Mantis Ootheca (egg case)

Mantis ootheca (egg cases) are best ordered in the springtime (March-April) but are available as quantities last. Please note that the later they are ordered in the year, the less likely they are to hatch: if you are ordering in the summer, expect a very low prognosis of success.

 July 28, 2020: our remaining ootheca are now at -50% off. Again, keep in mind that this late in the year there is a low prognosis on hatch rates. Sales are final.

Egg cases have unpredictable hatch times: they average around a month, but can take anywhere from 2-10 weeks, with our longest historical record being 14 weeks. Prepare for a wait and include this in your plans.

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, along with full instructions. 

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!

Mantis are lazy predators and tend to be less effective than species-targeted parasitic wasps for pest control. However, if you are buying an ootheca for greenhouse use, hang it in the region you experience the most infestation of 1-2 mm sized pests (such as aphids). As the mantis grow, their food will increase in size, so they will gradually eat larger and larger prey. 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.

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
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