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  1. 9 points
    Introduction Hymenopus coronatus, Orchid Mantis The nymphs are spectacular mimics of orchid flowers and look very much like a tiny version of the popular moth orchid flowers seen at various stores. Southeast Asia, most common stock from Malaysia. Difficulty level: intermediate Development Molts take place about every three weeks until the ultimate molt which can take twice as long. Hatchlings are red and black and may mimic certain assassin bugs. Later instars to adult are white to pink. Adults live from three to six months, rarely much longer. Molting rarely encounters problems in captivity despite the leg extensions. Behavior/temperament Nymphs usually stay in one spot to catch prey but will chase after crickets if hungry enough. Neither timid nor aggressive. Propensity to cannibalize is limited; not communal. Dynamics of threat display - none. Captive Environment Temperature range and humidity levels - room temperature to tropical (72-90F). High humidity without adequate ventilation will kill specimens. Type and size of enclosure(s) used - absolute minimum 32oz. for the large females. Substrate or lack thereof- none required. Cage furnishings, e.g. molting surfaces, perches, décor, plants, etc. -may shield prey, not needed. Communal housing if applicable - not a good idea. Feeding Feeding response - moths and flies are most attractive. Type and size of prey used and/or refused for various instars - fruit flies for the early instars, then crickets, cockroaches and flies. Quantity and frequency of feedings - late instar female nymphs can consume large quantities of prey daily. Breeding Sexing/sexual dimorphism - females look similar to the males but are a dozen times more massive. Time needed from last molt to copulation - 3-4 wks. Multiple males are suggested for mating. While rearing up nymphs is basic for anyone with limited experience, getting fertile eggs is expert level. Tips for inducing copulation and fecundity - Multiple males in a flight cage and warm temperatures. Fertile or not there are generally three oothecae per female. Tips for inducing female to lay oothecae - green/living plant leaves. Oothecae Physical description and average size. - thin and elongate, up to four inches long and a quarter inch wide. Diapause if necessary - none. Incubation time and temperature - approximately 40 days at 80F. Observed number/s and range of hatching nymphs - highly variable, avg. ~40
  2. 7 points
    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
  3. 6 points
    Busy day here today! Yesterday I spent a few hours cleaning cages and moving mantids and ooths to bigger cages for molting, hatching, etc. I'm so glad I did all that yesterday, because I had one of the ooths (G. amoena) hatch out today (2 nymphs so far). One of the ghosts molted to subadult! She is so pretty! (Pictures coming) I also fed my green anoles and finally got the picky eater to eat a mealworm.
  4. 5 points

    From the album: Delta.

    My baby girls first trip outside, it was a beautiful 78 degrees and slightly windy. Since she was purchased during the winter and it seems her end is nearing, I wanted her to experience the great outdoors. She had fun though, much exploring.

    © LAME

  5. 5 points
    Gongylus gongylodes (Violin Mantis) Introduction: Gongylus gongylodes is a mantis in the Empusidae family. They are native to India, Java, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Adults reach about 4-4½ in total length, males being on the smaller side.(brancsikia339) Their much rarer relative, Gongylus trachelophyllus, occurs only in India, and it seems that these don't exist in culture as of now.(brancsikia339) They go by many common names so it is best not to trust these (Other than violin mantis, its most common name): violin mantis, wandering violin mantis, wandering rose mantis, dead leaf mantis, stick mantis, Indian rose mantis, rose mantis, Indian violin mantis, and ornate mantis. This species has an array of common names.(brancsikia339) All in all, Gongylus gongylodes is an incredible species, though not for the novice.(brancsikia339) Physical description/appearance, i.e. size, color, shape, crypsis, etc. Development: Rate of growth and factors involvedLongevity Molting observationsBehavior/temperament: Degree of activityDegree of aggression or timidityPropensity to cannibalizeDynamics of threat displayCaptive Environment: They need a lot of twigs and branches to molt on. They also need high temps, up to the mid 90's and down to the low 80's to molt properly.(brancsikia339) I've kept this species many times, and I found that the hotter the better within reason. They did best in net cages with a heat lamp above the enclosure. I misted daily.(Rick) I never had any trouble keeping them communally but it may be best to keep males and female adults separate except for breeding purposes.(Rick) As all Empusids, this species cannot climb smooth surfaces and should get mesh or twigs to hang from. Temperatures should be about 80 for nymphs, and about 95 for adult males before breeding. Humidity needs only to be at 40-50%.(agent A) Type and size of enclosure(s) used.Substrate or lack thereofCage furnishings, e.g. molting surfaces, perches, décor, plants, etc.Feeding: They feed exclusively on flying food, but have been known to eat crickets. This can have adverse side effects, however.(brancsikia339) L1's through L3's for me were fed on mostly melanogasters and hydeis. From L4 on, they were fed mostly houseflies until some higher molts, in which they will accept BB's. They will also accept treats such as moths, butterflies, wasps and bees. (Bees not recommended because of rarity, and wasps can be dangerous to the mantids).(brancsikia339) These mantids prefer flying food and I raised them on flies. Start out with hydei fruit flies and transition them to houseflies followed by bluebottle flies. They do enjoy other flying insects such as moths.(Rick) Breeding: Males are volitable(able to fly) and females have short wings.(brancsikia339) This species is tricky to breed because males need high temps to mate, but an easy way to eggbind a female is overexposure to high temperatures. Keep the male in a hot, humid cage for a few days in a separate room (95F, 60-70%), then one evening introduce the female. Connection can still occur at room temp but the male needs high temps beforehand to make it work.(agent A) I incubate the ooths at 93f during the day and drop to 86f at night. I mist the container every other day one light mist. My temps are from a incubator so they don't fluctuate and have near perfect hatches in 4 to 6 weeks.(jrh3) Sexing/sexual dimorphism (explanation of physical differences and/or adult sizes of the sexes)Time needed from last molt to copulationTips: give us your methodology.Tips for inducing copulation and fecundityTips for inducing female to lay oothecaeOothecae: Ooths of gongylus are very peculiar, being spiky all around with a large protrustion on the front.(brancsikia339) Physical description and average size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.Diapause if necessaryIncubation time and temperatureObserved number/s and range of hatching nymphsOptional 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: jrh3) (photo: jrh3) Contributors: agent A, brancsikia339, jamurfjr, jrh3, Rick
  6. 4 points
    Iris and ButterRum-Verde has a little altercation this morning. Put them on the same plant and Iris felt threatened. They sized each other up for a little. Iris even almost opened her wings. I have to remember that ghosts are semi communal! It was interesting to see this behaviour though! Watching a mantis with wings display vs. a mantis without wings.
  7. 4 points
    Hello all, This is my farewell update... I was so blessed to be a part of the mantids community and working with everyone I worked with. I am getting out of mantids for a while, do not mourn for me tho. Everything in life is a choice and a learning experience. God gives trials and blessings to try our character and fit us for Him. I had fun an I will have fun with the next critters too. Anyway, tschüss!! Bis später!!
  8. 4 points

    From the album: Hierodula Majuscula

    My male Hierodula Majuscula posing on a mantis sculpture.

    © Machinar94, Dean

  9. 3 points
    Finally!!!!!!!
  10. 3 points
    Can't wait till tomorrow! I am going to the Philly Insectarium with a friend of mine. They have mantids!! - MantisGirl13
  11. 3 points
    My last day of being 13 years old! I hope I get mantids and a good camera for my birthday tomorrow!! - MantisGirl13
  12. 3 points
    Well. I guess I didnt need to post that farwell update so quickly since I haven't "left" yet and probably will be in contact for a while! I am saying a prayer for all of you trying to get some mantises bred and hatching ooths and all of that good stuff! I dont know why I am even posting this other than I am so excited I finally am a Flower Mantis on my rank! I haven't checked in a while so I was super excited to see that 😆
  13. 3 points
    Utah has become an adult! She molted overnight last night and is on the lid of her enclosure, hanging and generally looking beautiful. I will take photos later at feeding/care time. I also have pics of Gustav, I just didn't get them on Photobucket as yet.
  14. 3 points
    Still no connection with Xena and any male. I have 4 adult male Orchids, though I'm shocked Domenic is still alive. He has lost a leg from age (he lost the tarsi first, then the rest) and only rarely eats, but is still kicking. I haven't been trying him as a breeder, thinking he is too old, but idk I'm new to breeding! Utah is due to molt to adult any day now, and I have 3 more subs right behind her, a presub, and 2 L5s. So, soon I will have a whole slew of adult female Orchids! Impatiently waiting for Arthur and Gustav, the male Ghosts, to molt to adult. It's been almost 8 weeks since they hit sub. Declan should also molt to adult soon
  15. 3 points
    My golden Noël is doing funny stuff with her butt. Guess she's looking for love. 🤣
  16. 3 points
    Happy Valentine's Day, my freaky deakies!
  17. 3 points
    Orchid update: I'm expecting 2 adult female Orchids tomorrow and I'm so excited! My newly molted males will have girlfriends after all! I haven't attempted any breeding yet, so this marks a new chapter for me in my mantis journey. Hoping to have good news to share in the next week about the results Ghosts: No new adults yet, but Bellatrix is looking fatter than normal. How long will it take for her to start laying ooth? She hasn't been bred, as I have no adult males, but she has been adult for a month now
  18. 3 points

    From the album: Delta.

    Photo two of her last photos.

    © LAME

  19. 3 points
  20. 2 points
    Bellatrix went to the big terrarium in the sky today 😭 She was my favorite Ghost, my lil green bug eating machine. I woke to find her barely hanging from the tulle in her enclosure. I tried to give her some water or honey, but she was pretty far gone and was just striking at things out of instinct. I held her and thanked her for being my friend, then put her in the freezer. R.I.P Bellatrix: you were a special lady and a great mantis She laid 7 oothecca and lived 4 months as an adult ❤️
  21. 2 points
    Just came from work and Mocha is in the middle of molting!! The first ghost molting I've witnessed! She's beautiful!
  22. 2 points
    Little update! Julio is doing well and he is still shedding. Something I must get used to. I am so used to mantids doing all their molt in one time so it is different to wait weeks for a beardie molt to be done. One nice thing is I can still handle him during sheds (unlike mantids!). He is eating well and going bonkers over superworms and crickets. I think he gets more crickets at my house than he did at his previous home so now he is spoiled 😃😏 Still refining my parenting techniques, ha ha! Book: Also the book is near completion for all you who contributed and those who didnt!! Just finding a few more pics so if any of you want to check out my topic on the book I could still use feeder pics and how to sex a male mantis pic.
  23. 2 points
    Introduction Galanthias amoena, African flower mantis This small species nearly reaches 3cm long. It has a very long, skinny thorax. It is dull green with a whitish abdomen. Halfway down the back of the abdomen is a black stripe, not unlike Pseudoharpax virescens. The wings are a light green. Males are skinnier than females. Found in central Africa Difficulty level: beginner Development Nymphs take a while (up to 3 weeks) to molt to L2, however subsequent instars seem shorter (8-10 days). Feeding frequency is more of a factor than temperature. Adulthood can be reached 8-9 weeks after hatching. Males live about 5 weeks after becoming adult, while females live for about 3 months. Both sexes are subadult at L6. Behavior/temperament These insects are active. They run and jump a lot, and young nymphs readily escape. These insects are somewhat shy, particularly in early instars. They seem fairly communal and don't attack particularly large prey (though mated females become more brazen with food size). As long as food is plentiful, aggression is low. I seem to notice later instar nymphs go missing in group housing on occassion, so if you have only a few, it may benefit you to separate them at L5. Generally, though, enough nymphs in a group cage make it to maturity to allow for breeding. Captive Environment Room temperature (64-78F) suffices for these insects. They appreciate twice weekly misting when young, though high humidity isn't needed. They seem fine with paper towel on the bottom of the container, and I usually offer fake plants for climbing. They don't mind heavily planted containers. Since they are small, food storage sized containers with ventilated lids suffice. I usually house adults in 32oz deli cups and groups of young nymphs in 32oz cube containers used for human food. Net cages or tall 5 gallon containers work well for groups of L4 or older nymphs. I use pop-up round butterfly cages for groups of older nymphs. I trim live ragweed and goldenrod, shake off the spiders, and place it within the cages. Nymphs appreciate the perches, and it is not necessary to replenish foliage when it dries out. If you wish to house these individually, 16oz deli cups are large enough for the final molt. Feeding Feeding response: These insects enthusiastically chase prey items. Even tiny adult males eat a few times per week, although I suspect that much like Creobroter, overfed males may have trouble connecting during mating. Type and size of prey used and/or refused for various instars: L1 and L2 can handle D. hydei. I usually feed them hydei through L3 before switching to houseflies or various small syrphid flies and halictid/andrenid bees, depending on the season. I live near a blueberry patch surrounded by netting that traps a banquet of insects between June and October. Syrphid flies are particularly attracted to hydrangea and yarrow flowers. L4 seem a bit small for bottleflies, though subadults eat them without issue. Small bees also work for L4/5 nymphs. Quantity and frequency of feedings: I usually just keep food plentiful. 4 or 5 insects per nymph is good, and when prey disappears I add more. These insects eat quite a bit for their size. Mated females love wild moths and such and eat nonstop. Breeding Sexing/sexual dimorphism: the bottom of the abdomen of males has a few small, blunt segments. The female has a large pointy segment at the end. Depending on your eyesight, this is appearant at L4 onward. As adults, males are narrower and the abdomen is completely concealed by the wings when viewed from above. Time needed from last molt to copulation: 5 or 6 days for males, 8-10 for females Pairing is easy to achieve, particularly when the female is well fed. Simply have the mature male in a good sized cage and add the female near him. The female isn't particularly aggressive and mating usually takes around 3 hours. I mate mine a few times. Mated females need only a few small pieces of fake foliage and a good flow of food to oviposit. Females lay ooths around 3 weeks of age and will deposit one every 5-12 days, depending on how often she is fed. I usually just fatten up females with a variety of moths, flies, and bees. Oothecae: The ooth of this mantis is fairly about the size of a watermelon seed. It is roughly cubical in shape, with ribs down the sides. It is a dark brown color, although fresh ooths are tan. Incubation at room temp with regular (2-3 times weekly) misting suffices. About 6 weeks later, 10-15 nymphs will hatch. Text and photo submitted by mantisloverguy6000
  24. 2 points

    From the album: Lost

    http://www.reagandpufall.com/

    © Reagan D Pufall

  25. 2 points
    Sphodromantis spp. (African Mantis) Introduction: Most common in culture: Sphodromantis sp. "blue flash"—known for the blue marking on the inside of femur. Sphodromantis lineola Sphodromantis viridis These are rather large mantises. The adults reach 3-3.5 inches long and are very bulky in appearance. They have the typical mantis look to them. This genus is mainly from Africa and nearby parts of Europe.(agent A) Color: various hues of brown and green. Difficulty level: beginner. Development: Molting is rarely an issue with this species. Young nymphs should be misted often to prevent mismolts, but afterwards, they will molt readily without even showing signs of it. Molts may only be five days apart, and males molt six times, females molt seven.(agent A) Rate of growth and factors involvedLongevity Molting observationsBehavior/temperament: With such an aggressive species, [cannibalism] is a given.(agent A) Degree of activityDynamics of threat displayCaptive Environment: Housing this species isn't much of an issue. At L1 and L2, the nymphs can be kept together in large net cages with plenty of food. Cannibalism will still occur, but with such an aggressive species, this is a given. At L3 and older, until L5, 32oz deli cups or similar size containers work well. Very little is needed other than a paper towel substrate and mesh on the lid to hang from. 80oz deli cups will suffice from L5 until the final molt, though the mantis should be out in a net cage for the final molt. (agent A) Temperature range and humidity levelsFeeding: This mantis is an aggressive feeder. At L1, hydei flies can be used and nymphs start eating houseflies at L2. Nymphs should be fed regularly and will eat a lot of food. Crickets, flies, roaches, moths, spiders, and so much more can be used.(agent A) Breeding: Sexing is very easy even at earlier instars. Males have the eight abdominal segments while females only have six, and the ovipositor of the female is a very wide end segment with a split down the middle at the end.(agent A) About 3 weeks after the final molt, assuming good feeding, adults are ready to pair up. This is a rather aggressive species and even adult males have a decent appetite. Males should be fed twice a week, females should eat daily. Pairing these guys up is simple when they are ready. Put the male in a large cage and let him settle, then add the female. He will quickly notice her but may be weary at first. However, within minutes, he will approach and quickly mount her. He connects soon afterwards, and mating can last 3-8 hours or even longer in some cases. After mating, females should be fed well and offered wooden sticks to lay ooths on. If weather permits, placement of the female on a live tree outside, in a rearing sleeve to prevent issues, can help the ooth laying process.(agent A) Oothecae: Females will lay large ooths every 3-5 weeks and will lay 4-6 in their life.(agent A) Ooths of this species are large and require little more care than light weekly mistings. Room temperature suffices for incubation and 100-200 nymphs will hatch out after 4-6 weeks. (agent A) Physical description and average size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.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: S. lineola by patrickfraser) (photo: S. viridis by patrickfraser) Contributors: agent A, jamurfjr, patrickfraser
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