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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!
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  3. Sending good vibes and warm wishes for a beautiful day to my mantis community! I hope all is well!
    2 points
  4. Hierodula sp. have became increasingly popular. Specifically the brightly colored H. Majuscla. Also, Rhombodera sp. If anyone could make one, that would be great!
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  5. 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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  6. Can someone create a care sheet for Rhombodera Megaera?? That would be much appreciated!!
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  7. nice! is that my leg?
    1 point
  8. Tenodera sinensis (Chinese Mantis) Introduction When asked to envision the stereotypical praying mantis, many Americans conjure up the image of Tenodera sinensis. Along with cousin, T. augustipennis, it's known also as the Chinese mantis. Impressive size coupled with commonness—at least in the eastern half of the US—have influenced this standing. Yet for a child, common doesn't necessarily equate to run of the mill, and such insects are prized for their otherworldly appearance, fascinating behavior, and endearing mannerisms. As the common name implies, the Chinese mantis will always be alien to some extent, for it originated in the far east. Nevertheless, after a hundred years post introduction, it remains touted as an effective means of pest control and now more importantly, an alternative to chemicals(insecticides). Popular amongst gardeners, the oothecae abound just about everywhere—inexpensively sold in local shops and on the internet. All considered, one is subsequently left with little question as to how and why the Chinese mantis has been capturing American affections since the late 1800's. T. sinensis comes in green, brown, or a combination thereof and blends in very well with its surroundings. Even in brown form, the color green runs the length of the fore-wings' outer edge. A series of vertical stripes/ridges compliment the face. On the ventral thorax, a yellow spot can be discerned between the front legs, and a threat display will reveal a dark set of hind wings. The females measure about four inches. Of considerably less mass, the males are also about a half an inch shorter. Success in the wild does not guarantee the hobbyist with success in captivity. While later instars and adults may be comparatively easy, raising the smaller nymphs can be downright tough—with many nymphs dying from mismolt or no ostensible reason at all. Difficulty level: Intermediate. Development As with all mantids, insects, etc., temperature and feeding greatly influence development. Under the conditions herein, T. sinensis reaches adulthood in approximately four months, and early instars are achieved in just under two weeks. Later instars take a bit longer. An individual molts roughly seven times. Females may have an extra molt. Lapses in observation and note-taking are responsible for the aforementioned uncertainty. T. sinensis usually lives for eight months to a year. Upon reaching adulthood, females can live another six months. Males, however, live only two to three months as adults. Behavior/temperament Individual temperament proves highly variable. Meek exist and so do the audacious. A behavioral spectrum resides between these two extremes. Cannibalism constitutes a real concern and precludes communal housing beyond early instars. Camouflage is the first line of defense, but when a Chinese mantis—like many other mantids—is detected and confrontation unavoidable, a different strategy may be employed. It's called a threat or diematic display. The startled mantis tries to make itself look larger and more threatening than it actually is. Forelegs are held up against the head and prothorax. Mouth may be held agape to show red innards. Black hindwings are unfurled and prominently displayed. Pushed to the limit, such a defensive mantis may then go on the offensive—striking and biting. Individual propensity for diematic display varies like/with temperament. Captive Environment Conditions in which the T. sinensis observed for this care sheet were kept: Temperature: average of 75 degrees F. During the colder months, night time temperatures did occasionally drop to 68 degrees F. However, prolonged drops below 70 degrees F, should be avoided. A space heater remedied the situation. Humidity: average of 50%. Misting: twice daily with tap water—in this locality, works just fine. Communality: as nymphs mature, their appetite for one another also grows. Early separation is recommended. If you must keep together, ample space and a constant supply of food should go a long way in reducing causalities of cannibalism. Housing: it's easiest to house numerous individuals in spartan plastic cups with paper towel for substrate or no substrate at all. As the nymphs grow, replace the cup with a size larger and so on. Critter-keepers(8” x 6”) adequately house subadults and adults, but larger enclosures—like aquariums and net cages—are considered more ideal by some. Enhancements for critter-keepers include glue gun affixed popsickle sticks and fake plants/flowers. These additions provide perches and more stable footholds. The ultimate enclosure may even be none at all. Free range is a very real possibility, and aside from the outdoors, may even be mantis heaven. The authors remaining female T. sinensis (others released) enjoys the run of the bug room/guest bedroom; favorite hangout spots consist of the curtains and the aloe plant. The aloe plant is misted everyday, and roaches are given to her with hemostats. Feeding response Feeding response can be viewed as function of temperament. While hunger undoubtedly factors into the equation, even when fed similarly, individual feeding response still appears to fluctuate a great deal. While some are more proactive in the capture of prey, others adopt more of the sit and wait ambush style and prefer smaller prey items. Conversely, there are reports and media of bold and hungry T. sinensis tackling ridiculously large, non-insect prey such as small rodents and hummingbirds. Type of prey used: D. hydei(fruitflys), A. domestica(crickets), stable flies, blue bottle flies, B. dubia(Guyana spotted roach), N. cinerea(lobster roach), and the occasional katydid, grasshopper, or moth collected outside. Frequency: everyother day. Quantity and size: feed til full, e.g., multiple fruit flies per small nymph or mature dubia roach for adult female. Prey items are sometimes leftover between feedings, and while roaches and flies don't seem to pose a threat, crickets should definitely be removed. Breeding Sexual dimorphism exists. As mentioned earlier, there is a disparity in adult size. In a side by side comparison of adults, there really is no mistaking one sex for the other. Females are significantly larger—in length and girth. Later instar nymphs and adults may also be sexed by counting abdominal segments(males have eight, females six)or by noting the size of the last segment(much wider in females; segments should be viewed ventrally. Time needed from female's last molt to copulation: 3 weeks to a month. Presumably, the adult male is ready sooner. Now for the Fabio romance story: “Under initial close supervision, breeding took place outside of an enclosure but inside a room with the door closed. The female was occupied with the meal of a cricket. The male was placed just behind her. He immediately took notice and froze, gazing intently at female. As if in slow motion, he gingerly made his advance. Then, there came the point of no return, when he “pounced”, securing himself to the female with his forelegs. The pair was watched until connection was made. At that point, the lights were turned off, and they were left to their own devices. The next morning the female was in the same place. However, the male was found clear across the room. During the second mating, the male was physically placed onto the female. Also, when things went awry, a bamboo skewer proved useful in separating the quarreling couple.” Log: 5-22-13: Female molted to adult. 6-14-13: Mated. ?: Mated again. 7-20-13: First ooth laid. 8-30-13: First ooth hatched *Failed breeding attempts were not recorded, but there were one or two. Oothecae (Egg Cases) Described as tan, globular masses, oothecae have sometimes been liken to misshapen ping-pong balls(W. Harrell) or clumps of spray foam insulation(O. McMonigle). At eye level or thereabout, they can be found affixed to the thin branches of overgrown shrubs and small pines. Multiple oothecae are laid, and if conditions are right, they'll usually hatch somewhere between fifty and three hundred nymphs in 4-6 weeks. Although it's considered the norm, nymphs may not come all at once. Some have reported nymphs emerging gradually or an ooth hatching half and half during the course of a week. Diapause is not necessary, but refrigeration can prove useful in delaying the hatch. While in the refrigerator, one must take care to prevent the egg case/s from drying out. Optional (Health Concerns) A small number of nymphs suffer from a floppy abdomen. The abdomen literally folds and forms a crease. Presumed to be caused by the perpetual act of hanging upside down, it can prove fatal. Reorienting the enclosure so that the mantis is not always inverted may fix the condition. ootheca: (photo: jamurfjr) hatch: (photo: jamurfjr) L4 nymph: (photo: jamurfjr) adult male: (photo: jamurfjr) adult female: (photo: jamurfjr) Contributors: jamurfjr
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  9. Sphodromantis spp. (African Mantis) Introduction: Most common in culture: Sphodromantis sp. "blue flash"—known for the blue marking on the inside of femur. Sphodromantis lineola Sphodromantis viridis These are rather large mantises. The adults reach 3-3.5 inches long and are very bulky in appearance. They have the typical mantis look to them. This genus is mainly from Africa and nearby parts of Europe.(agent A) Color: various hues of brown and green. Difficulty level: beginner. Development: Molting is rarely an issue with this species. Young nymphs should be misted often to prevent mismolts, but afterwards, they will molt readily without even showing signs of it. Molts may only be five days apart, and males molt six times, females molt seven.(agent A) Rate of growth and factors involvedLongevity Molting observationsBehavior/temperament: With such an aggressive species, [cannibalism] is a given.(agent A) Degree of activityDynamics of threat displayCaptive Environment: Housing this species isn't much of an issue. At L1 and L2, the nymphs can be kept together in large net cages with plenty of food. Cannibalism will still occur, but with such an aggressive species, this is a given. At L3 and older, until L5, 32oz deli cups or similar size containers work well. Very little is needed other than a paper towel substrate and mesh on the lid to hang from. 80oz deli cups will suffice from L5 until the final molt, though the mantis should be out in a net cage for the final molt. (agent A) Temperature range and humidity levelsFeeding: This mantis is an aggressive feeder. At L1, hydei flies can be used and nymphs start eating houseflies at L2. Nymphs should be fed regularly and will eat a lot of food. Crickets, flies, roaches, moths, spiders, and so much more can be used.(agent A) Breeding: Sexing is very easy even at earlier instars. Males have the eight abdominal segments while females only have six, and the ovipositor of the female is a very wide end segment with a split down the middle at the end.(agent A) About 3 weeks after the final molt, assuming good feeding, adults are ready to pair up. This is a rather aggressive species and even adult males have a decent appetite. Males should be fed twice a week, females should eat daily. Pairing these guys up is simple when they are ready. Put the male in a large cage and let him settle, then add the female. He will quickly notice her but may be weary at first. However, within minutes, he will approach and quickly mount her. He connects soon afterwards, and mating can last 3-8 hours or even longer in some cases. After mating, females should be fed well and offered wooden sticks to lay ooths on. If weather permits, placement of the female on a live tree outside, in a rearing sleeve to prevent issues, can help the ooth laying process.(agent A) Oothecae: Females will lay large ooths every 3-5 weeks and will lay 4-6 in their life.(agent A) Ooths of this species are large and require little more care than light weekly mistings. Room temperature suffices for incubation and 100-200 nymphs will hatch out after 4-6 weeks. (agent A) Physical description and average size. Picture desired; include with other pictures at bottom of Care Sheet.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. (photo: S. lineola by patrickfraser) (photo: S. viridis by patrickfraser) Contributors: agent A, jamurfjr, patrickfraser
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  10. Nooooooo. Not for beginners. Beginners always overspray.
    1 point
  11. Your profile makes me hungry lol.
    1 point
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