I very much apologize for my abrupt and continued absence from the forum these past months without notice or a word before now. It was necessary to take a break from Mantidforum and from my mantis hobby due to some extreme family issues, and I've just now logged in for the first time since March of this year (as I'm sure you who are interested have seen that I've been absent). A sincere thank you to those who have contacted (or tried to contact me) to see if all was OK. I'm still having ongoin
The offspring from the previous generation of P. wahlbergii (the adults I spoke of in my last entry) have now grown, and I have 2 females and 2 males that have reached adult and are mating. I still have a couple of medium nymphs who have a ways to go yet also.
Speaking of Pseudocreobotra wahlbergiis, I had 2 adult couples each in their own net cages. One of the females died the other day, so I put the extra male in with the other couple. This was four days ago.
I just discovered this morning the remaining female became low on flies and has eaten both males. Hopefully, at least one of the males successfully fertilized her. I'd taken some pics of the female...
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii adult female (January 2010)
Since I last updated on my Pseudocreobotra wahlbergiis they have grown up, some of which are adult and currently mating. None of this new generation shows the bright pink/purple that several of the parents exhibited in their nymph stages. It goes back to the question we all would like to know for sure... is it humidity levels, color of surroundings, etc. that causes variations in the coloring? I don't know.
Here are some of the new generation of nymphs and adults mating.
I was in the bug room one day in December, and a small nymph caught my eye. It was walking along the top of the net cage I was working on, and I captured it. To my surprise, it looked like a little Boxer mantis. It was true that I did have some Ephestiasula pictipes ooths sitting out waiting to be pinned into a cage... but I'd never witnessed any of them hatching, and it had been quite a while that they had lain there, so I thought they were infertile. I guess not! So I took some pics
Still trying to catch up on some of the species I kept in 2009. I reared a couple of generations of Parasphendale agrionina (Budwing mantis). This medium/large sized mantis was easy to keep and the ootheca produced many nymphs. The adult female is much larger in size than the skinny little male, and has a characteristic upturned end to the abdomen. This species is deceptively beautiful when you take a close look. Both sexes have various shades of browns and white, with the female displaying
I've had a hopefull discovery yesterday morning. The first female he was with for 2 days laid an ooth overnight. It looks good, but of course no way of knowing. But the fact that she laid it one night after he was removed from her cage is promising to me.
Omomantis zebrata ooth (January 2010)
Only 4 Omomantis zebrata nymphs made it to adult; and I thought I had 2 of each sex... until just recently when I realized one of the "males" was really a female. So 3 females and one precious male.
I'd introduced him to the first female the day before yesterday. They are a very skittish species at times, and mating them out in the open would not be a good idea. I left them together in a net cage with most of the precious few BB and house flies I have right now. They were fine that nigh
It's been almost a month now since I updated the status of my Hymenopus coronatus. The males are all adult, and have been for several weeks. The females are at pre-sub and sub-adult, with most molting to sub this past week.
I'm having a bit of a food shortage (delays in shipping of house flies and eclosing of BB's) this week. But I'm pleased to find that all of the females fairly easily took to hand feeding them cut up roaches with forceps. I've been getting the adult males by on fruit fli
Of the nymphs that hatched from my G. gongylodes ooths, 4 females have made it to adult. They all molted perfectly several weeks ago (about mid-December). The few males I had ended up mis-molting; but I received a second chance to try to breed this species by obtaining 4 sub-adult males in a trade with ABbuggin. It seemed like forever between the time all of the females molted to adult, and the first male molted to adult. I was beginning to think they were never going to grow up!
Clutterbug and procrastinator that I am, you all know I regularly keep ooths laying around waiting to be pinned up in cages... and sometimes I don't get them hung and enclosed in time before they decide to hatch.
Well, last night when I went in to adjust the temp. in the bug room, mist, and check on everyone before going to bed, I discovered several freshly eclosed nymphs wandering around the shelf where I keep my loose ooths awaiting hanging. Whoops and hmmm.... which ooth was it?!!
All my adult Rhombodera sp. are gone from last generation except for one old gal who is extremely fat; I assume eggbound as she has never laid an ooth (a couple of her sisters had laid 3-5 ooths). But amazingly, she keeps hanging on and living. She looks pretty rough at this point, and I half expect to find her dead almost every time I check the mantids. But she continues on...
Rhombodera sp. older adult eggbound female (December 2009)
The next generation from one of her sister's oo
When I stand in the center of my bug room at certain times of the day (when it's light out) and face the window, I can get a silhouette type effect in my photos. Here are some pics of the same sub-adult female in the last entry that I took this way. I like the effect for something a little different.
Phyllovates chlorophaea sub-adult female (December 2009)
I took a slew of pics the other day, and here are some of one of the sub-adult females by herself.
Phyllovates chlorophaea sub-adult female (December 2009)
I took some "creative lighting" shots of this same female, which I will post in the next entry.
I've lost count now of how many generations of Phyllovates chlorophaea I've bred, but I think it's either 3 or 4 now. This is one of my very favorite species, and right now I plan to continue breeding them indefinitely, if possible. They have been a hardy and very successful species for me so far. Currently, I have adults and almost all instars (except L1 and L2's).
There are 6 adult females, some of which might be fertile (don't know yet), and some of which did not have a chance to be wit
Last night while checking on everyone in the bug room, I happened to catch Omonatis zebrata female #3 molting to adult in her net cage! All was looking well with the process...
Omonantis zebrata female molting to adult (December 2009)
Close-up of wings
I then took some more pics of her this morning after she had fully molted. What a relief after the mishaps with the first two females molts to adult!
Isn't she beautiful?!! I'm pleased as punch.
Last week the Gonatista grisea ooth I'd gotten in a trade from Chase hatched out about 25 cute little boogers! I was so happy to see them. But I failed miserably with this species in short order.
I believe I overmisted them, as they were fine for several days, and after a particularly overzealous misting of all the net cages in the bug room one evening... I discovered all of this species hatchlings but one dead the next morning. What a disaster. I could kick myself for buggering up thi
The second Omomantis zebrata female of the two molting to adult (mentioned in previous entry) is alive and seems to be doing well so far, despite her mis-molting deformity (the first one died from her mismolt). Hopefully she will still be able to breed and reproduce. I'm waiting another week, and then I will try to introduce one of the two adult males to her and hope for the best. Moving the remaining two sub-adult females each into their own net cages will also hopefully prevent any further
As mentioned in a previous recent blog entry, this past week has been really busy with happenings in the bug room. An event of major importance to me was when two of the female Omomantis zebrata nymphs molted to adult at the same time a few days ago. I first noticed the one laying on the bottom of her container in mid-molt. What a devastating discovery. I hurriedly but gently got her out and tried to see if she could hang by her back legs by herself. She could not. So I took two spri
The females of this species are definitely taking longer to mature than the males. Still, they have all been growing and molting at a fairly fast pace it seems. This species is mainly plain green during the middle and later instars, and they are quite skittish when disturbed. When being fed, they do not immediately go after the flies when introduced into their enclosures. It seems they are stressed by any disturbances or changes in their enclosures, including feeding time. They take a littl
It's been nearly a month since I last posted about the O. zebratas. About 2 weeks ago (mid December), the second male molted to adult. He's even more handsome than the first, in my opinion (although they look quite similar). The total count of specimens I have is now down to five. I believe the remaining three are females.
2nd Omomantis zebrata adult male (December 2009)
Notice the orange and small patch of blue on the forearms...
As an aside, and to my surprise, I happened to spot what looked like an L4/5 or so Rhombodera sp. nymph on the ceiling the other day. I was busy and didn't have time to get it down and inspect it at the time. But a search the next day found her on the top of the curtain... and she is a Rhombodera sp. for sure. Haven't had any of those hatch out loose. So I'm assuming she escaped when I was moving them to separate containers, and has been on the lamb ever since. Funny I just now saw and ca
My last entry dealt with the growing nymphs from October's loose hatchout in the bug room. But the big escape of this past week was another Hierodula membranacea ooth... oh boy, lol. I did catch it in mid-hatch, so it could have been a far worse circus than it was. But I've been finding renegade nymphs every day now again. Some I capture and put in with their siblings in a net cage. But they're wily little devils, and don't want to give up their freedom that easily. And there are lots of pl
L4/5 Hierodula membranacea renegade nymphs from an October hatch growing up in the bug room.
Stalking a fly on a net cage...
On the wood trim...
Molting from the curtain...
On top of a net cage...
The fruit fly catching jars are a favorite hangout!
On the pencil (chopstick) holder...
Never know where or when you'll see one next... they're all over, hehe.
Lots of things have been going on in the bug room this past week, one of which was another loose hatchout of Giant Asian nymphs.
I'm a notorious procrastinator, and I consistently have ooths just sitting around on a shelf that I need to hang in rearing cages. I've been caught I don't know how many times now with ooths hatching out loose in the bug room. Some of the past species that have hatched like this have been Tenodera sinensis, Hierodula membranacea (these two species were the "worst