Scientific name: Deroplatys dessicata
Habitat: The Giant Dead Leaf Mantis (D. desiccata) inhabits scrubland and forests in Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sumatra.
SizeColoration: D. desiccata takes its common name from its resemblance to dead, leafy vegetation including having a flattened, greatly extended thorax and "intricate leaf patterns" on its wings. This insect varies in color from mottled brown through "pale orangey brown" to a very dark brown that is almost black. As its common name indicates, D. desiccata is larger than other species of Dead Leaf Mantis. Females grow to 15 cm long. Displaying the sexual dimorphism typical of mantises, males grow only 6 cm long and are substantially smaller and lighter than females.
Caging: For all mantis species, screen cages are recommended. This allows for full ventilation as well as being healthier for them. Adults should live in a large screen cage resembling a 5-10 gallon tank size. Baby and young mantises can live in smaller, but fully screened cages. Whatever they are being housed in should have more height than floor space as they spend nearly all their time in the branches.
CaptiveCare: Temperatures should be kept between 75-80F with humidity levels around 75%. No substrate is really needed but potting soil or peat may be added. A water dish is also not needed, since the cage will need to be misted (sprayed) with water regularly to keep the humidity up. Tank décor is important and should be a variety of sticks, branches, twigs, leaves, live or fake plants, vines, etc. They also need an area where they can fully hang upside down for molting purposes.
Diet: Adults should be offered crickets, moths, flies, and other pesticide free insects. Babies will need to be offered fruit flies, pin head crickets, and other small insects that they can over power.
Behavioral aspects: Nearly all species of Mantis are docile and calm. This one is no different. Even though they are non-aggressive, handling should be avoided as they are fragile and risk the chance of being hurt. Overall, the Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis would make an unusual pet for any style of keeper.