Encouraging ooths


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Well-known member
Aug 21, 2017
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About 6 weeks ago my mated R. basalis female laid an ooth, and it hatched after almost 4 weeks to the day (followed by a dishearteningly high die-off), but unlike all the other mantids I've had breed thus far, in the time since that same female has yet to lay a second ooth, and I am unsure what the hold-up is. Her current habitat is a mesh cage loosely filled with branches and fake leafy plants, which she had no problem laying in last time, but though I've kept her well fed (though trying not to make her look like she's about to burst), nothing so far. Thoughts?

Do you still have a male? Can you try mating her again? 

- MantisGirl13

She ate the one male that lived long enough to mate.

As if to mock me, the unmated female I have laid an ooth today....

So, it appears a change of venue may have been the necessary trigger, as I moved the female to a different cage about 3 days ago and this morning she laid another ooth, this one possibly larger than the last.

Thought I would revive this thread rather than creating a new one.  (thanks hcarlton!)

So I have 3 H. venosa females.  Two are over two months old now.  One is a little over a month. One of the three (the oldest actually) produced a fertile ooth at about a month. Since then, all three:

- have been successfully mated at least 3 times each over that period (by a variety of males...who all but one, have gone on the great big aquarium in the sky) 

- are gravid, water-drinking, prey-eating machines

Now 2 of the three have even started to spontaneously leak some fluid that dries up from a spiracle on their abdomen.  I know this is probably a bad thing, but they don't act worse for the wear. I've backed off their food intake a bit because of that. In addition to the repeated mating, I have tried changes in temp and humidity (increased to mid to upper 80s), changes in laying surfaces (different sizes/textures of sticks, bark, even cardboard), changes in enclosures, changes in food (crickets, mealworms, two species of roaches), changes in light (gave them places to get out of the heat lamps/light).  Still nothing.  I suppose I could write this off as them just being egg-bound, but it just seems odd. All three at once? I had two previous females who would crank out big healthy ooths every 2 weeks or so after they had their first...in identical settings and environments. 

So, outside of more relocation experiments (with an outside breeding sleeve NOT being an option at the moment in NE IL)...any other ideas I could try?  I've pretty much gone through my entire bag of tricks.  Wondered if I missed something! Thanks!



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