Once a member of the Mantis tribe, now cast out and driven mad by infection.

Belonging to a tribe, or not belonging. I don't really understand what the difference is, or how it works. I have no tribe of my own.

Dialogue Bottom.png

Mantis Traitors are enemies in Hollow Knight. Former members of the Mantis Tribe who follow the Traitor Lord, these Mantises were cast out of their village and driven mad by the Infection.[1][2]

Behaviour and Tactics

  • Slash: It faces the direction of the Knight and performs a lunge and slash with a long range.
  • Lunge: It jumps a short height, then performs a diagonal slash downwards in the direction of the Knight, followed by a forward lunge.
  • Upward Swipe: If the Knight is directly above it, it sometimes performs a quick upward swipe.

They do not chase or target the Knight if they are airborne.

On encounter, bait out its long forward lunge, and attack it from behind before. The Desolate Dive/Descending Dark Spell is very effective against this enemy. Mantis Traitors have a much faster recovery time on their attacks than most enemies, and a short distance should be maintained.

Dream Nail Dialogue Essence.png

  • ...Light...Danger...
  • ...Safe...Dark...
  • ...Hungry...Hungry...
  • ...Scared...
  • ...Eat...When...
  • ...Kill...Hurt...
  • ...Away. Away...
  • ...Pain...


They are very commonly found within the Queen's Gardens, usually defeating them is necessary to unlock a door or proceed, like in the Traitor Lord fight. Also found within the Colosseum of Fools, at the 9th and 17th waves of the Trial of the Fool.



  • Prior to the Lifeblood Icon.png Lifeblood update, Mantis Traitors dropped Geo.png21 upon death. This most likely had changed as a result of a bug.[3][4]
  • Prior to the release of Godmaster Icon.png Godmaster, the Dream Nail could not be used on Mantis Traitors.
  • Mantis Traitors have the same generic Dream Nail dialogue as unintelligent enemies such as Booflies and Garpedes. It is not known if this is intentional.
    • This has been fixed in the PC beta update. Mantis Traitors now have the same Dream Nail dialogue as Traitor Lord.


  1. Wanderer's Journal, p. 144.
  2. Mantis Traitor Hunter's Journal entry: "Once a member of the Mantis tribe, now cast out and driven mad by infection."
  3. Pre-Lifeblood Mantis Traitor video
  4. Post-Lifeblood Mantis Traitor video
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