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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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