What is an Orchid Mantis Habitat?

What are orchid mantises?

The orchid mantis (Hymenopus coronatus), also known as “pink orchid mantis” or “walking flower mantis,” is an elusive species of praying mantis that uses mimesis or aggressive cryptic mimicry to attract prey.

Because it targets pollinators, the insect camouflages itself as a pink and white blossom. It is the only animal on record to do so – and do so effectively.

Like other animals that use mimesis, they can change their color to match their surroundings. But in the case of the orchid mantis, the color change happens a lot slower.

Because it’s a poorly studied creature, not much is known about the orchid mantis natural habitat.

Orchid mantis habitat in the wild: Where do orchid mantises come from?

Even now, the orchid mantis remains somewhat of an enigma. There isn’t even a specific date that can be described as its date of discovery.

There was an orchid mantis specimen collected in 1972 in Ambon, Indonesia.

The earliest written sighting was probably in 1879, when the travel writer James Hingston gave himself a garden tour in West Java.

Despite the shortage of information, we know that the insects are spread across the Asian countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Southern China. However, the finer details of their natural habitat or population distribution cannot be verified.

We know the orchid mantis from pet owners, hobbyist insect breeders, and collectors. They’re trendy because they’re easy to maintain – the fact that they look like mobile flowers don’t help either.

Because we don’t know much about their population in the wild, we don’t know whether the hobbyist industry poses a risk to the orchid mantis natural population.

Orchid mantis habitat in your home: What habitat do praying mantis live in?

As mentioned before, we don’t know much about the orchid mantis natural habitat. But we can keep them alive as pets, so we know their conditions to thrive.


An orchid mantis must be kept in a glass terrarium to thrive as a pet. While other materials may work well enough (wooden vivaria are available, for example), glass is best because it allows heat to escape. In other words, the temperature remains constant – not too hot or too cold.

Height-wise, the orchid mantis’ terrarium should be at least 200mmx300mmx200mm to give the insect space. While it prefers to stay still and wait for prey, it does have wings and needs room to use them.


As mentioned, the orchid mantis’ require a near-constant air temperature of 70-75F (21-24C). It doesn’t do well with temperature fluctuations.

The best way to ensure this is to stick a thermostat-regulated heat mat on one side of the glass terrarium.

Because the glass is only heated on one side, the glass terrarium creates a slight temperature gradient within the enclosure. In other words, the orchid mantis can warm itself up or cool itself down by moving from one area to another.


While we don’t know much about the microhabitat of the orchid mantis, we do know that it’s a tropical species (it does live in Southeast Asia, after all) and, therefore, needs a fair amount of humidity.

To facilitate this, you must use a soil mix (at least 2 inches) that retains moisture after a morning spray.

It’s also best to allow the orchid mantis to exercise mimesis, so add artificial or natural plants to your glass terrarium. Natural wood ornaments look beautiful and provide perches for the mantis to use. After all, they’re not entirely stationary creatures.

Finally, you might want to add trailing plants to the mix. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they also catch water and provide an easy-to-reach water source for your pet.

Diet and Water

The orchid mantis is often described as beautiful and deadly because they’re carnivorous creatures that prefer to eat live insects (though they’ve been known to attack bigger prey, like frogs, as well).

If you’re keeping an orchid mantis as a pet, you must provide them with a diet high in protein and relatively easy to digest.

Brown crickets are available in most pet stores and are also readily accepted. Ensure you feed your orchid mantis one or two brown crickets every other day. Remember that these are live insects, so ensure you don’t leave one in the terrarium for long periods, as brown crickets could try to attack your orchid mantis.

Fun facts about the Orchid Mantis (for Children):

Looking for something super fun about the lovely and mysterious orchid mantis? Check out our list below:

  1. Where does the orchid mantis live?

In the wild, the elusive orchid mantis is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia and Indonesia.

  1. Can you keep an orchid mantis as a pet?

Yes! They’re not particularly common, but they’re also not too difficult to look after – as long as you meet the conditions they need, your orchid mantis will thrive as a pet. Look back at the previous section.

  1. How long does an orchid mantis live?

A female orchid mantis may grow to about two and a half inches long and can live up to about eight months. On the other hand, the male orchid mantis extends only to about an inch. Because of its smaller size, it matures much more quickly than the female, so its life expectancy is shorter at only five or six months.

  1. What animal eats mantis?

An orchid mantis (and other species of praying mantis) has the following natural enemies who would gladly eat them:

  • Tarantula
  • Giant hornet
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Scorpions
  • Frogs
  1. Do the orchid praying mantis needs water?

Like all living things, an orchid mantis needs water. But your pet won’t need much of it because they drink water droplets from plant leaves or the side of the enclosure. So instead of putting a water bowl inside, you lightly mist the entire enclosure using a spray bottle.

  1. Why do orchid mantises look like flowers?

Orchid mantises looking like flowers are camouflaged in action. Not only does it help hide them from predators, but it also allows them to catch their prey.

  1. What other insects mimic plants?

Orchid mantises are related to other mantises that mimic plants to attract prey and avoid predators. Google the spiny flower mantis and the devil’s mantis to see what they’re like.

  1. Is the orchid mantis the same as a pink praying mantis?

Often, when people talk about a pink praying mantis, they refer to the orchid mantis.

  1. How giant is an orchid mantis?

Orchid mantises exhibit sexual dimorphism in that the females are more significant than the males. For example, a female orchid mantis may grow to about two and a half inches long, while the male orchid mantis grows to about an inch.

  1. How heavy is an orchid mantis?

There’s no recorded weight for orchid mantises, but they’re smaller than the praying mantis, which could grow up to 10 inches and reach four to five grams. Because of this, the orchid mantis is likely lighter than the praying mantis.

  1. Can orchid mantises climb?


  1. Can orchid mantises fly?

Yes. Although males are better at flying than females. They’re smaller and more agile, while the females are more patient and tend to limit only when necessary.

  1. Why do orchid mantises have a double set of wings?

The upper layer protects the fragile lower layer, the part of the orchid mantis wings that fly.

  1. Are orchid mantises aggressive?

Yes, they can kill and eat animals that are bigger than themselves. Females also engage in cannibalism. When they’re hungry, they sometimes eat their mate.

  1. Do orchid mantises bite humans?

Not always, but yes, sometimes they do. Fortunately, they don’t have any venom or stingers.

  1. Do orchid mantises have teeth?

Yes, they have sharp teeth that help them eat bigger prey.

  1. Are orchid mantises dangerous?

Not to humans. As mentioned, they bite but don’t have any venom or stingers that could harm someone.

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