There are 2 new black lines on my mantis's abdomen, which seems to be contracting. Almost like it's squeezing it. What is it? I don't think it used to have that.

Secondly, it's also not eating, and simply ignoring the crickets that waltz past it.

What is wrong with it?

PS: It is a giant Asian mantis.

enter image description here

  • I found this post because I also have a giant asian mantis who has these black lines on its abdomen. Mine has just eaten a cricket today, so I'm not sure what that says about the molt idea. I haven't seen these on it during any previous molts. What happened to yours?
    – Sara
    Jul 24, 2017 at 20:51

3 Answers 3


It's possible that it's getting ready to molt.

A praying mantis won’t eat a few days before it will shed its skin (molt). This is normal. After molting it will start to eat again. When a praying mantis will not eat even though it does not need to molt, it can help to offer it a different prey species. Do not worry too much, a mantis can live for 2 weeks without any food.

A few days before molting, the mantis will hang upside down and will not eat. Sometimes a white film-like layer can be seen all over the body of the mantis. This is the skin becoming more loose. When the mantis is becoming subadult or becoming adult, you can see that the wing buds (location where the wings grow when the mantis is still a nymph) are swollen.

Not sure if the black lines are part of it, but since you said that it is not eating, and from the picture it is hanging upside down, I would say its beginning it molting cycle. As that website states, if you don't think it's getting ready to molt, try switching what it eats after a few days. It seems they can go quite a while without any food.


This happened to my mantis a while ago and since she was an adult I was worried as they no longer molt when they have their wings. After a short wait mine laid an ootheca, so I would expect yours to as well. Make sure you have loads of things for them to climb on and lay the ootheca on.


Your mantis already has wings so she is an adult and therefore won't molt anymore. It's possible she is about to lay an ooth or she is just currently full. If not something may be up.

  • 1
    Hi welcome to Pets, it looks like an cut-off answer, please insert the missing part, thanks.
    – lila
    Sep 16, 2020 at 19:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.