Do Praying Mantis Need Calcium?

Many pet keepers supplement the praying mantis diet with micronutrients like calcium, without knowing whether they need more micronutrients.

Do Praying Mantis Need Calcium? Praying mantis need calcium for exoskeleton development, efficient molting, better growth and reproduction, improved physiological functioning, and regulation of metabolism. Adding calcium supplements to their food helps overcome nutritional deficiencies. You can add calcium carbonate powder or offer calcium-rich insects or worms, and eggshells.

Praying mantis need minerals and vitamins in addition to proteins as these micronutrients also contribute to a healthier and longer lifespan.

However, it is essential to determine the nutritional deficiencies through physical and behavioral changes before changing their diet.

Why do praying mantis need calcium?

They need calcium in their diet to live a happier and healthier life because it is one of the essential supplements required for a healthy body.

Exoskeleton development

The wild praying mantis species obtain micronutrients through their natural diet, as many insects and worms contain a high calcium content.

They deposit minerals in the exoskeleton and make it harder to break. The rigid exoskeleton ensures protection from physical damage and a few predatory animals.

This outer shell also protects these cold-blooded creatures from the external environment as they have less tolerance to extreme fluctuations in weather.

Moreover, lack of calcium in the diet affects their exoskeleton’s integrity, and weaker shells make them prone to damage after attacks and sudden weather changes.

Overcome nutritional deficiencies

Praying mantis choose their food wisely according to their body requirements. They only consider insects and smaller prey, providing proteins, fats, minerals, and essential vitamins.

They extract calcium from the prey’s body to overcome nutritional deficiencies and nourish their body with this mineral. It is one of the abundant minerals stored in the teeth and bones.

However, the meat of shrimps, cramps, lobster, and a few worms have a higher percentage of this mineral. The calciworms have almost 19 times more calcium than other worms.

Accordingly, these carnivorous mantis extract minerals from these worms by excessively feeding on them.

Efficient molting

The molting process occurs in insects and involves the shedding of an older exoskeleton and the growing new shell on their bodies. Molting allows them to grow in size as shells restrict their growth.

They remove older shells many times during their growth period until they attain a maximum body size.

Moreover, they need calcium for efficient molting, as they cannot build new outer shells without depositing Ca2+ molecules within the chitin material.

So, they consume calcium-rich foods before molting to efficiently shed their skin and build a new shell to cover their soft muscular bodies.

Better growth and reproduction

Calcium and phosphorus are essential elements for ideal growth and metamorphosis in insects. A balance of these two minerals is necessary for for their healthier bodies.

Moreover, calcium also regulates the functioning of the nervous system, and a small amount of this mineral is also present in the muscular bodies of insects.

It aids in muscular contraction and maintenance and regulates several processes of reproduction. It regulates the production of hormones and improves their fertility rate.

Its deficiency affects male and female mantis fertility due to interference in producing relevant hormones. So, they consume more calcium to improve their reproduction rate.

Regulation of metabolism

It regulates several physiological and metabolic processes, and its deficiency affects their activity rate due to lack of energy.

They cannot get maximum energy from the food if their metabolic processes lag in performance. In addition, it is also involved in the blood clotting and muscular contraction.

Disturbances in calcium content adversely affect their survival rate and health. This mineral helps regulate lipid metabolism in different cells of the body.

How do you feed calcium to praying mantis?

Some people offer calcium to their praying mantis through diet because a deficiency of minerals affects their metabolism and rate of activity.

One of the common methods is dusting feeder insects with calcium carbonate powder. Take a small amount of powder and dust the bodies of insects and worms.

This way, you can make up for the loss and overcome the mineral deficiency in their body. This way, you can supplement the diet of physically weak or molting mantis.

Open the lid of the container after dusting the feeder insects with the powder until the mantis enters the container.

In addition, you can offer silkworms, grasshoppers, and termites to them that can help reduce calcium deficiency.

They are a suitable food source because mantis can get various nutrients, including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, etc.

I prefer to feed silkworms to my mantis, which provides a bulk of nutrients, but one of my friends occasionally offers calciworms to its pet when it undergoes molting.

In the same way, you can also feed powdered egg shells to your pet mantis, as these shells are also a rich source of calcium.

The cuttlebone obtained from cuttlefish is also an excellent alternative to calcium carbonate powder as it is soft and looks like a chalky material.

Does a praying mantis need vitamins to absorb calcium?

Vitamins and minerals are essential for a praying mantis to stay healthy, as their body needs supplements to remain active.

Moreover, higher vertebrates need minerals and vitamins for an active lifestyle while suffering from health issues due to deficiencies of essential nutrients.

Vitamin D3 is essential for calcium absorption in their body, while they have different build-up and get their minerals from their diet. They have muscles and lack bones to deposit them.

They extract minerals from prey bodies and deposit them in the chitin material to develop a harder shell on their bodies.

Additionally, the wild species can get all the required nutrients from their habitats, but pet mantis depend on their owners for a balanced diet.

How much calcium does a praying mantis need?

Knowing the right amount of calcium for a particular species of praying mantis is essential because overconsumption is also not good for their health.

You can avoid the negative consequences by feeding the calcium in an ideal quantity, posing no harm to these insects.

Avoid excessive dusting to avoid accumulating minerals in their body that can cause imbalances in calcium content.

Moreover, a significant change in activity patterns becomes visible when they get more calcium through diet. They do not actively respond to signals and become sluggish or less active.

Similarly, it also affects their growth rate and leads to earlier death due to a reduction in lifespan after disturbance of required levels in their bodies.

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