Just a nymph

Mantidforum

Help Support Mantidforum:

Nerdomancer

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Hey yall, I'm Nerdomancer and I currently do not own any mantids. I kept a wild caught European mantis as a kid, but I'm not sure how great a keeper I was šŸ™ƒ.

I'm strongly considering getting my first(ish) mantis here, but I'm a little intimidated by all the info out there. I'm really hoping to get pointed towards some good info for a beginner.

How vital is climate control and how much does that vary between species? Are some more tolerant than others?

Would you recommend any particular species for a beginner? Should I get an adult or just a nymph?

I see conflicting information on handling your mantis. Some sources say they love to be handled. Others that you should avoid doing so. What gives?

Anywho, I'm excited to start this adventure and thanks in advanced for any help!
 

Introvertebrate

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2011
Messages
452
Reaction score
92
Location
Columbus, OH
How vital is climate control and how much does that vary between species? Are some more tolerant than others?
Generally speaking, the more expensive the species, the more picky they are about climate conditions.
Would you recommend any particular species for a beginner? Should I get an adult or just a nymph?
I'd go with Rebecca's or Alex's recommendations. You never know how much life is left in an adult.
I see conflicting information on handling your mantis. Some sources say they love to be handled. Others that you should avoid doing so. What gives?
Insects are incapable of affection. Some might tolerate handling, but none of them like it. You might be able to condition a mantis, if it learns to associate handling with food. You'd have to reward it each time you pick it up.
 

Nerdomancer

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Wow, thank guys. That really helps a lot. I'm pretty intimidated by climate control, especially with these fairly small species. I know that the encloser should be around 2x the mantid's length wide and 3x tall, but that makes for a pretty small encloser. How avoid overheating something so small? Will there be room for hygrometer/thermometer probes? How do you keep a high humidity while also making sure to properly ventilate?
 

agent A

the autistic flower mantis
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
8,416
Reaction score
743
Location
Fort Collins, CO
Wow, thank guys. That really helps a lot. I'm pretty intimidated by climate control, especially with these fairly small species. I know that the encloser should be around 2x the mantid's length wide and 3x tall, but that makes for a pretty small encloser. How avoid overheating something so small? Will there be room for hygrometer/thermometer probes? How do you keep a high humidity while also making sure to properly ventilate?
ok lemme start by saying that the size of the animal is not a proxy for the level of "climate control" they need. You can have a giant species that inhabits a range the size of the state of Rhode Island in a super tropical location that has adapted to survive in a super narrow range of temperature/humidity and you can have a tiny species found throughout a wide geographic area that can tolerate a lot more in terms of conditions
there's also a microclimate aspect here you will want to consider. if you have an area with a forest and a meadow, the meadow will be warmer and drier than the forest because of the sun exposure
my recommendation for properly heating and humidifying stuff is lots of air space. air buffers from sudden changes in temp/humidity
also, don't get too focused on humidity. I recommend focusing on internal hydration of the insect, as that is FAR more essential. They can't absorb moisture from the air
temps in the mid-upper 70s are fine for most species. species that do better in the low 90s are Blepharopsis mendica and Pseudocreobotra wahlergii, and perhaps Popa spurca
Oh also, do I need permits for these insects in the US, since they're not native? If so, how difficult is that to get?
technically yes, but it isn't strictly enforced at all
 

Nerdomancer

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
ok lemme start by saying that the size of the animal is not a proxy for the level of "climate control" they need. You can have a giant species that inhabits a range the size of the state of Rhode Island in a super tropical location that has adapted to survive in a super narrow range of temperature/humidity and you can have a tiny species found throughout a wide geographic area that can tolerate a lot more in terms of conditions
there's also a microclimate aspect here you will want to consider. if you have an area with a forest and a meadow, the meadow will be warmer and drier than the forest because of the sun exposure
my recommendation for properly heating and humidifying stuff is lots of air space. air buffers from sudden changes in temp/humidity
also, don't get too focused on humidity. I recommend focusing on internal hydration of the insect, as that is FAR more essential. They can't absorb moisture from the air
temps in the mid-upper 70s are fine for most species. species that do better in the low 90s are Blepharopsis mendica and Pseudocreobotra wahlergii, and perhaps Popa spurca

technically yes, but it isn't strictly enforced at all
Thanks for the response, agent A.

Maybe I wasn't clear with the climate control question. I know I need to control the climate regardless of the mantis' size. My concern is that the relatively small size of the enclosure will pose a difficulty. It seems like everything I'm seeing as far as lamps, mats, etc are designed/intended for a larger reptile enclosure or something like that. Do you have any recommendations as far as methods to heat a smaller enclosure? Sorry if this is a stupid question or I'm just missing something.
 

Nerdomancer

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2022
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Thanks for the response, agent A.

Maybe I wasn't clear with the climate control question. I know I need to control the climate regardless of the mantis' size. My concern is that the relatively small size of the enclosure will pose a difficulty. It seems like everything I'm seeing as far as lamps, mats, etc are designed/intended for a larger reptile enclosure or something like that. Do you have any recommendations as far as methods to heat a smaller enclosure? Sorry if this is a stupid question or I'm just missing something.
By lots of air space, do you mean like put the lamp further from the enclosure?
 

The Wolven

bug-cats or cat-bugs? That is the real question.
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
367
Reaction score
134
Location
Midwest US
Do you live in a house/apartment with a thermostat? There's your climate control for a starter mantis. Honestly, if you're getting a smaller mantis, you just need a 32 oz deli cup and a fabric lid. Unless you're wanting a terriarium, save yourself the money. There are some advanced species that require a higher temperature. However, a lot of mantises are perfectly fine at room temperature. A good beginner like a Carolina or Ghost will be fine. I believe you may be over thinking this.
 

agent A

the autistic flower mantis
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
8,416
Reaction score
743
Location
Fort Collins, CO
By lots of air space, do you mean like put the lamp further from the enclosure?
yea. like don't put a ****ing heat lamp 3 inches above a cup. Instead, use a grow tent or a large plastic bin or box you heated up with like heat tape (I LOVE HEAT TAPE) and put your cups within that
 

Sarah K

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
752
Reaction score
151
Location
Virginia, USA
Thanks for the response, agent A.

Maybe I wasn't clear with the climate control question. I know I need to control the climate regardless of the mantis' size. My concern is that the relatively small size of the enclosure will pose a difficulty. It seems like everything I'm seeing as far as lamps, mats, etc are designed/intended for a larger reptile enclosure or something like that. Do you have any recommendations as far as methods to heat a smaller enclosure? Sorry if this is a stupid question or I'm just missing something.
I use a typical 40 watt Incandescent Light Bulb In a desk lamp next to an enclosure, if a little heat is needed. You are right things designed for reptiles to create heat are probably too strong.
 

agent A

the autistic flower mantis
Joined
May 17, 2009
Messages
8,416
Reaction score
743
Location
Fort Collins, CO
I use a typical 40 watt Incandescent Light Bulb In a desk lamp next to an enclosure, if a little heat is needed. You are right things designed for reptiles to create heat are probably too strong.
I disagree. There are plenty of reptiles that live in the same ecosystems as various mantises, but then again, microclimates!!
 

Latest posts

Top