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Odontomantis spp. (Ant Mantis)

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Odontomantis spp. (Ant mantises)

Introduction:

hailing from southern Asia, the Odontomantis genus contains multiple species known for their mimicry of black ants as young nymphs. these charming little mantises are barely an inch long and live a surprisingly long time as adults

the adults have a lovely evergreen color with charming yellow or black dots on the lower abdomen

Difficulty level:intermediate

Behavior/Temperament:

nymphs are active and somewhat shy, adults move swiftly

they don't like being housed too densely and despite lower cannibalism than others, housing them together increases stress which heightens mortality

Captive environment

odontomantis need it fairly humid. temperatures between 75 and 80 are adequate, but regular spritzing is needed to prevent dehydration. young nymphs need plastic containers with lightly ventilated lids and plenty of perches. misting should be done twice a day from L1 to L4, then daily misting until adulthood works well. adults don't seem to need as much misting but they do benefit from the occasional spraying

these guys are small and 16oz deli cups will comfortably house them their whole lives

Feeding:

the small hatchling nymphs are somewhat apprehensive about food at first

d.melanogaster are adequate in size but do not offer too many at once and wait 3 or 4 days to start feeding them. they won't eat much at first but by L3 they will eat a lot of d.hydei

at L5 houseflies can be offered

these mantises will eat flies, moths, and roaches

Breeding:

these are prolific mantises. females lay 8-12 ooths in their lifetime, each of which hatches 25-30 nymphs in a little less than a month (24-28 days)

as these spectacular mantises grow, the legs get a red color and the bodies turn green

they get closer to the adult color each molt

males molt 6 times and females molt 7 times

males live a surprisingly long time, 2-3 months as adults, and are fairly small. they only need weekly feeding of a housefly as adults

females are larger and eat much more

adults are receptive 15-20 days after the final molt

these guys don't seem to get pheromone saturation issues and males can mate pretty much until the day before they die

one must simply put the female in the male's cage

females are rarely aggressive to the males

the male promptly mounts the female and once connected, mating lasts 25-70 minutes

males can mate every other day and I've gotten 2 females mated with the same male 3 times each in the same week

within a few days of mating, a female will deposit a round, segmented ooth

they will lay an ooth every 6-9 days for the first few months of adulthood

females can live 6 months as adults

ooths should be incubated between 75 and 80 degrees with regular heavy misting

hatching usually occurs shortly after a light goes on

nymphs need a lot of room and plenty of moisture

nymhps easily dehydrate, and this makes them harder than other mantises to rear because when they are dehydrated they don't eat and it is hard to keep them alive

Edited by jamurfjr

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About what humidity specifically would you recommend? 

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I looked it up and it says medium humidity so make sure to not have too little or too much. In order to have medium humidity I would suggest instead of having a completely closed container with substrate to instead have mesh on top with substrate, therefore giving breathing space. Anyone, correct me if I am wrong.

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Mist twice a day up to L4, then once a day should be enough. Good ventilation is also key

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