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  1. So, with Mantis Keepers temporarily disabled, who.else is back in here jonesing? 🤣
    2 points
  2. Really missing taking care of some mantids! Hopefully soon I can get back into it!
    2 points
  3. Sending good vibes and warm wishes for a beautiful day to my mantis community! I hope all is well!
    2 points
  4. Introduction Species: Heterochaeta cf occidentalis Common name: Giant African Stick mantis / cat-eye mantis / 'Chaeta Physical description: 'chaeta is among the largest species of preying mantis kept in captivity, some documented over half a foot long. 'Chaeta is a stick mimic, with it's long and slender appearance, strikingly resembling a part of a branch. 'Chaeta has two conical protrusions on top of both eyes that are distinguished even from the hatchling stage. Chaeta generally has a medium to dark brown coloration and sometimes developes tinges of green, usually on the femur and tibia in its nymph stages. It is also not unusual to see red horns, with blue and green eye color. Native range: 'Chaeta is an African mantis, stemming from cental africa and was first discovered in tanzania (cant find source sorry). Difficulty level: Advanced Development Rate of growth and factors involved: 'chaeta is a slow growing mantis. It's first molt takes about two weeks. It's last molt can take two months. 'Chaeta will grow quicker like most mantids, with warmer temps and frequent feeding. Longevity: 'chaeta's life span from hatchling to adulthood is at least a year and can reach over a year and a half under optimal conditions. Molting observations: 'chaeta will usually look for a camoflaged spot it will perch upside down from and begin to shed skin. Most chaetas molt in unison, within the same 2 day window. 'Chaeta will refuse food before molting. Behavior/temperament Degree of activity: 'chaeta is not a very active mantis, and spends most of its day in one area, even as a nymph. Degree of aggression or timidity: 'chaeta is a very shy and docile mantis. 'Chaeta normally do not hunt prey, but are more of ambush predators relying on its camoflage to trick its prey into getting comfortably close within striking distance. Propensity to cannibalize: 'chaeta has a highly unlikely cannibalization rate if kept with generous space and food. Infact, chaeta is definitely one of the most tollerant mantis towards each other in culture. Dynamics of threat display: 'chaeta has a high tendency for eye to eye interaction and threat display. Usually any quick, previously undetected movement will get chaeta into a threat pose. 'Chaeta will open its coxa out horizontally and extend its raptors with femur and tarsus together, revealing it's warning colors, navy with white dots and a white stripe horizontally connecting them both, on the inside of its coxa. 'Chaeta only opens up its wing set in very confrontational situations as adult. Captive Environment Temperature range and humidity levels: 'chaeta has a high tolerance level to heat and humidity and its living conditions can vary. I've found the best success with heterochaeta is room temps about 60-80ºf with at least 30% humidity. Type and size of enclosure(s) used: chaeta needs to be put in a container 3x its length in diameter and 6x its size in height. Chaeta demands a lot of molting and living space. This maybe the toughest thing about keeping chaeta. I've had success with delis in groups of up to 7 to L4, then they must go inside of a larger aquarium type container. I do not recommend net cages, for whatever reason I can't explain I've had a 80% mismolt rate in them with chaeta, especially in its older instars. A tall aquarium lined with sticks and a light at the top is the best option for this species. Substrate or lack thereof: Chaeta does not need a substrate, but there should be at least 30% humidity. So a good spray every few days isn't a bad idea, but all your chaetas won't die or mismolt if you forget. Cage furnishings, (e.g. molting surfaces, perches, décor, plants, etc.): Chaeta' needs an environment that aids to its crypsis. Birch branches are the best recommendation. Due to chaeta needing a larger environment, it's also a good idea to hang a low wattage cfl to attract their food source. When the prey flies to the light source, it arouses chaetas predatorial instincts. Sometimes crowds of chaeta surround the light during feedings. Communal housing if applicable: chaeta is the most communal mantis ive kept to date and I'm sure is among the most communal in culture. Cannibalization is always a greater possiblity without an adequate food source, proper camoflage and too frequent interaction. Feeding Feeding response: chaeta is not an active hunter like most mantids and prefers to wait until the food is within striking parameters before lunging out. Chaeta will slowly make its way towards a group of prey items. Type and size of prey used and/or refused for various instars: chaeta, despite its skinny stick like build, can overcome larger adversaries than you'd expect. Chaeta at 1st instar are able to eat mels and hydei. At chaetas second instar it can jump to houseflies, and at the fourth instar blue bottles can be used comfortably through out adulthood. Quantity and frequency of feedings: thankfully due to chaetas longer slimness, and ability to overcome surprisingly large prey, the frequency of its feeding is also determined by its size too. L1 to 3 should be fed twice a week, hydeis x6-12 per chaeta or house fly each. Once they graduate to blue bottles they should be fed once a week and be housed in a larger cage to hold a group of 1bb for each at l4 and double it every instar on. Food should continue to be added if its been all devoured. Food intake will almost double for mated females. Adult chaeta can last several weeks with no food and survive, though this is definitely not recommended at all. Breeding Sexing/sexual dimorphism (explanation of physical differences and/or adult sizes of the sexes):chaeta has virtually no difference between male and female by the naked eye until L5. The females are slightly larger and bulkier. Males have longer, fuller antennae. Females have an arch to their cerci that curve downwards right before their two flaps at the end of its abdomen. Males also have a slightly longer wingset and are flight capable. Time needed from last molt to copulation: The time frame between adulthood and the first witnessed mating is between 4 and 6 weeks. I'm sure this time frame is also dependant on environmental factors. Tips: give us your methodology.:the best way to get chaeta to mate is to keep them communually from the start and to give them extra food and privacy at times. Tips for inducing copulation and fecundity: higher temps and humidity aren't as much a determining factor in mating as much as a natural feeling environment. Tips for inducing female to lay oothecae Oothecae: females generally lay very frequently after mating, about once every two weeks, but can be up to a month between. A slightly more frequent misting and food availability maybe necessary for larger healthier ooths. Physical description and average ooth size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.: Chaeta oothecae are about 50 mm in length and 35 mm in diameter. They are large, dark gray to light brown, foamy oval oothecae with a long hanging thread at the end. Chaeta oothecae are laid on the underside of a branch most of the time. Diapause if necessary: chaeta ooths do not require a diapause. Incubation time and temperature: chaeta oothecae take about 45-60 days from lay date to hatch date. Hatching and living temps shouldn't differ. Observed number/s and range of hatching nymphs: healthy chaeta ooths should boast in the 50 to 60 range. Even the smallest ooths at the end of a mantids life cycle can hatch 10 mantids. Optional Health Issues: infections or illnesses encountered.: chaeta seem to be a very hardy mantis sp. I would stray from crawling prey unless clean and completely necessary. try to keep humidity above 30 percent especially around molting time. Environment is the biggest stress factor for chaeta. Chaeta can seem healthy and die unexpectedly from what looks like nothing and can be frustrating, this I believe is either overcrowdedness of food or siblings or not enough space or branches creating an environmental stress. Additional Observations: pertinent information which doesn't neatly fit anywhere else.: chaeta is quite a defensive mantis. Chaeta is quick and jumps a lot in its early instars. This can make it hard to manage in groups, but once it knows your not a threat, chaeta will interact well and almost looks for your hands to crawl on during handling. Chaeta should not be handled too often. Chaeta sometimes face eachother in a typical defense pose and open and close its raptor in almost a signaling effect. I have also witnessed a funny dance dubbed the 'happy' dance where chaeta will open and close its raptors frantically in opposite directions much like its signaling to other chaetas, but in a faster motion. The hardest thing about keeping chaeta Is managing a large group of large mantids in a large area. Environmental factors are the key with this species. Give chaeta its camouflage and its stress level will go down drastically. 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. Oothecae Nymph L1 Nymph L3 Adult female Adult male Edit: it was also asked to post the certain type of housing, this is perfect for l3 groups on to adult. the enclosure is about 4'8"x3'x18" in depth. Photo: OM
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  5. When you have fruit flies flying around your garbage and you take the opportunity to gorge your babies! #me
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  6. nice! is that my leg?
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  7. Creobroter spp. ([Various] Flower Mantis) Introduction: Creobroter apicalis—Yunnan Flower Mantis Creobroter elongates—Thai Flower mantis Creobroter gemmatus—Jeweled Flower Mantis Creoboter meleagris Creobroter nebulosus—Chinese Flower Mantis Creobroter pictipennis—Indian Flower Mantis Creoboter urbanis The Creobroter genus is an extremely popular genus, with stock seeming to magically appear from nowhere. These very nice looking flower mantises are very easy to care for, and their somewhat exotic look makes them a perfect beginner species. Don't let their size fool you, these are VICIOUS insects that will eat almost anything and thrive under almost any conditions.(agent A) Scientific and common namePhysical description/appearance, i.e. size, color, shape, crypsis, etc. Native range Difficulty level: beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expertDevelopment: At higher temps (above 80), adulthood can be accomplished in less than 3 months, but even at room temp, these reach adulthood in less than 5 months.(agent A) At L1, these nymphs resemble red ants and can be kept together for a good portion of the nymphal stage.(agent A) Even when kept at room temperature, the first molt takes just 10-14 days.(agent A) Longevity Molting observationsBehavior/temperament: Degree of activityDegree of aggression or timidityPropensity to cannibalizeDynamics of threat displayCaptive Environment: Any temperature between 70 and 90 is acceptable for this species, and humidity need not be higher than 50% or so, but they do appreciate frequent mistings when younger to help prevent mismolts. This is an aggressive species, and even if well fed, nymphs may still cannibalize; so by L5 should be separated into smaller groups or individual housing. (agent A) L1 nymphs need plenty of room and hiding spots and gentle daily misting.(agent A) Temperature range and humidity levelsType and size of enclosure(s) used.Substrate or lack thereofCage furnishings, e.g. molting surfaces, perches, décor, plants, etc.Communal housing if applicableFeeding: L1 nymphs of most Creobroter species (except gemmatus and urbanus) can handle hydei, the 2 smaller ones are better started off on melanogaster.(agent A) Houseflies can be accepted at L3, and some individuals can eat bottleflies at L4; all will accept bottleflies at L5. Presub and older nymphs can eat roaches, bees, flies, moths and spiders. Crickets can be used as long as they are properly cared for and the mantis is well hydrated, since crickets seem to make creobroter become constipated.(agent A) Feeding response Type and size of prey used and/or refused for various instarsQuantity and frequency of feedingsBreeding: Breeding is easy with this species, and they are extremely prolific. However, I have noticed inbreeding can cause the females to be more vicious and unwilling to mate. Unfortunately, since the genus Creobroter is so taxonomically messed up, the only way to ensure you are not hybridizing is to breed individuals from the same stock, which is why inbreeding occurs. Females molt seven times, males molt six times. Nymphs can be sexed as early as L4; in contrast to the smooth end of the male's abdomen, when viewed laterally, the ovipositors of females are brownish and bulge from the end of the abdomen. Males are ready to mate about 12 days after molting to adult; females take about the same time. Females should be very well fed. When she is receptive, the bottom of her abdomen turns slightly yellow. Don't keep the adults in too close proximity before breeding, and before adding the female, the male needs to be placed in a container first and allowed to calm down. Males have an issue with overeating as adults; they only need food once or twice a week, but if given the chance, they will gorge themselves to the point of being too fat to connect with the female. If all goes well, the male will notice the female and hop on her, connecting within minutes. These guys don't like being watched or disturbed; because they spook easily, it's advisable to stay away from them during mating. Connection lasts 4-6 hours and is more than sufficient to fertilize the female.(agent A) Sexing/sexual dimorphism (explanation of physical differences and/or adult sizes of the sexes)Time needed from last molt to copulationTips: give us your methodology.Tips for inducing copulation and fecundityTips for inducing female to lay oothecaeOothecae: Females will start laying within a week and can lay 6-12 ooths in their lives. Ooths can be kept like adults with slightly more frequent misting, and will hatch 50-80 nymphs in 4-9 weeks.(agent A) Physical description and average size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.Diapause if necessaryIncubation time and temperatureObserved number/s and range of hatching nymphsOptional 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. (photo: jamurfjr) (photo: jamurfjr) Contributors: agent A, jamurfjr
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  8. Phyllovates chlorophaea (Texas Unicorn Mantis) Introduction: This handsome species is among our largest and bulkiest mantids; females can exceed two and three quarters inches. Despite visible differences, our two unicorn species are similar even down to the angle of the markings on the tegmina. Phyllovates chlorophaea does not have notable lobes on the legs and abdomen.(Orin) All captive stock of this species originated from Brownsville, Texas. However, the species ranges south to northern South America so it is sometimes listed as "Mexican", "Central, or South American" Unicorn.(Orin) Difficulty: intermediate—advanced. Development: Nymphs are sturdy and can take a lot of abuse but can suffer from mismolts in the final instar with improper molting surfaces or lack of moisture.(Orin) VERY slow to molt. Takes quite a while to get to adult.(brancsikia339) Longevity Behavior/temperament: They love to try to get out of their containers and explore. Calm when inside cage, very active outside.(brancsikia339) Immatures that hatch at the same time can be reared together with few to no losses.(Orin) Degree of aggression or timidityDynamics of threat displayCaptive Environment: Immatures that hatch at the same time can be reared together with few to no losses. Nymphs are sturdy and can take a lot of abuse but can suffer from mismolts in the final instar with improper molting surfaces or lack of moisture.(Orin) Temperature range and humidity levelsType and size of enclosure(s) used.Substrate or lack thereofCage furnishings, e.g. molting surfaces, perches, décor, plants, etc.Feeding: Female are good eaters, will eat just about anything.(brancsikia339) Type and size of prey used and/or refused for various instarsQuantity and frequency of feedingsBreeding: Male flighted.(brancsikia339) If you look closely at antennae, you can see the males' is a bit feathery.(brancsikia339) A number of males and females should be kept to ensure future generations because successful mating is a challenge. While nymphs rarely bother each other, males are less often safe from females so they are not kept together except for mating. Successful copulation is more likely if there’s more than one male in the cage and the ambient temperature is 80-85F.(Orin) Sexing/sexual dimorphism (explanation of physical differences and/or adult sizes of the sexes)Time needed from last molt to copulationTips: give us your methodology.Tips for inducing copulation and fecundityTips for inducing female to lay oothecaeOothecae: As many as ten oothecae can be created though four or five good oothecae is common. They average fifty hatchlings per ootheca.(Orin) Diapause not needed on ooths.(brancsikia339) Physical description and average size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.Incubation time and temperatureOptional 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. (photo: SilentDevil) (photo: SilentDevil) (photo: brancsikia339) Contributors: agent A, brancsikia339, jamurfjr, Orin, SilentDevil
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