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Found 10 results

  1. 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)
  2. 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 night and all day and night yesterday. I saw him riding around on her and trying to curl his abdomen into hers several times. But I never actually witnessed copulation. I optimistically left them alone for fear of disturbing the moment. Today I fed up the second female and transferred what few flies I could to her cage. Then I took him from the first female's cage and put him in with #2. They were at opposite sides of the cage every time I looked in on them today, and I never saw him even get a ride. I checked on them just a bit ago, and my heart sank. I couldn't see him in there. Upon closer inspection, I spied the remnants of his wings on the bottom of the cage floor. Uggghhhh. With him went all hopes of further mating this species. Two of the three females were "exposed," and I can only hope he copulated successfully with at least one of them. I'm almost certain I'll be unable to obtain an adult male from any source at this point. Now only time will tell.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 mismolts. Meanwhile, I'm anxiously awaiting their molts to adult. Omomantis zebrata mismolted adult female #2 Shortly after molting Close-up A few days later The two males are alive and doing well... waiting.
  5. 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 spring clothespins and hung her up to a chopstick, hoping she could then complete the molt successfully. It was right after I'd positioned her hanging, that I noticed one of the other of the three females starting her molt also! In her case, she was hanging much too far down on the sticks, so that her head was already very close to the bottom of the container, and she still had a ways to go to complete the molt. I knew this was not good, and couldn't believe both of these disastrous developments taking place all at once. Once again, I found myself removing her also and trying to get her to hang by herself by the rear legs from the top of her enclosure and also from a chopstick. Her grip was very weak, and only with one leg. So I ended up securing her also to a chopstick with another clothespin to hang. It was a tense and disheartening hour or two I spent downstairs, wondering how they were coming along. I went to check on them and take pics twice, but didn't want to disturb them (or myself any more) by standing there watching and waiting during the entire process. The first female didn't make it. I'd found her too late at the bottom of the container. The second female molted successfully, with some minor damage/mis-molt to one side of her wings. But otherwise she has survived without any apparent major damage. I was frustrated and disheartened at the unfolding of events in the moltings of these two precious females. I was too late to possibly save the first one; but I feel lucky I checked on them when I did and was able to avert at least one of their deaths by mis-molt. Female #2 still seems to be doing well, despite her minor wing deformity. I hope this does not adversely affect trying to mate her. Two female sub-adult nymphs also remain, and I transferred them each to their own net cage instead of the plastic rearing containers I'd had them in. I'm hoping this will alleviate any molting problems with either of them, and I now wish I had done this before the first two females molted! It's a learning experience which has come with disappointments and setbacks, along with some measure of success so far in raising this species for the first time from L1 nymphs. I can only hope and try my best to the aim of successfully breeding this species. Omomantis zebrata female #1 - Found laying on the bottom of her cage mis-molting. She did not make it. Even a last ditch effort at misting her didn't help. Omomantis zebrata female #2 - Started molting too close to the bottom of her cage; removed her and helped her hang from a chopstick in a larger container. She made it, but has minor wing imperfections. I will update her pics as an adult soon. I didn't want to take her out and disturb her too soon after this precarious molt.
  6. 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 little bit of time to settle down before they show any interest or intent in catching flies. I've not had them out but a couple of times to take pics, as I don't want to stress them any more than is necessary. Here are some various pics of the females. Growing Omomantis zebrata female nymphs (December 2009) Note: Some of these aren't the best in-focus shots; but there was something about each shot, or parts which are in focus, that is interesting to me. Face close-up Eating a fly I had to include this one because of the expression on her face. She seems to be enjoying her meal immensely and almost looks to be smiling for the camera, hehe. Getting down to the serious business of eating Notice the exceptionally long legs Cleaning herself. But I like the wing buds and details in the abdomen in this shot. Plus, they are always cute when cleaning themselves. Detail of wing buds and abdomen Notice the great color variations on the raptorial forearms... patches of pink, yellow, orange, blue, and even a purplish hue on the inner femur. Also barely visible is a small blue patch toward the middle and on the inside of the coxa.
  7. 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... Close-up
  8. Last night I happened to go in to the bug room to check on things just at the right time. I noticed one of the female Omomantis zebrata nymphs beginning to molt, but near the bottom of her cup with her head almost touching the bottom. I carefully used a chopstick to lift her up (luckily she was able to hold on to the chopstick with her two rear walking legs). I stood there holding her dangling for a few minutes deciding what to do. She was holding on near the tip of the chopstick, so I couldn't balance the stick on other containers while she molted; and I was in the middle of cooking supper at the time also, and hadn't much time to spend holding her. By this time, I noticed all 4 new walking legs were free of the old skin, so I ended up using a spring clothespin to clamp and suspend the old skin from one back leg to the chopstick, and the clothespin helped to balance it across the top of a couple of other cups. It worked. After supper, I checked on her and she was completely free of the old skin and was able to climb to the top and hang off the lid when I put the lid back on. Whew!!! If I hadn't come in and noticed her right at that time, I'm sure I would have found her a crumpled mis-molt on the bottom of the cup. It's odd, because I don't normally run up and check on them during cooking supper... but last night I just happened to for some reason. This morning, I discovered 2 more of the nymphs molted successfully during the night. So things are coming along well with them (cross my fingers!!). I believe only one may be sub-adult, and the rest are lagging behind. I hope they hurry along with lots of food and putting them in a warmer spot in the bug room than the male. Time will tell, I guess. But I feel I'm very fortunate to have avoided this possible mishap last night!
  9. I received 2 Omomantis zebrata ooths at the end of August 2009 from Frey in Poland. At least one of the ooths had hatched en route; and out of about 15 only 6 survive to this day. Nothing more from the ooths ever hatched. I had been keeping them all in a 12x12 net cage with no sign of cannibalism until about 4 days ago... I discovered one without a head. So I separated them the next day into individual containers; and the next day was surprised by the largest (by far) of the group had molted to adult! This was 2 days ago now, and I had him out today finally to get a good look and some pics of him. He is a male, and a handsome guy! And I have at least 2 female nymphs that I can tell. Tempering my happiness at these discoveries is my concern is that the nymphs seem much further behind in maturity; and I fervently am hoping to successfully breed this species. I have the nymphs nearer the room heat source, and am even considering removing the adult male from the bug room to cooler quarters. Just not sure yet. Here are some pics of the newly adult male, and also a couple of one of the female nymphs. Omomantis zebrata adult male Omomantis zebrata female nymph
  10. In addition to the 2 Omomantis zebrata ooths from Frey, I also received some nymphs. I had a chance this morning to get one of the little boogers out and photograph him/her. I'm not sure whether they are L1 or L2, but they are really small yet, and can run pretty darn fast, lol. Luckily, this one settled down enough to get some shots. This species does appear different with the dark coloration all down the back... interesting! Looking forward to taking pics of each of the instars. Omomantis zebrata
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