Hymenopus coronatus, better known as the Malaysian Orchid Mantis, is one of the most popular and sought after mantid species in captivity. They can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sumatra rain forests.
There has always been a little misconception about orchids being only for advanced mantid keepers. I personally do not agree with this. The biggest problem with orchids comes when trying to raise a pair of nymphs that are close to the same age. Male orchid mantids mature much faster than females. I used to think that you would just have to slow the male down while trying to speed the female up. This was done by keeping the male at cooler temps while feeding him less, and vice-versa for the female. This however turned out to be a very bad idea.
A male orchid mantis that has been slowed down will end up smaller than a normal male. But, that isn’t the worst part. Not only will he be smaller, he will most likely be infertile, hence rendering him useless for breeding. I had to learn this the hard way, over and over.
The best way to go about breeding orchids is to aquire a female, and once she is a couple sheds from adult, aquire a young male around L2-L3. Feed them both well. Never try to feed them less to slow them down.
Below you will find pics of orchid mantids at various stages that I have kept and bred. Enjoy!