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Feb 15, 2024
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The mortality rate of molting nymphs is very high. Is there anything one can do?

I have trimmed a few old molts from the mantis, some just drag the old shell with them.

Keep an eye on humidity and temperature. Some species are more prone to dies offs and there's not a whole lot you can do other than feed well and watch your levels. Chinese mantids for example seem to have a high die off rate.
I kept all my newborn Chinese mantis nymphs in the same container for quite some time. I'm sure there were significant die offs, but I started out with way more than I needed. It's as if two little nymphs merge into one nymph that's twice as big. A worthwhile tradeoff.
I have two at the moment Carolina and Chinese. Lots of die off from both. The Carolina produced less than a quarter of the amount of nymphs. What is recommended humidity?
Had put a few in my grow tent and they climbed to top of plant and were dried out by LED
I've never monitored humidity. I've got a piece of paper towel inside the deli cup, which I saturate with water periodically. Sometimes twice a day.
I keep a sponge in a tray this way they can get water when they want it.
It is neat to watch them drink.
Just fed the kids flightless flies they can be quick at times
I've never actually seen one drink. I wonder if the whole drinking thing has been overstated, and they actually get their hydration from prey items.
I've noticed females (at least with h. Majuscula) primarily drink water, the males will right after molting but not really any other time but every lady I've gotten absolutely loves water. I've actually been able pretty accurately sex them as nymphs by their water drinking habits. I usually spray the sides of the enclosure with water because I enjoy watching them drink
I must have missed that. Mine are about 3rd instar now, and I have yet to see them drink.
When I let a just hatched group on a plant last summer I saw a few take a drink from drops of water on plant. It was very entertaining to watch them. It was a bit of a struggle some would jump on my arm when I was try to shake other on to plant. But they are very entertaining garden workers.

I think the mantis that laid two egg sacks about 6 inches off the ground was height challenged. Leaving a egg sack on a 12 inch tall plant support and in an asparagus bush wasn't trying hard enough. I have a really nice one ten foot tall in a Japanese Maple tree.
I've seen mine drink pretty often! Mine seem to drink more often as adults, and sometimes I'll hold a dropper up to them so they can get a drink.
I am now down to 9 many never get out of molt mode some were lunch.

My opinion is I had height challenged mantids last year. I have found 3 egg sacks no higher than 6 inches off of ground. Those three are now in containers in the house. There is one high up in the Japanese maple tree. We will see if these three are fertile. I am hoping to have a lot of garden workers this year. I have seen remains of eaten Lantern Flies I would love to get a picture of them chomping on one.
My Giant Asians just molted. One always hang upside down the mesh and the other is always underneath down the plant. And this one really worries me and stressed me out. When I know she is getting ready to molt, I keep an eye on her and placed her up the mesh. WINTER molted successfully. But the worry she gives me is immense. Here’s a video of her.


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Had the smallest one start to molt, a short time later it was on the bottom with head not attached.
Down to 7 .

There is one that if I blow on it it runs around like it is crazed. The others might flex a bit but this one goes like bat out of hell.
I've got 2x Rhombedera Kirbyi and 2X Majuscula nymphs at stages L2-L3 ish right now (1st time raising them that young). All are separated. How long should I let them harden after a molt before I reintroduce fruit flies? I generally wait about 3 days to feed Mantids @L4-L8. Again, this is my 1st time raising them this young.

I had 1 of my Kirbyis molt just fine, was moving around and eating okay, but ended up crippled the next day with 2 curled up front legs and a severed rear leg. I think I messed up by introducing fruit flies too early. I don't think he/s going to make it.
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It never occurred to me to time the reintroduction of feeders. I figure mantises will eat when they're good and ready. That's how it works in nature.
It never occurred to me to time the reintroduction of feeders. I figure mantises will eat when they're good and ready. That's how it works in nature.

It slipped my mind, as all these little guys are always super HUNGRY! Feeder control is sooo much easier with bigger mantids.
It can be a real pain getting only a few (4-6) Fruit Flies from a 32 oz. culture with 1000s of the dang things doing their own thing (getting out/invading the house), in to a 16 oz. container the little ones are housed in. Sometimes way too many get in, which stresses/overwhelms the nymphs and keeps them in constant motion to avoid the excessive amount of flies. Suggestions?

I presume his hardening was disturbed by too many flies. I made absolutely sure not to squish him whenever opening and closing his lid.

Good one moment, mangled and crippled the next. Ughh.