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Deroplatys desiccata (Giant Deadleaf Mantis)

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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

  • Upvote 2

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