Banded Flower Mantis (Theopropus elegans)

The Banded Flower Mantis is a more casually striped variation to the other many types of flower mantises. 

This colorful and curious insect has been captivating the hearts of insect hobbyists for years and for good reason.

This Theopropus elegans guide will help you learn how to properly care for the banded mantis so you can be sure they will thrive.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about this beautiful flower mantis!

Common Name Banded Flower Mantis
Family Name Hymenopodidae
Scientific Name Theopropus elegans
Use Pets
Temperament Non-aggressive
Lifespan 6 to 11 Months
Diet Insectivore
Adult Size 3-5 cm
Breeding Type Egg Layer
Care Level Moderate
Minimum Tank Size 1 to 5 Gallons
pH 6.0-7.0
Hardness Moderate
Temperature 64-82°F

What Are Banded Flower Mantises?

Theopropus elegans are a species of praying mantis from the Hymenopodidae family.

They are characterized by their striking black and brown stripes with spots of red or green on their wings and legs.

The mantes are native to tropical parts of Southeast Asia, and the name ‘Theopropus elegans‘ roughly translates to “noble extraordinary beauty”.

Their common name ‘Banded Flower Mantis’ comes from their resemblance to flower petals when viewed from afar.

What Does Banded Flower Mantis Look Like?

Theopropus elegans have soft bodies with long and slender legs and their vibrant colors can range anywhere from greens to oranges and yellows.

They are approximately 1 1/2″ to 2″ long and are covered in bands and spots of the predominantly chosen color.

Their colors are usually a mixture of yellow, white, and black. In addition, their wings and antennae are usually brown or reddish brown.

They have two compound eyes that are accompanied by three simple eyes and their heads are rounded out by two short, horn-like protrusions.

Benefits Of Using Banded Flower Mantis

Banded Flower Mantises have been used in vivariums for many years, mainly for their vibrant coloring and natural curiosity.

They are a great way to add interest and energy to any terrarium, which can be especially helpful when trying to support the other creatures living in the environment.

T. elegans provide movement and visual stimulation that can be beneficial to other inhabitants.

Furthermore, these mantises are small and peaceful, making them suitable roommates for other peaceful invertebrates.

In terrariums, they can help keep pests and other garden pests under control, as they feed on small flying insects.

All in all, Banded Flower Mantises make a great addition to any enclosure!

Theopropus elegans: A Banded Flower Mantis Care Guide!

Banded Flower Mantis Facts

Theopropus elegans are a captivating and hardy species of mantis native to Southeast Asia, typically found inhabiting tropical forests.

They have bright colors and attractive patterns that make them captivating to insect enthusiasts.

This species is insectivorous, often preying on insects and supplementing their diet with other sources of protein and sugar.

Banded Flower Mantises are relatively gentle in nature, and can live for several months in captivity.

Breeding them can be difficult, but with proper care, you should have success if you are up to the challenge.


Banded Flower Mantises are native to southern Asia, where they are mostly found in India and parts of Southeast Asia.

They tend to inhabit tropical and subtropical rainforests, preferring areas that are humid and provide ample shelter.

In their natural environment, Theopropus elegans can be seen perching on twigs, leaves, and other foliage.


T. elegans, like all mantises, are primarily insectivores, meaning that their diet consists exclusively of other insects.

In their natural environment, these Flower Mantises will usually feed on small flies, moths, and other soft-bodied insects.

Additionally, the mantises may also feed on smaller spiders and even other smaller mantises in rare cases.

Banded Flower Mantises are specialized ambush predators, meaning they use their camouflage to blend in with their environment and wait for prey to come to them, instead of actively seeking it out.

Banded Flower Mantises will also take advantage of nectar, pollen, and sap for additional nutrition.

These sugary substances provide essential vitamins and minerals that can help the mantis stay healthy and balanced.


Theopropus elegans have relatively calm temperaments and can usually be handled with ease.

These types of mantises will learn to trust humans over time, provided they are handled gently and carefully.

They are mainly solitary creatures, but can be kept with other mantises in the same enclosure provided there is ample space and resources. 

When it comes to animals like cats and dogs, Banded Flower Mantises are usually not aggressive towards them.

As long as the mantis is not provoked by direct contact or movement, chances are it will just remain still or hide.

If your mantis feels threatened, it may raise its forelegs and display its beautiful wings as a defensive gesture. 

It is important to remember that some animals do have a natural instinct to hunt insects, so if you have Banded Flower Mantis in direct interaction with cats or dogs, it is important to keep an eye on their behavior.

Additionally, make sure that your mantis is not exposed to danger from other household pets, such as birds or lizards.


Banded Flower Mantises typically live for around six months to one year in captivity with proper care.

In the wild, the lifespan of this species is thought to be several months longer but can vary based on the environment and other environmental factors.

Theopropus elegans follows a typical insect lifecycle, beginning with an egg stage. The egg stage is brief, lasting anywhere from two to three weeks.

After hatching, the young mantises will go through a series of molts, a process that allows them to grow and mature.

Generally, the Banded Flower Mantis reaches adulthood at around 3-4 months.

During adulthood, they will reproduce and continue their lifecycle. 

As with all animals, the exact lifespan of a Banded Flower Mantis can vary due to a variety of factors such as level of care, diet, and habitat.

To maximize their lifespan and ensure a healthy life, it’s essential to properly care for your mantis by providing an appropriate habitat, diet, and other essential care needs.


One aspect of caring for a Banded Flower Mantis that is particularly noteworthy is the process of mating and reproduction.

Before mating can occur, the male mantis must be prepared to fight off any other males that may try to compete for the female’s attention.

When a male Theopropus elegans finds a compatible mate, courtship, and seduction will ensue.

The female will typically assess the male’s size, shape, and length of its wings to decide if it is suitable.

To begin the mating, the female will lead the male around to a nearby plant and then will stand facing him while holding on to a branch or leaf.

If the pair is compatible, the male will clasp his legs tightly around the female’s body and they will stay joined until the female is ready to lay her eggs.

The female will usually remain attached to the plant after mating until she lays her eggs.

When the female is ready, she will lay a pod containing up to 400 eggs, which will hatch after 1-2 weeks.

The young Banded Flower Mantises are called “nymphs” and you can expect them to reach adulthood after four or five nymphal stages.

With proper care, the Banded Flower Mantis can live for up to 2 years.

Where To Find Banded Flower Mantises

Finding Banded Flower Mantises can be relatively easy as they are widely available in both the wild and through various vendors.

They occur naturally in South and Southeast Asia, as well as parts of India.

In the wild, they typically inhabit humid, tropical areas such as trees, shrubs, and plants.

If you’re looking to purchase one, reliable vendors exist and they can be purchased online.

Many sellers specialize in different species of invertebrates, so it’s always good to do your research before buying. 

When looking for Theopropus elegans, make sure to look for healthy specimens with straight wings, clear eyes, and intact legs.

It’s also helpful to check with the seller for any relevant information regarding species, sex, size, and age.

Lastly, make sure to provide the animal with a proper enclosure and setup for it to live a healthy and thriving life. 

While they can be obtained through the wild, it’s recommended that you purchase from reputable vendors to ensure quality.

Banded Flower Mantis Care

When caring for a Banded Flower Mantis, it is vital to create the right kind of habitat with an appropriate size enclosure, temperature, humidity, and lighting.

Additionally, feed your mantis appropriate gut-loaded insects of the appropriate size and frequency.

Make sure to include essential supplements and grooming to keep your mantis healthy and ensure longevity.

Tank Requirements

When setting up the ideal tank for Theopropus elegans, there are several important details to take into account.

Vivariums made of glass or acrylic are ideal, and they should be large enough to provide plenty of space for the mantis to move around.

The ideal temperature for the tank should range between 75-80°F, and the humidity should stay around 70%.

A terrarium substrate such as a coco fiber or potting soil should be provided, and the pH should be kept between 6.0-8.5.

Natural terrarium lighting is recommended, as these mantises are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.

For additional heating, it is also recommended to provide an incandescent light or an external heat source.

What Do Banded Flower Mantises Eat?

Feeding your Banded Flower Mantis is a crucial part of their care.

They require live food, such as crickets, flies, and moths.

You can also offer small spiders and food sources such as wax worms and mealworms.

All of the insects should be no bigger than the width of your mantis’ body.

Make sure the food sources are gut-loaded, meaning they are fed a nutritious diet before being fed to your mantis.

This will ensure your mantis is getting all the nutrients it needs from its food.

Theopropus elegans should be fed once every day or every other day.

Make sure to monitor your mantis’ food consumption to make sure it is getting enough.

If you are seeing that your mantis is consistently not eating, try switching up the type of insects you are offering.

Keeping your mantis well-fed is essential to its health and well-being, so make sure to regularly provide a nutritious diet.

With these tips, your Banded Flower Mantis will have all the yummy food it needs to thrive!

If you’re looking for a more detailed approach to feeding these critters, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY Praying Mantis food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.

What Do Mantises Eat? | Best Mantis Food & Feeding Guide!

Best Tankmates For Banded Flower Mantises

Theopropus elegans are typically solitary, so it is good that their habitat remains free of tankmates.

However, there are certain beneficial bugs that can be kept with Banded Flower Mantises.

Adult crickets, for example, provide a ready food supply and are often used as live prey to stimulate predators like mantises.

Curiously, you can also keep small amphibians, such as tiny frogs or salamanders, in the same enclosure as Banded Flower Mantises.

These animals will not directly interact with the mantis, but they will feed off of the insects in the environment, helping to keep the habitat clean and pest-free.


Congratulations! You now understand the basics of caring for a Theopropus elegans!

Taking the time to provide the right environment and supplies for your mantis and feeding them a nutrient-rich diet will help ensure a long and healthy life.

Remember to be gentle and thoughtful when handling your pet praying mantis, and you’ll be rewarded with a fascinating pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

The estimated lifespan of a Banded Flower Mantis (Theopropus elegans) is about 6 to 11 months.

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