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

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 will face the direction of the Knight and perform a lunge and slash with a long range.
  • Lunge: It will jump a short height, then perform 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 will sometimes perform a quick upward swipe.

On encounter, bait out its long forward lunge, and attack it from behind before. Desolate Dive and Descending Dark are 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
  • ...Light...Danger...
  • ...Safe...Dark...
  • ...Hungry...Hungry...
  • ...Scared...
  • ...Eat...When...
  • ...Kill...Hurt...
  • ...Away. Away...
  • ...Pain...


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



  • Since the Lifeblood Icon Lifeblood update, Mantis Traitors no longer drop Geo upon death, most likely as a result of a bug.[3][4]
  • Prior to the release of Godmaster Icon 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.


  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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