). By placing an order, you agree to these risks and accept that the egg case is final sale.


-One ootheca, or egg case, of Tenodera sinensis, the Chinese mantis

Upon emergence, baby mantis require DAILY feedings of live prey of around 1-2 mm in size. They are predators and need the stimuli of live food. We offer flightless fruit flies (sold separately) to meet their needs until they are large enough to be fed small crickets. A fruit fly culture lasts for 3-4 weeks from when it was made.

Initially, you can hatch out the ootheca and rear your mantis in a communal habitat such as a flight cage. Make sure that they have rough surfaces to climb on and hang from to molt. After about 2-3 weeks, you must be prepared to house them separately as they do become cannibalistic around that point!

Please note that they are not particularly efficient for pest control, though there is a massive marketing campaign about them in popular media right now. They are lazy predators: lazier than ladybugs, and certainly far below parasitoids on the "efficient natural insect control" scale. Do your research on what you need, do not buy mantis as your only pest control option as you will be disappointed. However, if you are buying an ootheca for greenhouse use, do hang it in the region you experience the most infestation of 1-2 mm sized pests. As the mantis grow, so they will gradually eat larger and larger prey, meaning pest control is not universal, nor will it be consistent or thorough. Though Chinese mantis are the only mantis species approved for agricultural purposes in Canada, meaning they are not illegal to release, we can neither advise nor advocate for the releasing of a large predator into the wild, and we suggest you seek local specialized advisory in your region if you are working with significant numbers of outdoor pests, or considering introducing a non-native predator. 

This species grows slowly, but with proper care and consideration, they will reach lengths of around 4 inches and can live about 8 months. Mantis make absolutely fantastic display animals, and if your hand-feed them from a young age, they will recognise you when you enter the room and come to your hand for treats. Mantis are very visual predators, and the way they observe you right back as you observe them is unlike any of the other invertebrate groups we work with. 


We do not offer refunds, replacements, or other guarantees on mantis egg cases. Purchasing an ootheca (egg case) comes with an understanding that hatch times are unpredicatable. Although the average egg case hatches within 2-4 weeks once warm, it can take much longer, and in rare cases it may not hatch at all: there is about a 5% infertility rate in egg cases that we can neither predict nor control. By buying a mantis ootheca, you are agreeing to these risks.

These become ready for shipping in late February or early March, and we can ship until supplies run out. However: the longer you wait to hatch them, the less likely they are to hatch, so please request an early shipping date in Special Instructions. 

Remember: you are dealing with living animals. Nature is not perfect; in the wild, survival rates would naturally be very low, with only around 5% of insects surviving to adulthood. In captivity and with proper care, you should expect a much higher rate of survival. Please iollow your instructions carefully, and incorporate these statistics into your lesson plan, and never assign a single insect to a single participant, as some of them will not make it.  It is always ideal to observe insects as a population.

SHIPPING: Please review your invoice carefully to ensure there are no mistakes in the information we have been given for you. Ensure your order has been translated correctly. Butterfly Wings N' Wishes is not responsible for shipment delay or failure due to incorrect information on the invoice. If an order is delivered to an incorrect location or is returned to us due to these issues, we may charge an adjustment fee in event that your parcel's delivery must be corrected.

Incomplete orders (missing phone numbers, missing physical address, etc) will be cancelled and refunded. PO boxes are not valid addresses.

If you want separate shipping dates you must place separate orders: this is to account for the separate shipping fees that are required. Otherwise, we will default you to a single shipment, though we may follow-up if it is not best for the animals. 

By agreeing to do business with us you hereby agree to abide by all terms and conditions as presented by Butterfly Wings N' Wishes Ltd:

Mantis Ootheca (egg case)

Price: C$16.00
* Marked fields are required.
Availability: In-Stock
Qty: *