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  1. 1 point
    People say a praying mantis cant have human emotions, Maybe, Maybe that's true. But how do we define emotion?, the hate that wars bring out in people. The separation that this election caused?, the fact that a lot of people care about themselves? That were divided? The lies, the hate? I can see more emotion in Hope and Bugsey then most humans. Maybe its us that doesn't know how to show emotion. Just because one cant talk, doesn't mean their words are unheard.
  2. 1 point
    Tenodera sinensis (Chinese Mantis) Introduction When asked to envision the stereotypical praying mantis, many Americans conjure up the image of Tenodera sinensis. Along with cousin, T. augustipennis, it's known also as the Chinese mantis. Impressive size coupled with commonness—at least in the eastern half of the US—have influenced this standing. Yet for a child, common doesn't necessarily equate to run of the mill, and such insects are prized for their otherworldly appearance, fascinating behavior, and endearing mannerisms. As the common name implies, the Chinese mantis will always be alien to some extent, for it originated in the far east. Nevertheless, after a hundred years post introduction, it remains touted as an effective means of pest control and now more importantly, an alternative to chemicals(insecticides). Popular amongst gardeners, the oothecae abound just about everywhere—inexpensively sold in local shops and on the internet. All considered, one is subsequently left with little question as to how and why the Chinese mantis has been capturing American affections since the late 1800's. T. sinensis comes in green, brown, or a combination thereof and blends in very well with its surroundings. Even in brown form, the color green runs the length of the fore-wings' outer edge. A series of vertical stripes/ridges compliment the face. On the ventral thorax, a yellow spot can be discerned between the front legs, and a threat display will reveal a dark set of hind wings. The females measure about four inches. Of considerably less mass, the males are also about a half an inch shorter. Success in the wild does not guarantee the hobbyist with success in captivity. While later instars and adults may be comparatively easy, raising the smaller nymphs can be downright tough—with many nymphs dying from mismolt or no ostensible reason at all. Difficulty level: Intermediate. Development As with all mantids, insects, etc., temperature and feeding greatly influence development. Under the conditions herein, T. sinensis reaches adulthood in approximately four months, and early instars are achieved in just under two weeks. Later instars take a bit longer. An individual molts roughly seven times. Females may have an extra molt. Lapses in observation and note-taking are responsible for the aforementioned uncertainty. T. sinensis usually lives for eight months to a year. Upon reaching adulthood, females can live another six months. Males, however, live only two to three months as adults. Behavior/temperament Individual temperament proves highly variable. Meek exist and so do the audacious. A behavioral spectrum resides between these two extremes. Cannibalism constitutes a real concern and precludes communal housing beyond early instars. Camouflage is the first line of defense, but when a Chinese mantis—like many other mantids—is detected and confrontation unavoidable, a different strategy may be employed. It's called a threat or diematic display. The startled mantis tries to make itself look larger and more threatening than it actually is. Forelegs are held up against the head and prothorax. Mouth may be held agape to show red innards. Black hindwings are unfurled and prominently displayed. Pushed to the limit, such a defensive mantis may then go on the offensive—striking and biting. Individual propensity for diematic display varies like/with temperament. Captive Environment Conditions in which the T. sinensis observed for this care sheet were kept: Temperature: average of 75 degrees F. During the colder months, night time temperatures did occasionally drop to 68 degrees F. However, prolonged drops below 70 degrees F, should be avoided. A space heater remedied the situation. Humidity: average of 50%. Misting: twice daily with tap water—in this locality, works just fine. Communality: as nymphs mature, their appetite for one another also grows. Early separation is recommended. If you must keep together, ample space and a constant supply of food should go a long way in reducing causalities of cannibalism. Housing: it's easiest to house numerous individuals in spartan plastic cups with paper towel for substrate or no substrate at all. As the nymphs grow, replace the cup with a size larger and so on. Critter-keepers(8” x 6”) adequately house subadults and adults, but larger enclosures—like aquariums and net cages—are considered more ideal by some. Enhancements for critter-keepers include glue gun affixed popsickle sticks and fake plants/flowers. These additions provide perches and more stable footholds. The ultimate enclosure may even be none at all. Free range is a very real possibility, and aside from the outdoors, may even be mantis heaven. The authors remaining female T. sinensis (others released) enjoys the run of the bug room/guest bedroom; favorite hangout spots consist of the curtains and the aloe plant. The aloe plant is misted everyday, and roaches are given to her with hemostats. Feeding response Feeding response can be viewed as function of temperament. While hunger undoubtedly factors into the equation, even when fed similarly, individual feeding response still appears to fluctuate a great deal. While some are more proactive in the capture of prey, others adopt more of the sit and wait ambush style and prefer smaller prey items. Conversely, there are reports and media of bold and hungry T. sinensis tackling ridiculously large, non-insect prey such as small rodents and hummingbirds. Type of prey used: D. hydei(fruitflys), A. domestica(crickets), stable flies, blue bottle flies, B. dubia(Guyana spotted roach), N. cinerea(lobster roach), and the occasional katydid, grasshopper, or moth collected outside. Frequency: everyother day. Quantity and size: feed til full, e.g., multiple fruit flies per small nymph or mature dubia roach for adult female. Prey items are sometimes leftover between feedings, and while roaches and flies don't seem to pose a threat, crickets should definitely be removed. Breeding Sexual dimorphism exists. As mentioned earlier, there is a disparity in adult size. In a side by side comparison of adults, there really is no mistaking one sex for the other. Females are significantly larger—in length and girth. Later instar nymphs and adults may also be sexed by counting abdominal segments(males have eight, females six)or by noting the size of the last segment(much wider in females; segments should be viewed ventrally. Time needed from female's last molt to copulation: 3 weeks to a month. Presumably, the adult male is ready sooner. Now for the Fabio romance story: “Under initial close supervision, breeding took place outside of an enclosure but inside a room with the door closed. The female was occupied with the meal of a cricket. The male was placed just behind her. He immediately took notice and froze, gazing intently at female. As if in slow motion, he gingerly made his advance. Then, there came the point of no return, when he “pounced”, securing himself to the female with his forelegs. The pair was watched until connection was made. At that point, the lights were turned off, and they were left to their own devices. The next morning the female was in the same place. However, the male was found clear across the room. During the second mating, the male was physically placed onto the female. Also, when things went awry, a bamboo skewer proved useful in separating the quarreling couple.” Log: 5-22-13: Female molted to adult. 6-14-13: Mated. ?: Mated again. 7-20-13: First ooth laid. 8-30-13: First ooth hatched *Failed breeding attempts were not recorded, but there were one or two. Oothecae (Egg Cases) Described as tan, globular masses, oothecae have sometimes been liken to misshapen ping-pong balls(W. Harrell) or clumps of spray foam insulation(O. McMonigle). At eye level or thereabout, they can be found affixed to the thin branches of overgrown shrubs and small pines. Multiple oothecae are laid, and if conditions are right, they'll usually hatch somewhere between fifty and three hundred nymphs in 4-6 weeks. Although it's considered the norm, nymphs may not come all at once. Some have reported nymphs emerging gradually or an ooth hatching half and half during the course of a week. Diapause is not necessary, but refrigeration can prove useful in delaying the hatch. While in the refrigerator, one must take care to prevent the egg case/s from drying out. Optional (Health Concerns) A small number of nymphs suffer from a floppy abdomen. The abdomen literally folds and forms a crease. Presumed to be caused by the perpetual act of hanging upside down, it can prove fatal. Reorienting the enclosure so that the mantis is not always inverted may fix the condition. ootheca: (photo: jamurfjr) hatch: (photo: jamurfjr) L4 nymph: (photo: jamurfjr) adult male: (photo: jamurfjr) adult female: (photo: jamurfjr) Contributors: jamurfjr
  3. 1 point
    Phyllocrania paradoxa (Ghost Mantis) Introduction: The world famous ghost mantis, an extremely popular and easy species to rear, is talked about on an hourly basis on the forums. Ghost mantises are a decent size, extremely hardy, long lived, and tolerant of almost any conditions, not to mention they come in a range of colors, from all shades of brown to yellow, black, gray, greens and even mixes. Ghost mantises are very easy to rear and very attractive.(agent A) The genus name means "leaf head", and the head is outfitted with a twisted, leaf-like projection on top. The walking legs also have smaller, leaf-like lobes and the abdomen has a pair of flat, ragged extensions on each side. This may be the only species that's magnificent and always commands interest but is also easy (other mantids tend to be either uniquely amazing to look at or easy to keep).(Orin) Native range: Africa. Difficulty level: beginner. Development: Ghost mantises are slow growers at any temperature, though the time it takes from L1-L4 is relatively normal, L5 to adulthood is a long waiting game.(agent A) I must say right off the bat that males and females molt the SAME number of times. Don't let anyone tell you the females have an extra molt; they DONT! They BOTH molt SEVEN times.(agent A) The molt from L1 to L2 takes only about two weeks, and L2 to L3 is just a few days longer. L3 to L4 is less than 3 weeks, but then L4 to L5 takes up to a month. L5 to L6 is at least five weeks. L6 to L7 (sub adult for BOTH instars) is a bit longer, and they can spend 2-3 months in the sub adult stage, and surprisingly males can take longer than females to reach adulthood. (agent A) This mantis grows slowly, and lives longer than most species. As newly hatched nymphs, and for the first few molts, they eat and grow normally. However, as each successive molt occurs the interval between molts gets longer and longer, with the stage prior to the final molt taking up to two months. Limited food or care could easily stretch development far past a year, but five months is normal with adequate care.(Orin) Behavior/temperament: Degree of activityDegree of aggression or timidityPropensity to cannibalizeDynamics of threat displayCaptive Environment This species can tolerate temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees and can accept a wide range of humidity: from as low as 40% to as high as 70%. You can keep huge groups in terrariums or net cages with real or fake plants with little fear of cannibalism, or you can keep them in deli cups with a fake leaf and a paper towel on the bottom, or anything in between. So long as they can grip, climb, and walk, they are good.(agent A) Once they have molted a few times, they do not need much water or humidity, and only require a light misting two to three times a week. Phyllocrania paradoxa seldom kill each other after the third molt. They are often kept together long-term but females do eat males.(Orin) Feeding Nymphs can be tricky to feed, as they may not go after crawling food. L1 and L2 will eat hydei; L3 and L4 will eat houseflies (though L4 will also eat bottleflies), and after this, bottleflies are a good food for nymphs. They also appreciate moths, roaches, and crickets. Nymphs can go a long time without food, I've had nymphs (unintentionally) go 5 weeks without food and survive; though if a nymph hasn't eaten in a while, it is not advisable to just load it up with food (it wont be able to digest it all, possibly resulting in death). Instead, fill it back up slowly for 2 weeks before getting it real fat again (this goes for ANY animal btw).(agent A) Ghost mantids prefer to eat food a quarter of their mass or less. They are hearty feeders but prefer to stay on a fixed perch which should be positioned so food comes nearby. They rarely chase after prey unless it is less than an inch away (glass climbing roach nymphs are a favorite food).(Orin) Breeding The males are easily identified after two molts because the expansion of the male's prothorax is much smaller and the leaf on the head is pinched in the middle. Both genders are about two inches long when fully grown but the female is much more massive. Her tegmina look like dried brown leaves complete with veins while the male's tegmina look more like the hindwings and give him an odd, rectangular shape.(Orin) Sexing can be done as early as L4 by looking at the head crown. Males have a tall, jagged crown, while females have a forked and structured, symmetrical head crown. And as nymphs get older, males will have a narrower range of colors(mainly blacks and grays), while females take on browns and greens.(agent A) Surprisingly, males can take longer than females to reach adulthood. Fortunately, they are quick to breed. These are an extremely prolific species. Both sexes can be ready to mate as early as 2 weeks into adulthood, but I wait 3 weeks to be safe.(agent A) Males barely eat (don't be surprised if during his adult life, a male only eats one bottlefly) but are active and fly readily. Females eat a lot, and should be nice and well fed before mating. You don't usually have to worry about females attacking the males, especially if she is well fed. A good way to breed them is to have the males in a warm, humid cage (80oz cup with wet paper towel under a heat lamp works fine) and let them warm for two days or so; then in the evening put in a female or two, and usually you will wake up to a connected pair. They stay connected for 2-8 hours, and females will lay ooths frequently. Try not to keep females too warm after mating, since they have a habit of laying small ooths every few days rather than long ones every week and a half.(agent A) Oothecae: Giving them fake plants to lay on also helps increase ooth length. Ooths can be incubated at room temp with twice weekly misting. Hatching occurs 6-10 weeks later, with 20-60 nymphs resulting. Females can lay well over 12 ooths in their lifetime.(agent A) They prefer to construct oothecae on sticks a quarter inch or less in diameter. Oothecae are similar in shape and size to Creobroter oothecae, but the surface is smooth and glossy and there is a long thread-like extension at one end.(Orin) Optional Health Issues: infections or illnesses encountered.Additional Observations: pertinent information which doesn't neatly fit anywhere else.Photos: up to five may be posted at the bottom of the completed template. Please limit these photos to no more than one of an ootheca, two of nymphs(different instars), one of an adult female, and one of an adult male. (photo: jamurfjr) (photo: jamurfjr) Contributors: Agent A, jamurfjr, Orin
  4. 1 point
    Found in TriAn forests (VietNam)