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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. 4 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
  6. 3 points
    Can't wait till tomorrow! I am going to the Philly Insectarium with a friend of mine. They have mantids!! - MantisGirl13
  7. 3 points
    My last day of being 13 years old! I hope I get mantids and a good camera for my birthday tomorrow!! - MantisGirl13
  8. 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 😆
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 3 points
    My golden Noël is doing funny stuff with her butt. Guess she's looking for love. 🤣
  12. 3 points
    Happy Valentine's Day, my freaky deakies!
  13. 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
  14. 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 ❤️
  15. 2 points
    Just came from work and Mocha is in the middle of molting!! The first ghost molting I've witnessed! She's beautiful!
  16. 2 points
    Many of my remaining BSFL are very small. So, I figured i'd add something to eat. Wow. Just a few hours and they're well into this slice of cucumber!
  17. 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
  18. 2 points
    It's a good day. All mantises still alive. 🤪👌
  19. 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. 😍
  20. 2 points
    Just ordered 5 more mantids; one for my nephew (the Chinese mantis I got him died from the thunder dome style shipping method) the spiny flower he originally requested is back in stock at my preferred place plus a couple more ghost mantis because my 5 year old just loves them. Well also keep 2 more nymph spinys besides the one that will be swapped for Spots. Spots is gonna leave with my nephew this weekend since the order won’t arrive in time BUT STILL lol Birthday crises averted! Winning? I think so lol
  21. 2 points
    Tried again today to pair Dom and Xena to no avail. She seemed stir crazy and wouldn't stay still, even though I tried to get her to climb 30min earlier and she refused, lol. She kept doing donuts around the net enclosure and didn't want to go back to her normal enclosure. Dom seemed interested but wouldn't make a move, even when I held him an inch away and distracted Xena with honey water. His eyes are looking photoreacted today, even in the well lit room; I think he is over the hill 😒 Dom is moving around okay and otherwise seems fine, but he is 10wks mature now Adam is up next. He is around 2wks mature now, but I will probably wait until next week to try again, just to be certain he is old enough to get the job done
  22. 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
  23. 2 points
    Miomantis binotata Giglio-Tos 1911 (Submitted by Mantis Monarch, photos by Mantis Monarch) Introduction Common name: African Pinstripe Mantis, comes from the adult female's white stripes on their green wings. Also may be named that because as nymphs they have red pinstripes running down their abdomen and across knees that widen and double as they get older. Physical description: mostly green with red and white accents. Brown color morphs exist but even brown adult females have green wings. L1 black, L2 pale green w/ white and red banded legs, L3 5/16" same but gain red racing stripes, L4 1/2" same but gain black dots under abdomen, L5 same but green and pale green tiger stripes appear, L6 and L7 ~1" adult females have short green with white stripes wings and short green antenna, adult males have long transparent green wings with long red antenna. Distribution: Africa; Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Burundi, Musina, South Africa Small Species: adults grow no larger than 1.25" Difficult level: rearing beginner, breeding advanced Development Growth rate: L1 to adult can be achieved in 2 months at 80-90F w/ feeding everyday 72-80F and feeding once every 2-4 days will slow growth rate without problems Longevity: adult male will last 2-3 months (4 max) adult female will last 2-6 months depending on temperature and feeding schedule. Molting observations: can molt to adult in a 16oz deli or bigger. No problem with molting with humidity 50-80%. Behavior/Temperment From hatch/L1 these nymphs are curious and friendly they remain very sweet and handleable all the way to adult Degree of aggressiveness: high, especially in females. Will go after food and other nymphs. Propensity to cannibalize: high, nymphs don't mind eating other nymphs. Female cannibalized males over 60% of time in captivity. Captive Environment Temperature: 75-85F Night >68 used Temperature Range is 68-90F Humidity: 45-80% very tolerant (adult males need water to drink everyday) Enclosure Used: 5.5oz Suffle cup, 16oz deli and 32oz deli cup OR SM/MED hex and SM kritter keeper for breeding. Substrate Used: paper towel, Eco-Earth, Moss Cage Furnishings: mesh netting, plastic plants, skewers, popsicle sticks. Breeding enclosure needs lots of green plants for the male to hide in. Not Communal: separate as soon as possible. High degree of cannibalization. Feeding L1 can prey on Mel. Fruit Flies Adult males can eat: Hydei fruit flies, false stable fly, small house fly, or insect segment Adult females can eat: Blue Bottle Flies, House Flies, mealworms, superworm segment, or other insect segment. Breeding Sexing/sexual dimorphism: Sex ID Adult Males: have transparent green wing that are longer than abdomen, long slender body, very long red antenna Sex ID Adult Female: have green wings with white stripes that are shorter than abdomen after first meal, fatter abdomen that sticks out the sides of wings, short green antenna. Time needed from last molt to copulation: depends on temperature, at 75-80F Males are ready in 2 weeks, Adult females are ready in 4-6 weeks. I wait until after female has laid 1st infertile ootheca before mating to ensure readiness. Tips: methodology: Bring both male and female up to Day 80F Night 75F before trying. Feed female every day for a few days before trying. Place both in a SM Hex or SM Kritter Keeper with lots of house flies flying around in the evening. The flies are a distraction for the female so the male can do his job. Male will most likely be cannibalized, if he copulates or not. Tips for inducing copulation and fecundity: temperature and flying insects Tips for inducing female to lay oothecae: she will lay on netting, plastic, artificial plants, insect lid, and sticks. They are not picky about where they lay. Sometimes infertile ooths are laid on the moss substrate. Ootheca Small tan semi-hard ooth. No bigger than 1/2" Diapause NOT needed Incubation: 28-40 days at 75-80F w/ 60-80% humidity or mist everyday. Observed Hatch Rate: 10-35 nymphs M.binotata L1 nymph
  24. 2 points
    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
  25. 2 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
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