Idolomantis/Metallyticus/Eremiaphila/etc.

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Velve

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Gonna dig this thread up with some new pics.

Got me a subadult Metallyticus violaceus pair, as well as a small group of L2 just in case something were to go wrong with the pair. The pair got a bit damaged during shipping, with the female losing a leg and the male losing the tibia of its raptorial leg. Thankfully it didn't impact them, the female managed to regenerate a whole mini leg after the final molt, though the male did not regrow the tibia.

These guys are so nervous. While the M. splendidus don't really care if I flip over their hides to check up on them, the M. violaceus immediately become restless and will dash towards the next hiding spot, makes getting decent photos of them pretty hard.

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And some Metallyticus splendidus pics. Males are turning adult, females should follow shortly after New Year.

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Velve

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The M. violaceus female has now started calling in the past days, over a month after her final molt. The male hasn't shown interest yet, but I'm sure it'll work out soon enough. He did molt after her, so probably just takes a bit more time. The younger group is also growing nicely.

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All the M. splendidus also got through their molts without issues. Here are the girls of both species.

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The purple coloration that M. splendidus have for about a day after their molt is always lovely. I wouldn't mind if some of them permanently stayed that way. 😄

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post-molt color gain

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Here's a display of their iridescence. The upper photo was taken with camera flash, the lower one with a LED shining from a different angle.

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I got me a 45x45x60cm/18''x18''x24'' Exo Terra for the M. splendidus since I thought it'd be a waste to keep housing them in the utilitarian setup, so I tried to make something a bit more naturalistic looking. Changed the ceiling for a very fine mesh and secured all slits where firebrats could escape. I'm happy with how it turned out, but I still want to add more elevated bark bridges to make more use of the middle, and hopefully the plants will grow nicely. I'd like to make another setup like this for the M. violaceus in the future as well.

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Velve

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Photos are wonderful! Great work with the Metallyticus, they seem tricky. How do you raise your firebrats?
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This is my firebrat tub. It's 50x40x20cm(~20''x16''x8''). I heat it with a mat 24/7 so that it's warm enough for them to breed and grow up well. Their eggs are laid in the cotton, fish flakes as food, and some carton and paper towels as hiding spots, from which you can easily collect them. The cup with stocking is filled with water for humidity. There's hundreds of firebrat nymphs, they've been growing well and it should be at the point where it has become sustainable, but I've burned through most of the initial adults. A few Metallyticus eat quite a lot of them, and it takes firebrat nymphs a few months to reach adulthood. Definitely something to keep in mind when getting these mantids, either prepare the breeding setups months in advance, or start with enough to not run out of feeders until all the smaller ones are growing up.

I've also been feeding wax moths and bottleflies on the side. They take very well to the moths, you can easily handfeed the M. splendidus with them. Bottleflies with torn off wings are occasionally thrown into the tank. Sometimes they're quickly eaten, sometimes they're dropped after a few bites.

The M. splendidus have gotten used to their new tank. It's amazing how lively they can get during the day. Even the females like using their wings for extended jumps. I observed matings too, but haven't spotted any ooths yet. Not even in the M. violaceus tank, though that girl looks so fat that it shouldn't be too long.

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The M. splendidus make it really easy to photograph them. They usually remain unfazed even when you're with your hand right in front of their face. Meanwhile the M. violaceus will dart right into their hiding spot the moment they sense you in the room. Hard to get any decent shots of them.

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guapoalto049

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Really great to see close care taken, rather than just aesthetically pleasing tanks et al that the mantises don’t flourish in. 
I’ve avoided most bark dwelling species for the simple fact of firebrat and springtail requirements. 
Have you gotten any more opportunities with Idolomantis?

 

Velve

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Have you gotten any more opportunities with Idolomantis?
I haven't bothered with Idolomantis again, keeping a large fly supply going for a group of them was kind of a hassle the last time. I'd probably want to just breed bottleflies myself the next time I'm attempting Idolos. I'm content with the Theopompa and Metallyticus for now, they take up enough space anyway in addition to my herps. Majangella moultoni is a species I'd like to give a shot next, but I haven't seen offers in a good while.

 
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Velve

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They r soooo pretty!

do you keep them together i
n the same enclosure?
They are only kept communally within their own species. I want to make another Exo Terra for the M. violaceus in the coming months since the younger group is growing nicely.

Spotted the first M. splendidus ooth today, laid in a pre-drilled hole in the stump in the middle of the tank.

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Velve

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Just posting some new pics. The M. splendidus are all still alive and kicking. I managed to locate 6 ooths so far, 4 of which were laid inside the trunk in the middle of the tank. Their wings are starting to look worn down, not surprising given how much they run and jump through the tank all the time. Hand feeding the females has become pretty easy in a bigger tank, even mealworms get readily accepted.

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Velve

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The first three M. splendidus ooths have hatched. Getting these little ones out of the adult tank takes a bit of time with how quickly they zoom around, and I keep spotting new ones. At least there's plenty of springtails and gnats to eat in there, and the adults don't seem to pose a threat, you can sometimes see the L1 sitting and moving right around them. A female was the first one to die in the group, leaving me with 3 males and 2 females for now. Matings still occur, so hopefully they're gonna drop a few more ooths before their time comes.

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My M. violaceus female only laid two ooths so far, no hatch yet, and the male has died. My nymph group has grown nicely though, so I moved them into her tank. The first one of them to reach adulthood was a female. I should really get them a bioactive ExoTerra, like the M. splendidus have, soon.

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Velve

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Got the first M. violaceus babies! The first ooth turned out to be a dud, while the second one has given me a whopping two nymphs so far. Not sure yet if they're early hatches or if that pair just wasn't very fertile, but that scenario is why I got the second group for safety anyway.

You can already tell the species apart at L1, The M. violaceus have a more contrasting look with their darker color and lack of pattern.

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Finally managed to handfeed a M. violaceus. Even they can't resist juicy waxmoths.

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The M. splendidus males are really surprising me with their longevity. They molted to adulthood mid-December and are still going strong. The signs of age are getting apparent though, their wings are looking ragged.

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My second Theopompa servillei generation is making me a bit nervous. Due to some unlucky odds, I am now sitting on 7 females and 1 subadult male. An adult male died on me yesterday after failing to connect and copulate during the last three mating attempts. He did manage to connect during a mating in May, but I'm unsure whether he really transferred a spermatophore. If my guy makes it to adulthood safely he's gonna have a busy time.

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