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vulturette

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Update! A happy one this time. Over the weekend one of the originals molted, Tony. Now both Tony and Davey are sub adults. Very exciting. Everyone else is still pre-sub. My package also arrived with a buttload of deli cups (twenty five 32 ounce, twenty five smaller ones (don't remember the size). Now everyone is in a deli cup with mesh on one front and a mess lid, with an inch of top soil on the bottom and a some bark inside. Everyone seems good with the change. Two nymphs are going off to a new home later in the week. The remaining nymphs I'll grow up and if I end up with no pairs (I'm almost 100% I dont) I will take my future adults to their breeding ground and have them attract me a male hopefully! If my current only ooth ends up hatching in a few months, I'll hopefully get enough pairs to start getting in the hands of good breeders :helpsmilie: lol. Either way, it'll be months. So impatient! I don't know the molting times yet, as no one mantis has molted more than once.

 

vulturette

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Great to hear everything is doing well
Well, it isn't anymore! :mad: Ugh. I think there is something wrong with the soil I used. Its a topsoil from a bag, no pesticides indicated or anything, and we definitely don't use any, Nymph #5 is dying. I found her laying on the stick with her two back legs off, so I tried to move her and she fell off. I thought MAYBE she was trying to molt, so I stuck her to the top of the mesh, but she fell off again and hasn't moved since. The only thing the same between the adult enclosure and the new nymph enclosure is the soil. Unless the nymph just died for no reason? The other nymphs in the same set up are just fine. Very frustrating. Just in case, I'm going to take all my nymphs out of their new enclosures, take all of the stuff out of them, and then put them in the empty containers.

EDIT: Things that could be wrong:

Maybe it's too cold? It's still mid-low seventies in my room. Maybe they want warmer? I have a heat lamp I could set up.

Maybe there is something in the dirt? I could go back to paper towel I guess. Ugh.

Maybe stress from moving to a new container?

Maybe this one nymph was just sickly? Everyone else is fine, but if the adults didn't die of old age maybe something bigger is going on?

 
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vulturette

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Well, I took everyone out of their nice new pretty enclosures, took all the dirt and sticks out, cleaned it out with hot water, and just put more paper towel back in. Everyone else seems 100% okay. The nymph might have just been wrong. They were wild caught, so could have just been something wrong naturally. I'll let the body stay out instead of in alcohol to see if a parasite is to blame. I'm thinking about setting up my heat lamp juuuuust in case it's getting too chilly for them (70s isn't very chilly, but they are a tropical species who knows).

My friend wants to go collecting with me, how could I say no to that? She's usually scared of bugs so time to convert her! So I'll try and find more adult females, or ANY males at all. Can't believe I caught nine mantises and they were all female. So yeah! Hope it goes well. Should have an update after the weekend.

 

vulturette

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Okay so I came a back from my trip! I got one pre sub, one sub, and two adults. All females. I found at least a dozen of the same species though. They were ALL females though, so I didn't take nearly as many as I caught. I'm beginning to wonder if this species is parthenogenic? Or if I'm just super unlucky because at this point I've seen two dozen females and no males. And they are clearly breeding. I guess I'll raise up my nymphs and incubate their supposedly unfertile ooth.

 

CosbyArt

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...

Or if I'm just super unlucky because at this point I've seen two dozen females and no males

...
Not sure about your species, but I've noticed when I collected wild mantids it depends on the "season". For example when collecting shortly after they become adults, or they are actively mating, I tended to get about 50-50 of males and females; however, once they start laying ooths it tends to be only females.

Not sure of the location you caught the females, but you might try to see if the females can call some males. For example returning to the area you caught them with a adult female (or several), that finished molting 2-3 weeks at that point, in a net cage or well ventilated habitat. Arrive a few hours before sunset and stay for a few hours after dark - that seems to be the best time. Any males should be called in by the females pheromones and land on her cage, where you can capture them.

 

mantiseater

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Not sure about your species, but I've noticed when I collected wild mantids it depends on the "season". For example when collecting shortly after they become adults, or they are actively mating, I tended to get about 50-50 of males and females; however, once they start laying ooths it tends to be only females.

Not sure of the location you caught the females, but you might try to see if the females can call some males. For example returning to the area you caught them with a adult female (or several), that finished molting 2-3 weeks at that point, in a net cage or well ventilated habitat. Arrive a few hours before sunset and stay for a few hours after dark - that seems to be the best time. Any males should be called in by the females pheromones and land on her cage, where you can capture them.
The place closes at night. maybe if u leave a net case in a very concealed place...

 

CosbyArt

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The place closes at night. maybe if u leave a net case in a very concealed place...
Likely any males would just leave before anyone would return. Sounds like the best option would be doing it 3 hours or so before the place closes.

 

vulturette

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Not sure about your species, but I've noticed when I collected wild mantids it depends on the "season". For example when collecting shortly after they become adults, or they are actively mating, I tended to get about 50-50 of males and females; however, once they start laying ooths it tends to be only females.

Not sure of the location you caught the females, but you might try to see if the females can call some males. For example returning to the area you caught them with a adult female (or several), that finished molting 2-3 weeks at that point, in a net cage or well ventilated habitat. Arrive a few hours before sunset and stay for a few hours after dark - that seems to be the best time. Any males should be called in by the females pheromones and land on her cage, where you can capture them.
There were pretty much every instar where I found them. Adults, ooths, hatched ooths, l1s, pre subs, subs, etc. Everything. So not finding males when I was swimming in nymphs was a little weird. They have a bunch of generations at once, at least in Florida. Looks like I'm on the long road of raising the ooth the adults lay, then breeding those nymphs. Or just sending the ooths to other member and have them sort it out! lol.

 

CosbyArt

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There were pretty much every instar where I found them. Adults, ooths, hatched ooths, l1s, pre subs, subs, etc. Everything. So not finding males when I was swimming in nymphs was a little weird. They have a bunch of generations at once, at least in Florida. Looks like I'm on the long road of raising the ooth the adults lay, then breeding those nymphs. Or just sending the ooths to other member and have them sort it out! lol.
Sounds like the males should have been mixed in for sure. As you suggested they may be parthenogenic or the males are simply harder to identify. Might be worth the effort to share some with a longtime keeper to see what they can discover. ;)

 

vulturette

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Update:

I'm not good at logs! Send two off to their new home for a trade, one survived one did not. One of my small nymphs died 10/12, not entirely sure why. Same care as all the other nymphs who are fine, perhaps it was just a weak nymph. I now have two adult females, and four sub adult and presub females. One of the adults laid an ootheca 10/19! looks pretty good, it's incubating with the ooth from my first adults ooth, which should hatch soon? I think. If my guess of two months is correct. Which it probably isn't! haha. Here are some good photos of the sub adults, and adult. Imgur link! I'd post them here, but I don't want to resize them so much. They are seriously beautiful.

 

vulturette

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WE HAVE NYMPHS! ahhh! My first nymphs ever I'm so nervous. Incredibly, it's my second ooth that hatched, not the first one that was laid. It was incubating at room temperature (74ish) with misting every few days from 10-19 to 11-15 not even a month!! About fifteen nymphs came out so far, one mismolt. Their body is smaller than the length of a grain of rice. They are really fast.

I have a culture of springtails, but I've run into some problems. My culture now has these springtail sized mites that EAT springtails. Are these predatory mites? Can I feed these to my new nymphs? Or should I dump the culture and start again?

 

mantisman 230

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I would get a new culture, but those mites may be useful. Mantids aren't picky. I had a phorid fly infestation and until fruit flies came in I fed them out to my small nymphs.

 

happy1892

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I would get a new culture, but those mites may be useful. Mantids aren't picky. I had a phorid fly infestation and until fruit flies came in I fed them out to my small nymphs.
I thought the mites had some type of chemical that made them distasteful. Have you're mantids eaten mites before? My mantids would not eat phorid flies, but I think I tried it only once on maybe L1 or L2 Stagmomantis carolina or Tenodera sinensis (can't remember). Maybe the mantises I tried were not ready to eat yet. I have some phorid flies breeding in apple sauce mixed with a little oat meal. lol They are actually breeding, but slowly by fruit fly standards.

 

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