Giant Dead Leaf Mantis

As its name indicates, the giant dead leaf mantis is a large species of mantid with patterns and colors similar to a dead leaf. Native to Southeast Asia, it is a popular pet worldwide.

Scientific Classification

  • Class:Insecta
  • Order:Mantodea
  • Family:Deroplatyidae
  • Genus:Deroplatys
  • Species:D. desiccata

Conservation Status

Not EvaluatedNE

Not Evaluated

Data DeficientDD

Data Deficient

Least ConcernLC

Least Concern

Near ThreatenedNT

Near Threatened





Critically EndangeredCR

Critically Endangered

Extinct in the wildEW

Extinct in the wild




Dead Leaf Mantis Female
Dead Leaf Mantis Male

Compared to other mantids sharing the name “dead leaf mantis”, this species is the largest. Males are about 2.5 to 2.8 inches long, while females are slightly larger at 2.9-3.1 inches. Its coloration consists of various shades of brown. The prothorax shields of the females are pointed, while the males are rounded.

Other Common Names: Dead Leaf Mantis

Dead Leaf Mantis

Distribution: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Sumatra

Habitat: Scrubland and tropical forests

Do they bite: No

Lifespan: Males: 18 months; Females: 2 years

Predator: Birds

Behavior and Characteristics


They have a preference for flying insects.

Deroplatys desiccata


This mantis defends itself with its natural camouflage skills and movements. When approached, it will either sway like a leaf caught in the wind or fall and remain motionless. It will display its black underwings threateningly, which along with the large eyespots, frighten away unsuspecting predators. The lines on its body, combined with its dark coloration, cause predators to mistake it for a dead leaf.

Life Cycle

Males go through eight instars, while females go through one more.

1. Egg Stage

After mating, the females soon lay eggs.

Dead Leaf Mantis Nymph

2. Nymph Stage

The nymphs feed on fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and similar small insects.

Pet Care Sheet

The giant dry leaf mantis is a mantid that can be reared easily in captivity.

Dead Leaf Praying Mantis

Enclosure: An average terrarium should be about 12 x 8 x 12 inches or bigger.

Temperature: 26 – 35 ° C; DO NOT let the temperature of the enclosure fall below 22 ° C during the day.

Humidity: Spray regularly with water as the species likes high humidity.

Feeding: Adult mantids are fed crickets, flies, flour worms, moths, and other large insects.


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