Hierodula venosa dying during molt

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Gom

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Hi all,

After our ghost mantises last year, my lab got Hierodula venosa to keep this year, and have run into a troubling trend. One out of 5 has successfully molted to 6th instar (about two weeks ago), but two others have died while molting to 6th instar (within the last two days). The last two have not yet reached 6th instar.

We are keeping them at ambient temperature and humidity, in NYC, which seems to fall within the recommended environmental conditions for this species.

Any help or insight appreciated! We would really love for the remaining two to survive, and also avoid unnecessary risk for future molts.

Cheers!
 

The Wolven

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Often the cause of death during a molt is a lack of good gripping material and there not being proper space to molt. The mantises then fall and are warped.
 

Gom

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Thanks for the advice, we've upgraded everyone's habitats in anticipation of upcoming molts so hopefully that keeps them healthy & happy.

One of those that I thought was dead did in fact survive, but is somewhat mangled. His thorax is hunched forward and he wasn't able to get his hind legs out of the molt, so they're bent at a 90degree angle in the tibia, meaning he really can't walk. He will eat flies that are handed to him, but I don't think he can hunt. Any hope for surviving his next molt? We would be up for hand-feeding him until then if there's a chance of recovery (I know they can recover lost limbs when molting, but don't know about fixing misshapen limbs). Or should we just put him out of his misery and pop him in the freezer?

Thanks again!
 

The Wolven

bug-cats or cat-bugs? That is the real question.
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Can you post a picture please. We need to know how bad it looks. I’ve only a pretzel mantis before and it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s going to get better or worse.
 

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