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Found 13 results

  1. From the album: Phyllovates chlorophaea

    Vates is blending in like the mistress of disguise that she is!

    © MantidBro

  2. From the album: Phyllovates chlorophaea

    She molted last night! A perfect specimen! I love how green the wings are, while the rest of her is brownish.

    © Alexander White

  3. 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) Close-up I took some "creative lighting" shots of this same female, which I will post in the next entry.
  4. 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)
  5. 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 with a male yet. The males are scare for me right now. It seems they aren't as many that reach adulthood as the females, and then they don't seem to last too long... either being eaten by their mates, or just dying. The males are definitely not as hardy or long-lived as the females as adults. I did some trading with Rebecca (Hibiscusmile) for a couple of males a little while back. But they didn't last long and I'm unsure if any of this new batch of females was fertilized. And I've been without males since. But luckily, I just had one molt to adult a few days ago... so many hopes are resting on him right now. Will have to wait another week or so, then will try the mating process. He, like the others, has a lot of work to do though... and who knows how long he will last or if he will be successfull in any pairings. Here is his cage... with a couple of other sub females. Then there's a cage of slightly younger later instar nymphs... Then the next younger set... And finally the youngest group... Here are a couple of pics of a female sub-adult with 2 different younger instar nymphs...
  6. I really do love this species. Right now I have several stages from L2 to adults, plus ooths. This has been a hardy and relatively easy species to breed for me. The only problem I've encountered is mostly with the males... not enough (compared to the number of their female companions), and they don't last very long comparitively. This species is fairly communal up to a point... and that point comes during mating. The adult sexes can live peaceably together for a while; but eventually the males either get eaten or just die. They seem very fragile and skittish, don't eat much, and if they don't take to mating right away... the males seem to either decline fast or get eaten in their relatively short adult lives. The females last much longer, and are capable of laying many ooths before their time comes. More batches of babies recently... Phyllovates chlorophaea hatching (October 2009)
  7. I wrote up a little informational thing of my observations on this species that I thought I'd post in here in case anyone might find it helpful. I'm also including part of an answer I wrote to someone who recently asked me about a molting problem with this species. Just observations from my experience with them... Phyllovates chlorophaea These are about my favorite of all the mantis species I've kept thus far. They really aren't a hard species, and are pretty hardy if conditions are right. The ooths require no diapause and have been taking an average of 41 days from laying to hatching, kept in average temperatures of between 70°F and 85°F. They hatch in the typical "burst" method (no stragglers days after observed hatching); and yield anywhere from 5 to 60 mantids. The earlier-laid ooths produce more nymphs than subsequent-laid ooths. The newborn nymphs are able to start taking D. hydei on the second day after hatching, although I do usually throw some D. melanogaster in at the first feeding also, just to accomodate the ones who aren't brave enough to tackle the D. hydei right off the bat... but it's not imperitave. I've had very good luck keeping them communally right up to sub-adult, provided ample food is available at all times. I've separated them at this point, just to ensure no losses from cannibalism. It's possible they could still be kept communnally within an enclosure providing ample space, separated and grouped by sex, and being very well fed at all times... but I haven't tried it. Upon maturing to adult, the females will eat the males if hungry, and sometimes even if plenty of food is available. But I have had couples live in the same enclosure together for some time before this eventually happened. They will take appropriate sized crickets or roaches up to, and beyond the fruit fly stage. But they prefer flying food, and house flies work best during the older nymph stages. House flies, and then either house flies or blue bottles work great when they reach adult, and I also offer medium crickets to the adults (especially females) occasionally for variety. But too large crickets scare them (especially the males), and they will avoid them. Moths, bees, butterflies, etc. are great food items too, if you can get them. The ooths require misting a few times a week, letting the moisture dry thoroughly in between mistings. I mist the nymphs every day to every other day when in the younger instars especially. But constant high humidity without adequate ventilation can cause deaths. They do require very good ventilation with moderate ranges of humidity. I mist this species to provide adequate humidity to help with molting, but mainly for the nymphs and adults to drink. Really they are pretty tolerant to variable conditions and have been quite hardy in my experience. And their looks, habits, and demeanor make them an extremely appealing mantis. [becky Heacox - (by observation, 2008-2009)] On Mis-molts I've not had too many problems with mis-molts with this species. But I have had a few who have had problems with their back legs getting out of the molt also. I have one right now whose back legs were stuck in the old skin during molting. I misted them and carefully tried to remove as much of the old skin as possible; but in the end, there was nothing else to do but amputate the lower portion of the legs (about just below the "knee"). This mantis, and others like it who have lost either partial or whole limbs from molting problems, is doing relatively fine now. He/she has a more difficult time moving around than the others; but I find they usually adapt, and either repair or grow back the affected limb through subsequent molts, or just go on without it. They are usually slower to grow and mature. But I've also discovered a tentative correlation between their handicaps and non-fertility. Quasimodo (now Quasimoda, lol), and Sheila (who became a 3-legger) both proved to lay infertile ooths. I witnessed Quasi's mating and thought all went well at the time. Sheila, on the other hand, was a real terror with males. She wouldn't let any of them get close to her, and she ended up eating at least 3 of them. I don't know if she actually allowed mating to take place at all. I'm not sure of the exact reasons for each of them ending up infertile... but I do tend to think their handicaps likely had some influence, in some way, on their fertility. As far as preventing problems with mis-molt in this species, I try to mist them every day. They do not need constant high humidity like some of the other species. And they do require very good ventilation in their enclosures. But I think some of the mis-molts have occurred when I've fallen down on misting daily. I keep them in net cages now for most all stages of their lives. And this is great for ventilation... but they don't hold humidity well. It seems misting once a day usually works well, as well as having tall enough enclosures to provide plenty of space for molting properly. And some more pics... P. chlorophaea Ootheca
  8. First and only time I've seen a threat display from this species. Poor Brandi... she was afraid of a mealworm! Close-up of previous pic Isn't she a beautiful girl! A sub-adult shed Their eyes always remind me of a patchwork quilt!
  9. Quasimodo, my mis-molted L4 P. chlorophaea (Texas Unicorn) nymph has been a real trooper in learning to accept the D. hydei fruit flies I give on the head of a pin. At first, he was scared of, and shied away from forceps, the pin, or my hand. But he's getting used to it now and even seems to be getting an attitude about it! The last couple of meals I fed him, he readily took to eating. But instead of letting me hold it for him he insisted on pulling the fruit fly off of the pin so he could "do it himself." It's funny too, as he throws both forearms up in the air as if he's in a "surrender" posture, and leans back and pulls with his mouth. And I can just feel the slight pressure of him pulling, though it looks like he's making a monumental effort. His raptorial forearms are basically useless. But he is now sometimes using the left one to brace the fly to his mouth. It works for me (the less I have to hold it!). Quasimodo - Mis-molted L4 Phyllovates chlorophaea (Texas Unicorn) nymph eating D. hydei He has a water droplet on his left eye. Here you can see the old skin of the horn still attached to the antennae. I see no sense trying to remove it. I surrender!! Ordered some housefly pupae tonight, as I think both the batches of 12 Texas Unicorn nymphs (L4), and the 30 or so L4-L5 Chinese nymphs are ready for them. Superman (L6 P. paradoxa, Ghost) has been needing some since I ran out too.
  10. When I got home this evening, it was quite a shock when I looked in the S. carolina Critter Keeper and saw about 10-12 newborn nymphs running around! I thought the ooth was all finished hatching yesterday... luckily I closed the lid! I immediately took them out and reunited them with their other siblings in the new container. What a nice surprise after losing so many yesterday. The S. carolina adult female is on her last breaths tonight. She can't stand up, and just when I thought she had already gone, I gently shook her container and her front legs convulsed. She'll be gone by morning, but she lived a long time. She was the last one alive (by far) from the ones I captured this summer. They all laid a healthy amount of ooths too... which obviously are fertile. One of the Texas Unicorns has molted to L4. The rest will surely follow soon... some probably tonight. Here are some pics I took recently of them at L3. Phyllovates chlorophaea at L3 The Chinese L1 babies are molting to L2. There doesn't appear to be any cannibalism yet. But they've had a steady supply of abundant D. hydei. One of the C. gemmatus (Indian Flower mantis) L2 died... unexplained. The Rhombodera Shield mantis is getting very visible bud wings all of the sudden! In addition I think I've confirmed that he is a male. Had to take some pics tonight, but don't have time to upload them... need to get to bed! I figure I have around 200-225 mantids right now. Thank goodness I'm not feeding them all individually! I'm normally laid off at this time of year, which I already was... until a 2 week job just came up. We are working 4 - 10's this week (Christmas week) and next week (New Years week). It's an asbestos abatement job and it can be done during the school break when the kids aren't there. So I missed my mantids today, and am tired. Need to get my hiney in bed and get some sleep... so I can do it all again tomorrow... Species Update: Stagmomantis carolina - 20 (L1), 9 ooths in diapause Tenodera sinensis - ??? (lots!) L1-L2, 5 ooths (1 incubating, 4 in diapause) Rhombodera sp. - 1 (L4) Hierodula membranacea - 1 (L5) Phyllocrania paradoxa - 1 (L5 m.), 16 L1 Phyllovates chlorophaea - 14 (L3), 1 (L4), 1 ooth Brunneria borealis - 1 ooth Statilia parva - approx. 25-30 (L2) Pseudoharpax virescen - 9 (L1), 7 (L1), 2 ooths Blepharopsis mendica - 6 (L3) Creobroter gemmatus - 6 (L2) Cilnia humeralis - 11 (L2) Ephestiasula pictipes - 2 ooths
  11. Lost 2 Shield nymphs, one yesterday and one the day before. One had a bad molt... looked like it's back end was damaged and it was stuck to an artificial leaf by the fluids coming out. He was still alive, but obviously not going to make it... so I fed the poor little guy to one of my Giant Asian nymphs. Looked like he enjoyed him. The other nymph was already dead of unknown causes. I almost thought he'd disappeared or escaped at first, as I couldn't find him! Finally I spotted him, or what was left of him... not much, on the bottom of the container. There was a small cricket in there with him, and I'm pretty sure the cricket disposed of the rest of him. Not sure if the cricket contributed to the reason for the death or not... but it makes me think and am going to try to remove uneaten crickets if not consumed within a reasonable amount of time. Texas Unicorn nymphs are doing good so far. Boy were they little hooligans when I transferred them into their new container. It was like a three-ring circus. And as the ringmaster, I wasn't doing a very good job. You need to be an octopus or two with compound eyes just to keep track of them. And the little imps were really good at playing the "you put me in, I run right back out" game. I enlisted the help of my son, Jesse, and we were having a heck of a time, laughing and maneuvering our chopsticks to try to get them all corralled. About halfway through the ordeal I asked him what he thought of this. He said, "This bites!" But he was laughing and it was a fun memory in the making. They are eating melanogasters now and are really cute. I am relieved that they have settled down and are stationary more now. I was a bit alarmed at first, thinking I was never going to be able to open the container to feed them without doing the three ring circus act every time! It was a really daunting thought. Thank goodness I haven't had much trouble yet putting the melanogasters in. But I think I'm going to separate them in smaller, easier to handle batches soon. Yesterday morning when I went into the bug room, it smelled kind of musty. So I've turned down the room humidifier to decrease the overall room humidity, and cracked the window to let some fresh air circulate in. I'll have to focus on the humidity inside the containers more than in the actual room I think. The Vordado space/room heater is doing an excellent job. I'm pleased with it. Nobody seems to like the mealworms... they are all scared of them, even the adult Carolina. Won't be getting any more of them soon. I'm giving more thought and attention to making house and blue bottle flies the main course for the larger nymphs too, instead of crickets. Just ordered some more housefly pupae, and made a new blue bottle hatching container that seems to be working out pretty good so far. The 2 Giant Asian nymphs are doing well. Not positive yet, but I'm thinking that both might be males though. Oh well...
  12. My very first hatching from an ooth occured last night (11/23/2008). It was a Phyllovates chlorophaea that was laid on 10/20/2008. I missed the actual hatching (darn!), but you should have seen my face when I saw all of the little babies in there! I count 16-17, and I'm soooo very excited! I've also already learned they're incredibly easier to count in a photo, versus trying to count the little buggers when they're all constantly running around! Just in time too... I just got my mantid room (the spare bedroom) set up the night before last and the mantids moved in to it. But I didn't put my new batch of ooths I received from Rebecca, including this one, in there until yesterday morning! I had them downstairs to glue one of the ooths back on to the cup lid, as it fell off during shipping. I'm glad it didn't hatch in the post, as I just received it Nov. 19th, 4 days ago! Maybe the heat and humidity increase when I moved them in the mantid room prompted them to arrive? At the same time, I discovered 2 of my female S.carolina's on their last breaths. I guess the changed conditions revved their metabolism and hastened their demise. I didn't expect them to live much longer anyway. Both of them had each laid an ooth the night I moved them. One of the ooths was exceptionally long too. Have been steadily losing all of my wild caught S.carolinas from old age, and now have only one lonely brown female left. I'm sure she'll go soon too. But they've continued their legacy in the many ooths they all laid. It was kind of weird... I fed one of the dying S.carolina females to my female T.sinensis. I say "weird" because I viewed her differently than any feeder insect... she was one of my pets. And I'd never done that before. But I figured she could do some good yet for the Chinese female. I was going to take a pic, but got sidetracked while retrieving my camera. By the time I got back to them, the Chinese had her half eaten, with an assorment of legs and bits littering the bed cover they were sitting on below. She must not have been very hungry, because it took her a long time to finally grab her, even though the S.carolina was right next to her, and she discarded her after eating the head and thorax. I should have thoght to put something under them first or moved them to a cage. Because afterwards, in addition to the body parts, was a brownish goo of fluids that soaked into the bed cover. Ewwww and ughhh. But I think it was better than if she would have died a slow natural death in her cage. Death and new life....
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