Praying mantises go through three stages as they grow: egg, nymph and adult. Nymph praying mantises are essentially a smaller version of the full-grown adult. These insects have an exoskeleton, which means the skeleton is on the outside, and as they grow this skeleton must be shed. Helping a praying mantis shed its exoskeleton at various growth stages requires proper feeding, a steady hand, care and some precise instruments.
Things You'll Need
- Medical gloves
Feed the praying mantis often. A properly fed praying mantis will grow and shed at the proper times. These insects should shed about 10 times before the final shed when wings appear. These insects will eat almost any insect.
Allow the praying mantis to shed its own exoskeleton, but if it needs help you can intervene.
Grasp the praying mantis carefully with medical gloves on only if it is having problems shedding on its own. Take tweezers and gently help the mantis remove its exoskeleton by grasping the exoskeleton with the tweezers and gently pulling it off the insect.
Discard the shed exoskeleton.