We found a mantis on our mailbox today. A green female, and a very plump one at that! Sooo... of course I decide to keep her and I just so happened to have a vacant enclosure. ?I placed her in the enclosure and left her alone for a few moments.
When I returned, camera in hand, I caught her right in the process of laying an ooth! I backed away slowly and lowered all the lights.
Of course, there's no way to know if the ooth will be fertile. Here's hoping! I have limited experience with this native species.
Interesting part: I just ordered an ooth yesterday from a wonderfully accommodating dealer, because I wanted to experience this species.
I love free mantids. ?
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Dang it! When I walked in to visit first thing this morning my Chinese was molting and hanging by one leg. He still has one leg still stuck in the old shed. I backed away very slowly hoping not to disturb and make things worse. I zoomed in on him later using my phone from across the room and he is now on the bottom of the enclosure and I don't know if he fell or not. If that is the case, his fall would have been from a height of 3-4 inches which I have been told is usually fatal. Is there anything I can do to help or is it best to stay out of the room and hope for the best. I haven't had a mantis die on me before... so wish the little guy luck.
He no longer has use of his hind legs. He has been moving around and I gave him a fly this morning and he was able to catch and devour. I hope I don't lose him at next molt. I have read that once the hooks on the hind legs are lost the mantis usually dies at the next molt.
The bright side... my H. membranacea molted successfully last night.
My Chinese mantis is still hanging in there. Notice his hind legs. He still hasn't managed to remove the shed skin. It seems the equivalent of trying to take off the tightest pair of jeans possible while wearing sneakers. I think his left hind leg is a lost cause, but he had been using the right and I've even seen him hanging from it to stabilize. Unfortunately, I believe the hook he's relying on (tarsus?) is part of the old skin. He seems to have better mobility today than yesterday. He's sociable and curious today. I hope this is something that will improve in the next couple of molts. I think he is L4/L5... not sure because I wasn't tracking as well as I should.