Pseudempusa pinnapavonis – Peacock praying mantis

Pseudempusa pinnapavonis – Peacock mantis

General information

DistributionThailand, Myanmar
HabitatBushes, lower vegetation, trees
SizeFemale ~10cm Male ~8.5cm
Life expectancyFemale up to 2 years Male up to 1 year
DifficultyEasy (perfect for beginners)
Group keeping possibleNymphs up to L4 can be kept together, also adult males.

Keeping requirements

Terrarium size

-Individual keeping: from 20x20x30cm

-Group keeping: 10 L4 nymphs can be kept in 20x20x20cm

Terrarium setup

-Soil: soil, sand, kitchen towel, coco peat, spagnum moss or a mixture.

-Climbing surfaces: Branches, live or plastic plants, mesh sides or a combination.

-Ventilation: Top ventilation, best to provide ventilation from the side as well.


Day: 20-28C

Night: Room temperature (drop under 18C no problem)

Humidity: Low, 40-60%, optionally higher but ventilation becomes more important then.

Spraying very lightly once a week can be beneficial.

Food recommendation

L1/L4Big fruitflies (Drosophila hydei)
L5/L6Green bottle flies, blue bottle flies, small crickets, curly wing flies.
L7+Crickets, small redrunners, blue bottle flies


In general: Praying mantises have segments on their abdomen(=belly). The amount of segments differs for males and females. This is a reliable method to use for sexing nymphs, the bigger they are the easier it is to see the difference.

You should always count the underside of the abdomen. Males will have 8 segments whilst females will only have 7.

Specifically for P. pinnapavonis: From L5 males will exhibit a black spot on the inside of their raptors, females will exhibit a red spot.


Adult stage

Females will be adult at L10, Males at L9. Sometimes it can differ with unusual circumstances. Both males and females will have wings when they are adult..

Sexual maturity
Males will reach sexual maturity  ~2 weeks after the final molt, females after ~3 weeks.

Oothecas & incubation

The oothecas are approximately 4cm with a brownish/dark orange color. They have an oval shape. It takes around 6 to 8 weeks for the ootheca to hatch. A lot of nymphs will be born, on average around 80 to 100 per ootheca. Up to 5 ootheca can be laid, with an interval of 3 to 4 weeks.