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  1. 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.
  2. 5 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. 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.
  4. 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!!
  5. 3 points
    Can't wait till tomorrow! I am going to the Philly Insectarium with a friend of mine. They have mantids!! - MantisGirl13
  6. 3 points
    My last day of being 13 years old! I hope I get mantids and a good camera for my birthday tomorrow!! - MantisGirl13
  7. 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 😆
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 3 points
    My golden Noël is doing funny stuff with her butt. Guess she's looking for love. 🤣
  11. 3 points
    Happy Valentine's Day, my freaky deakies!
  12. 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
  13. 2 points
    Feeling cute. Might make a hydei culture later, idk. 🤣👍
  14. 2 points
    I invited Yen Saw to join my FaceBook group and OMG he joined. He is like the Mantis Breeder Hero LOL LOL I'm such a fan!! I've ordered from him a few times and he very much deserves every good thing said about him.
  15. 2 points
    BB flies are starting to pop. Took 10 days. 70F until I started warming them up a bit Saturday evening. 😎👍 Maybe I ought to carefully warm them right through. Afraid of dessication though.
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
    Hosting Caleb's 7th BDay party today. All our mantises dressed to the 9s. 👊🤣
  18. 2 points
    My husband caught some horse flies in our powered shop. We don't know where they are coming from, and can't locate the source as yet. It's probably a dead rat somewhere in the walls (ew!), but who am I to look a gift horse fly in the mouth! 😂🤣 I put a video of Utah catching one on my IG. I tried to link it here but it didn't work. I'll have to get a Dropbox and try that
  19. 2 points
    Another good morning in the Mantis household! ButterRum-Verde is on the verge of a molt! Iris and Mocha took down a dubia today and they were on the bigger side. Although she has one arm, Iris is still very fierce! Love my mantids! Happy Friday everyone!
  20. 2 points
    Our oldest spiny molted to i6. My youngest boy jumped up on the couch to get at eye level, and sang her happy birthday. This is not the 1st molt he's done that for, but it's still special everytime he does it. 😍
  21. 2 points
    Gustav finally molted to adult last night. Came home from work to find him with wings. It's about time! Now, if only Arthur would take a cue from his brother 😊 Utah is still hanging and looking molty, so she will hopefully molt today. I also have a female orchid who is about to molt to subadult, and is looking ready to molt any second. Hopefully, she will molt tonight, too.
  22. 2 points
    It was a good morning in the mantis household! Iris ate her first real meal after molting which was a good sized dubia! She is a one armed wonder!😊 ButterRum-Verde also had a roach which I was surprised about. Her wings are in the prepuff stage and I guess only the mantis keepers of a long time would understand that idea, but I'm trying to fatten her up before she stops eating! Mocha demolished two flies today and it was so impressive! Haha! Love them!
  23. 2 points
    Proud to report that Mocha molted last and she is still, well mocha! Haha! Operation will she turn green is in effect! Iris has swollen wing buds so I know a molt is coming soon! ButterRum-Verde is living life eating flies and dubias!
  24. 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.
  25. 2 points
    Deroplatys desiccata (Giant Deadleaf Mantis) Introduction: As the common name denotes, D. desiccata seems to disappear among a pile of dead leaves. Deroplatys may not be the most extravagant of the deadleaf mimics, but they are the biggest and possess the most intimidating threat displays. This species grows much larger than other Deroplatys that have been kept thus far though some stocks or specimens may average small. Adults are bulky and can exceed three inches in length.(Orin) Development: Females live up to a year following maturity.(Orin) The adult molt can be dangerous for the gigantic female if the container is too small or there are sticks in the way.(Orin) Rate of growth and factors involved Longevity Molting observations Behavior/temperament: Deadleaf mantids are hearty feeders but rarely attack others of the same size.(Orin) While dessicata will absolutely use vertical space in a terrarium, they can often be found mere inches above the substrate, resting face down on branches waiting for prey to come near. Truly exceptional camouflage helps them to disappear amongst dead leaves and bark.(frogparty) Degree of activity Degree of aggression or timidity Propensity to cannibalize Dynamics of threat display Captive Environment: The adult molt can be dangerous for the gigantic female if the container is too small or there are sticks in the way.(Orin) Temperature range and humidity levels Type and size of enclosure(s) used. Substrate or lack thereof Cage furnishings, e.g. molting surfaces, perches, décor, plants, etc. Communal housing if applicable Feeding: Deadleaf mantids are hearty feeders but rarely attack others of the same size.(Orin) Hatchlings are huge and take the large D. hydei or L1 Schultesia readily.(Orin) Prey preference is extremely broad, and flying prey, crickets, roaches etc are all relished greatly. A good varied diet for this species could include dubia roaches, crickets, silkworms, large moths, waxworms.(frogparty) I have noticed that Deroplatys do well when given large prey items more infrequently, rather than a myriad of small prey many times a week.(frogparty) Breeding: The females pronotum is about one and a half times longer than wide with downward pointed sides while the males is rounded. Males are nearly as long as females but are less massive. Sexual dimorphism is difficult to identify on hatchlings but blatant after a few molts.(Orin) Mating is the only real challenge with this species. The females seldom eat the males but the problem is males rarely show interest and hand mating is realistically impossible. The mating terrarium can include a 60-watt incandescent light directly over one spot to increase temperature which may help the males become lively.(Orin) Oothecae: Each female normally produces three to five oothecae that are stocky and an inch wide by 3/4 to an inch long. Females live up to a year following maturity and can be alive when their offspring mature but rarely form good oothecae after the first five months. Oothecae contain around 30-40. The gestation period varies greatly under similar conditions so don't give up on an ootheca until it has been at least two full months.(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. Contributors: frogparty, jamurfjr, Orin
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