Ghost Mantis and Dubia Roaches?


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Active member
Apr 7, 2022
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I had a little flub with USPS and my latest fly order, and currently don't have any blue bottles to feed some very hungry leaf children. I've got access to some Dubia roaches, mediumish size (about 1/3-1/2 inch), so I put my two L7 ghosties in their separate feeding tubs with two of the little buggers each, yesterday evening. I also have an adult, but he just finished molting yesterday afternoon so don't think he'd eat yet.

The two who did go in with the Dubia seemed interested....they were doing their little wiggle and watching the roaches move. But I came back periodically to check on them, and there are still two whole roaches in each feeding tub. They're shaped differently than the flies, and I'm not sure if this is just...not recognizing as a food source? Are the roaches too big (would it be worth it to run to the store and get some small roaches)? Or maybe it's an inability to catch the weird food bugs?

I haven't tried hand/tweezer feeding as I've only had mixed success with it in the past. I'd appreciate any suggestions on help getting the leaf children to feed. I'll be ordering some more flies, but Rebecca doesn't ship until Mondays (understandably so), and at the point I get the pupa and some hatches it'd be like 3 weeks without a feeding. I haven't been able to find any local food sources beyond fruit flies, and those definitely won't do anything lol.

Image of lonk boi as tribute.

ghosts r pretty picky
u should make a funnel trap with some canned dog food in the bottom (taken out of the can obvi, the wetter and gooey, the better), set out in the sun, and collect wild bottleflies
ghosts r pretty picky
u should make a funnel trap with some canned dog food in the bottom (taken out of the can obvi, the wetter and gooey, the better), set out in the sun, and collect wild bottleflies

I can definitely try that. I've avoided wild caught due to pesticides and such, but the children have gone too long without food. I have canned cat food, would that work in the trap? I'm assuming so, but just in case.
If they have to eat, try hand feeding them. If a dubia is too big, cut it in half to give at least 2 of you ghosts something to eat. Did it before my vacation when I had to bring them to my mantis sitter
Ghosts can be picky, but it really depends on the individual. All of my ghosts inhale red runners. It's likely that it's difficult for them to grab the dubias. Most mantises struggle to grab these kinds of roaches because of how their exoskeleton is shaped. Best thing to do is snip up a roach (remove head and legs), remove some of the guts (my mantises have always thrown tantrums when the dubias were all intestines), and hold up the juicy white part to their mouths. They go crazy for that.

I will just smear the dubia roach on their arms until they start grooming and then get them to eat because their mandibles are moving. Then you have to wait for them to really grab it and hold on. Not the little flimsy holds they sometimes do. The roach will just fall then.

Thankfully I have not had to handfeed like this for a long time. It's very tedious and most of it painfully holding food in awkward positions because the mantis is all nom no grab. The rest is them throwing tantrums and running everywhere.
I do suspect it's the shape of the dubias. My partner tried hand feeding the boy, and the poor leaf child just couldn't grab it no matter what he tried.

He ended up going out and buying me some crickets from a pet store we trust (a local owned one, not a big box), and all 3 mantis ate on Wednesday. So far they all seem fine after the crix, but I am watching them closely just in case. I will keep your suggestions in mind if something like this happens again (I don't seem to be having much luck just keeping flies alive sadly), and I need to use the dubias as a last resort. Thank you!