Idolomantis/Metallyticus/Eremiaphila/etc.

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Velve

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The first male completed the final molt four days ago, and now the green coloration is slowly starting to appear. The wings are slightly misshapen and cannot be fully folded, but it is not affecting the mantis negatively. The rest of the group should follow soon.

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Connor

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Wow he's got some amazing coloration! Congrats on getting this group of yours all the way to sub-adult/adult. Making me excited for my idolos coming in. You mind sharing the enclosure you keep them in? I've been looking for a permanent adult enclosure for mine.

 

Velve

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Wow he's got some amazing coloration! Congrats on getting this group of yours all the way to sub-adult/adult. Making me excited for my idolos coming in. You mind sharing the enclosure you keep them in? I've been looking for a permanent adult enclosure for mine.
Sure. I keep the females in a 70x50x50cm tank and the males in a 60x40x50cm. I custom built them with fiberglass mesh on top, left and right, as well as pressed cork in the background. The top has thin sticks, pencil-thick at most, glued to it.

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I removed the bamboo sticks later because they are too smooth and they can't grip them properly, though they spend like 99% of the time on the ceiling anyway, so there's not much of a need for decoration on the lower level. Best to keep it sparse for molting.

 

Connor

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Sweet! Yeah Ive got a 20 gallon aquarium with bunch of birch sticks glued to the top and some branches for climbing. What was the base made out of(the frame)? Thanks!

 
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Connor

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Thanks for sharing your method. I'll have to give a DIY like that a try.

 

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Woah nice pics! The arm-waving one is pretty cool haha~ Is that a humidity detector at the right corner? I need to get one for my aquarium too so I'm looking for one like that that shows temp and humidity.

 

Velve

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Woah nice pics! The arm-waving one is pretty cool haha~ Is that a humidity detector at the right corner? I need to get one for my aquarium too so I'm looking for one like that that shows temp and humidity.
Thanks! Yeah, it shows both and records the highest and lowest points measured too. Really useful for the initial setup.

Second one to molt was a female! The rest is gonna take a while longer, as they show no signs of swelling wingbuds yet.

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The male has reached full color now. The phone cam doesn't do them justice. Might be worth getting an actual camera. :lol:

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Connor

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Wow they are crazy beautiful. One of my little idolos molted to L4 yesterday. The size growth! Wow! He lost his purple color though :( . Though it looks like they get it back once they are adults eh? I'm gonna have to invest in a enclosure like yours.

 

Mystymantis

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Wow amazing pictures and beautiful mantises! I love the pictures of them displaying! Makes me want to try out this species some day. :D Is this species very communal? I am assuming they are by the picture of several of them in one cage. :D

Your costume enclosures are also amazing! Is the front fiberglass mesh as well?

 
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Velve

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Wow amazing pictures and beautiful mantises! I love the pictures of them displaying! Makes me want to try out this species some day. :D Is this species very communal? I am assuming they are by the picture of several of them in one cage. :D

Your costume enclosures are also amazing! Is the front fiberglass mesh as well?
Thanks! The front is acrylic glass with a lock.

They work pretty well in groups, though I did lose a L7 female to cannibalism. I think it was more of an accident or unlucky timing, rather than one of them intentionally going for another. The victim was freshly molted, and the aggressor did molt 2 days ago, yet hadn't accepted food yet. I noticed several times before that them waving their legs around after a molt makes others tend to instincitvely grab them, though they have always immediately realized what they caught and let go. I assume something similar happened in that case, but either the Idolo was too hungry to not care, or it didn't see it was another mantis because it was still dark, while the freshly molted one wasn't able to fight back.

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Connor

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I have heard of them killing one another while molting... that's really the only time cannibalism ever happens with this species unless, of course, you don't feed them enough. But most are accidents like yours. Sad to lose such old female...

Quick question- what instar did you get your males and females at? Because it seems like you timed them up pretty well!

 

Velve

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I have heard of them killing one another while molting... that's really the only time cannibalism ever happens with this species unless, of course, you don't feed them enough. But most are accidents like yours. Sad to lose such old female...

Quick question- what instar did you get your males and females at? Because it seems like you timed them up pretty well!
I know of another keeper who lost an Idolomantis to cannibalism because of a molt. It's quite odd.

I got them all at L2/L3 on June 26th. I initially ordered 9. One died because of a mismolt during shipping. Another one dropped dead a day after arriving for seemingly no reason, it even still ate some hours before. The third was cannibalism. Now I'm left with 2 males and 4 females, of which a pair is adult and the rest still sub. I expected losses, so I'm not too bothered by it. Overall I'd say it went quite well raising them.

The growth speed of the individuals started to vary a lot past L5. The second male molted subadult after the first one was already adult, for instance.

 
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Connor

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Wow you got them at the same age and a male and female molted to adult at the same time? That's amazing! Did you have a temperature difference between the males and females? 

I ordered 6 L3 of the idolos. 2 female and 4 males. All of them have molted to L4 except one female. But I have been keeping the males slightly less hot than the females in hopes of slowing them down

Id say you did an amazing job raising them if you've gotten almost every single one this far.

 

Velve

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Wow you got them at the same age and a male and female molted to adult at the same time? That's amazing! Did you have a temperature difference between the males and females? 

I ordered 6 L3 of the idolos. 2 female and 4 males. All of them have molted to L4 except one female. But I have been keeping the males slightly less hot than the females in hopes of slowing them down

Id say you did an amazing job raising them if you've gotten almost every single one this far.
Thanks! Parameters and feeding are the same, I seperated the genders at L5, when the molting time between the fastest and slowest were already about 2 weeks apart, seems like it just depends on the individuals.

The female is now also starting to gain color, albeit slower than the male did. Left is from October 16th, the day of the molt, right is today. Her shield looks like this because she also molted during shipping and it stayed that way through every instar.

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Velve

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Thought I'd make a bit of an update after time has passed. 2 females failed their final molt. One was a regular mismolt, I suspect it got dehydrated because it spent a whole week preparing without eating anything. The second one somehow badly hurt its eye at the start of the molt and basically "bled out" before it was finished. You can see a leftover blob of hemolymph on its eye in the following picture.

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This left me with 2 females and 2 males. The first female took over a month to get ready to mate, though when I put the male into their tank it showed no interest in mating. I seperated it again and kept it several days in a different room. While this did motivate the male to jump on her, his age seems to have taken a toll on his motoric abilities and his movement became kind of awkward and less coordinated than it should be. He did attempt to copulate several times, but he was always unable to connect. The following pic shows the position he was in, wiggling his abdomen around but being too far off.

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2 days ago he then dropped dead, almost reaching 2 months of lifespan after his final molt. The first female laid a pretty big, albeit unfertilized ooth and the second female became ready to mate as well.

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The second male turned out to be an extremely slow grower, as it is still subadult today, eating well and without any signs of his wingbuds swelling. I hope he eventually makes it and is able to mate, else my first attempt at breeding Idolomantis will be a failure. Still, they definitely gave me some good experience while raising them and if it won't work out with the male I'm definitely gonna give this species another shot, maybe with an even bigger starting group. Here's a bunch of other photos.

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I also recently got a group of L2/L3 Metallyticus splendidus nymphs. They are super small and don't have any metallic colors yet, but I'm absolutely in love with this species. :wub:

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Connor

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Sounds like it’s been pretty eventful in your collection! Sorry to hear about the two females... that really sucks. That’s some pretty unlucky timing with the mating... if only the male was a little younger. I’ve heard you need to increase the temps a lot to mate them. They sure are beautiful though. And I love the splendidus! 

My idolos took quite a turn for the worse. One of my females didn’t molt for over 2 months then suddenly dropped dead. Then while I was visiting Family the heat lamp went out and my last female and one of my males died. Decided to drop the species for now. I will be trying them later though.

hopefully your final Male will be able to fertilize your females and you can get some babies

 

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