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Orin

Galanthias amoena (African flower mantis)

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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

galanthias.JPG

galanthias2.JPG

Edited by Orin

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