Ghost Mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa)


Phyllocrania paradoxa, common name ghost mantis, is a small species of mantis from Africa remarkable for its leaf-like body. It is one of the three species in the genus Phyllocrania. Males and females both grow to around 2 inches long. They can come in various colors from brownish shades to very dark brown (almost black) to a bright green.

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Phyllocrania paradoxa has a wide range across the African continent and its islands and can be found in Angola, Cameroon, Cape Province, Congo basin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Transvaal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Ghost Mantis inhabit dry areas, bushes, shrubs, and trees in nature. It is also found in South Europe.

The Ghost Mantis should be kept in an enclosure that is at least 3 times as tall as the mantis is long, and at least 2 times as wide as the mantis is long. Ghost mantises can grow up to 2 inches regardless of their gender. Males are usually slimmer with more segments in their abdomen, while females are more stocky with fewer segments in their abdomen.


Ghost Mantis are native to Africa and the island of Madagascar, they inhabit dry areas, bushes, shrubs, and trees in nature. They do need as much humidity as some other species. The ideal temperature for a Ghost Mantis is 72°F to 80°F, but they can tolerate a range of 65°F to 85°F. Humidity should be kept between 40% to 70%. Younger nymphs are more susceptible to high temperatures and high humidity. Ventilation is also very important for younger ghost mantis nymphs.

Depending on the amount of ventilation, the enclosure should be given a light misting once a day. Ghost mantises kept in mesh or screen cages should be misted twice a day, this not only provides moisture for molting but also allows the mantis to drink. Most mantises don’t like to be misted directly so try to spray around them.


Ghost mantises prefer flying insects throughout their entire lifecycle.

  • L1 and L2 nymphs:  Should be fed D. melanogaster fruit flies.
  • L3 and L4 nymphs:  Should be fed D. hydei fruit flies.
  • L5 nymph to adult:  Should be fed house flies, hover flies, blue bottle flies, butterflies, and moths.
Weight 0.03125 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 6 × 6 in


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