Dragon Mantis (Stenophylla lobivertex)

The Dragon Mantis looks like something straight out of a Tim Burton film, but fear not, these animated stick predators are gentle and fun to observe.

These unusual creatures are both interesting and rewarding to care for, but proper care is required to ensure that the mantis thrives.

This Stenophylla lobivertex care guide will provide you with all the information you need to create the perfect habitat, manage the diet, handle and interact with the Pet Praying Mantis, and take care of its health needs.

Read on to learn how to keep your Dragon Mantis content and healthy!

Common Name Dragon Mantis
Family Name Acanthopidae
Scientific Name Stenophylla lobivertex
Use Pets
Temperament Non-aggressive
Lifespan 6 to 10 months
Diet Insectivore
Adult Size 1.6 inches
Breeding Type Egg Layer
Care Level Moderate
Minimum Tank Size 1 to 5 Gallons
pH 6.5-7.5
Hardness Moderate
Temperature 71-85°F

What Are Dragon Mantises?

Stenophylla lobivertex is a species of praying mantis belonging to the Acanthopidae family.

Commonly known as Dragon Mantis, this species’ name comes from its flattened body that looks like a dragon.

It is native to tropical parts of South and Central America but can also be found in parts of Puerto Rico, Florida, and Hawaii.

Its wings, unlike other mantids, are transparent enough to let sun rays pass through.

What Do Dragon Mantises Look Like?

The Dragon Mantis is a beautiful insect that has long antennae and large spiny eyes.

They are mostly gray-green in color, with distinctive bright yellow markings and a mottled body that changes from pale green to light brown.

Most specimens measure just 1 to 1.6 inches in length, with their large wingspan usually reaching around three inches. 

Despite their small size, Stenophylla lobivertex are quite active creatures and are characterized by their fast movements.

They have short legs that squeeze together at different angles and a long, curved abdomen.

They also have powerful forelegs that are serrated and end in a pincer-like shape, which they use to grab and hold onto prey. 

Dragon Mantises have large compound eyes that are surrounded by a fringe of small spines.

They also have three simple eyes, two located above their compound eyes and one on the top of their head.

When disturbed, the Dragon Mantis spreads its wings wide and turns bright shades of yellow and green.

It can also extend its rear legs to make itself look larger, as a defense mechanism against predators.

Benefits Of Using Dragon Mantises

Using Stenophylla lobivertex in vivariums brings a lot of benefits to both the mantis itself and its other inhabitants.

Dragon Mantises help to maintain a balanced and healthy environment for other tank species by providing natural pest control, as they are voracious predators that can eliminate insect pests such as mites, fruit flies, and aphids.

Not only are they great at controlling insects, but they also make an enclosure aesthetically pleasing with their striking colors and long appendages.

Furthermore, the Dragon Mantis is perfect for an educational setting, as it is easy to observe and can teach children about the importance of insect ecosystems.

Finally, S. lobivertex is relatively low maintenance and requires minimal care compared to many other species of mantis, making them a great option for both beginners and experienced vivarium keepers.

Dragon Mantis: Complete Stenophylla lobivertex Care Guide!

Dragon Mantis Facts

Dragon Mantis are astonishing pets, with unique behavior and impressive wingspan.

They are native to tropical rainforests and feed mainly on other insects.

These mantises have a generally calm and tolerant temperament, and with proper care, can live up to almost a year.

They also have the ability to breed in captivity, making them a perfect, hassle-free pet for any insect enthusiast.


Stenophylla lobivertex is a species of mantis that is native to Central and South America.

Dragon Mantises have been found in the tropical rainforests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela where they make their home in the canopies of the trees. 

These arboreal creatures have evolved to blend in with their environment by transitioning into more leaf-like shapes and taking on shades of green and brown to camouflage with the surrounding foliage.

As with other species of praying mantises, they are predators and use their powerful raptorial legs to catch and devour their prey.

Dragon Mantises are also capable of flying short distances between trees to hunt for prey or to find new territories.

As nocturnal creatures, they are most active during the night and spend their days resting and conserving their energy under the protection of thick foliage.


In their natural habitat, Dragon Mantises mainly feed on other tiny arthropods such as spiders, flies, moths, and beetles.

They have also been observed predatory on small frogs, lizards, and fish.

Stenophylla lobivertex should also be provided with a variety of plant matter to ensure they receive a complete diet that includes plenty of nutrients and energy.


Dragon Mantises are typically shy and reclusive animals, preferring to avoid contact with humans and other animals.

They are generally non-aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened.

If handled properly, they will get used to human contact and even come out of their shells over time.

It is good to note that although Stenophylla lobivertex is not generally aggressive, they have been known to bite or pinch if they feel threatened.

Therefore, it is essential to handle them with respect and caution.

When it comes to interactions with other animals, Dragon Mantises can be both curious and skittish.

They will often want to investigate their surroundings, including other animals, but may hide if they perceive a potential threat.

It is good practice to observe their behavior carefully when introducing them to new animals or unfamiliar environments.

As long as these introductions are done carefully and with respect to the Dragon Mantis, interactions should be comfortable and enjoyable.


Dragon Mantises typically have a lifespan of between 6 and 10 months, although some may live for more than a year or longer.

Their life cycle includes four distinct stages: egg, nymph, adult, and death.

The egg stage lasts for about two weeks, during which time the eggs will hatch and the nymph (or juvenile) mantises emerge.

Nymphs continually molt, growing larger and transitioning to the adult stage after a few weeks of growth.

Adults will reach full size after several more molts and can live for another couple of weeks before they die.

During this period adult mantises mate and reproduce. Finally, when the mantis dies of age or injury, its life cycle is complete.


Stenophylla lobivertex mate seasonally, typically in the late summer and fall months.

The female Dragon Mantis will lay a large number of eggs, usually in the form of an egg sack, which she attaches to a branch or the walls of her enclosure.

She will then use her front legs to closely monitor the egg sack and protect it from any potential predators or threats.

The eggs will take around three months to hatch, depending on the environmental conditions.

The nymphs will then molt several times until they reach maturity. Mantises can reproduce multiple times per season.

An adult female may lay more than two hundred eggs, and many specimens can produce up to four egg sacs per season.

With proper care and nutrition, the Dragon Mantises could have two or even three generations in a single season.

Where To Find Dragon Mantises

Stenophylla lobivertex can sometimes be found in the wild.

They generally inhabit subtropical and tropical environments such as rainforests, deserts, and savannas.

The best way to find a wild Dragon Mantis is to observe the local environment you are visiting and look for signs of movement from the corner of your eye.

They are small and often hard to spot, so it’s important to be patient and observant.

If you are looking to purchase a Dragon Mantis, they can be found in pet stores, online shops, or from a reputable breeder.

It’s important to make sure you are getting a healthy mantis from a legitimate source.

You should also ask the seller about the mantis’s age, history, and sex.

Dragon Mantis Care

Caring for the Stenophylla lobivertex requires providing the right habitat, managing its diet, handling and interacting safely, and maintaining its overall health.

To do this, it is essential to create the right environment for the Dragon Mantis, feed it the proper food, handle and interact with gentle care, and ensure that any health issues are properly treated.

Tank Requirements

The ideal tank requirements for Dragon Mantises are fairly simple and straightforward.

The size of the tank will depend on the size of your mantis; a larger tank should be used for larger mantises.

An appropriate vivarium type should be chosen that allows for adequate ventilation and humidity.

A terrarium with a mesh cover is best, as it also allows for plenty of air circulation.

The water pH should be between 6.5 and 7.0, the water hardness should be between 4 to 8 dGH, and the water temperature should be between 70 and 80 °F.

A substrate of peat moss, coconut fiber, and terrarium sand provides the best humidity.

Terrarium lighting should be provided with a full-spectrum UVB bulb to simulate day and night cycles.

What Do Dragon Mantises Eat?

Feeding your Dragon Mantis is a crucial part of its care and an essential part of its well-being.

To ensure Stenophylla lobivertex is getting the proper nutrition it needs, there are a few guidelines to follow. 

Food items to feed your Dragon Mantis should include, but not be limited to: 

– Live and/or freeze-dried insects such as crickets, roaches, and mealworms

– Other live invertebrates such as small worms, slugs, and snails

– Commercial mantis diets available in pet stores 

Make sure that the feeder insects you are providing are no larger than the width of your Dragon Mantis’ body in order to prevent it from struggling.

Also, ensure that the food items are age-appropriate for your mantis by avoiding prey items that are too large. 

When it comes to feeding your Dragon Mantis, consistency is key. It should be fed a few times a week, taking into account its individual needs.

Insects can be fed 2-3 times a week, and commercial mantis diets should be offered around once a week.

When providing feeder insects and other live invertebrates, make sure to monitor them during and after each feeding session to ensure your Dragon Mantis has not been overfed.  

By following these feeding tips, you can ensure that Stenophylla lobivertex will have the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and 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 Dragon Mantises

The Dragon Mantis is a solitary creature that can be territorial when kept with other mantids.

Therefore, it is not recommended to have tankmates when keeping a Praying Mantis.

However, there are a few species of animals that can benefit Stenophylla lobivertex if kept together. 

Mealworms, crickets, and other feeder insects are excellent tankmates that can provide additional food for the mantis.

The presence of these prey can reduce stress on the mantis and provide it with a constant source of food.

Additionally, some species of spider and assassin bugs can be kept with a Dragon Mantis, as they can provide an additional natural food source.

The presence of other animals can help provide Stenophylla lobivertex with a greater sense of security and stimulus in its environment.

Additionally, some aquatic tankmates like frogs, fish, and shrimp can provide a stimulating visual experience without risking any harm to S. lobivertex.

However, it is vital to thoroughly research any potential tankmates before introducing them to the enclosure.


By providing the Dragon Mantis with the right environment, diet, handling, and health care, you can ensure that this remarkable creature will thrive in its habitat.

With a proper understanding of the basic needs of Stenophylla lobivertex, it is possible to build and maintain a happy and healthy habitat.

By following the guidelines in this care guide you can create the perfect home for your mantis and watch it grow and mature!

Frequently Asked Questions

Dragon Mantis (Stenophylla lobivertex) are found in the jungles of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil and Peru.

The average lifespan of a Dragon Mantis (Stenophylla lobivertex) is about 6 months.

A Dragon Mantis (Stenophylla lobivertex) is a rare species of praying mantid found in the tropical rainforest of the Amazon. It has a striking color pattern and can reach up to 3 inches in length. They are known to be voracious predators, feeding primarily on insects and spiders.

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