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kylelleonard

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Hi Guys,

I live in Colorado. I've been raising/breeding feeder insects and built a bug room(currently, crickets, dubias, mealworms and superworms). I'm done with hornworms and silkworms, mainly due to the massive mess they make so I have a bunch of room in my bug room. My bug room is a 14x6ish space I built out and insulated in my basement with its own temperature, humidity and lighting set up(good enough to grow plants).
I recently hatched out 3 ooths of some kind, mostly out of curiosity and now I have a ton of little mantis nymphs that are devouring fruit flies. But, probably needless to say I've got the bug now.
I should be picking up some ghosts later today and am looking at getting some orchids.
Been watching a ton of youtube videos and reading up on here and other sites as much as I can while I sit at work.

If you have any good suggestions on info feel free to share, otherwise I'll keep browsing.

Thanks everyone,
Kyle
 

CutieCrawlersArt

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Welcome to the forum~! :D

Curious to know what species you managed to hatch! I would personally recommend any of the larger green mantis species (Sphodromantis, Hierodula, Tenodera) as a starter species, if you didn't hatch them already, if only because in my experience, they were pretty hardy, not really food-picky, and had a lot of character. Ghosts are neat but since they're a more camouflaged kind of species (like Dead Leafs), mine preferred an enclosure with a bit more decoration, were more shy and kind of food-picky (they liked flies a lot more than worms), and didn't like to move much/be handled. Orchids are super great (I let my adult female just live out of an enclosure on a house plant (though still handfed her worms) and she lived a long life~); they're just a bit more pricey usually and much sought after.

But yeah, that's all I got, I think, haha. Good luck with all your little ones and welcome to the hobby!
 

kylelleonard

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I believe they are the chinese mantis that lives wild in California, if that sounds right? They are tiny nymphs now but they have an endless appetite for fruit flys.
I'm slowly working on separating some of them. I had planned to release the majority of them as mantis are living here in Colorado, but I'm going to do some more research and let these guys molt a few times to ensure they are the species already living here.

The ghosts seem to be eating well, I have a pretty varied diet available so hopefully that helps. They've all eaten fruit flys, tiny pin head crickets(I raised, second generation under my care) and 4 of the six devoured varying sizes of tiny meal worms(I mean tiny, maybe half the width of a fruit fly). Them eating mealworms was pretty fun to watch.

I'll get some pics of the guys I had hatch out later today.
 
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kylelleonard

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Here's one of the nymphs.
 

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The Wolven

bug-cats or cat-bugs? That is the real question.
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Welcome to the forum and hobby! Some people choose to feed their mantises mealworms/superworms but it's really not recommended. They're basically like junk food for mantises. Mealworms have a very high fat percentage and not much protein. Mantises need a lot of protein so mealworms make for poor feeders.
 

kylelleonard

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Welcome to the forum and hobby! Some people choose to feed their mantises mealworms/superworms but it's really not recommended. They're basically like junk food for mantises. Mealworms have a very high fat percentage and not much protein. Mantises need a lot of protein so mealworms make for poor feeders.
Oh, good to know. I was reading that guys were using them almost exclusively. What do you prefer to feed? I have fruitflies and crickets that are the right size available right now, would you recommend one of them over there other?
I'm working on getting a good culture of some larger sizes of flies for when they get bigger.
 

The Wolven

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Fruit flies are good for nymphs that are small enough for them. Fruit fruits are used solely for nymphs or incredibly small species of mantises. There are two variants that are typically sold. The D. melanogaster and D. hydei. The D. melanogaster is the smaller variant of the fruit flies and is typically used with fresh hatched nymphs. As soon as the nymphs are big enough for D. hydei, they are switched over to them. Flies, roaches, and moths are your best bet with mantises. Houseflies and bottle flies (no scientific names since you wouldn't recognize them) are the most commonly used and can be purchase from different people. The MantisPlace is well-known for her feeder flies and is where I purchase my houseflies. I typically give my mantises (that are big enough for houseflies-bottle flies) B. dubia roaches (when I don't have flies available) that I have cut up and shove the juices in their face until they grab them. This is not really a recommended practice since it's time consuming and I have to chase my more skittish mantises around with the tweezers.
Feeding a variety of different insects to mantises is important because they naturally eat different insects in the wild. So, I recommend having a staple food and then tossing some different in every now and then. I like to buy Trichoplusia ni (cabbage loopers) from @agent A every now and then to add some variety.
I should warn you that while some people have no problem with crickets, mantises are known to die from them. The common house cricket (which is commonly sold as a feeder) carries a bacterium that is deadly to mantises. I do not recommend them as feeders.
 

agent A

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Fruit flies are good for nymphs that are small enough for them. Fruit fruits are used solely for nymphs or incredibly small species of mantises. There are two variants that are typically sold. The D. melanogaster and D. hydei. The D. melanogaster is the smaller variant of the fruit flies and is typically used with fresh hatched nymphs. As soon as the nymphs are big enough for D. hydei, they are switched over to them. Flies, roaches, and moths are your best bet with mantises. Houseflies and bottle flies (no scientific names since you wouldn't recognize them) are the most commonly used and can be purchase from different people. The MantisPlace is well-known for her feeder flies and is where I purchase my houseflies. I typically give my mantises (that are big enough for houseflies-bottle flies) B. dubia roaches (when I don't have flies available) that I have cut up and shove the juices in their face until they grab them. This is not really a recommended practice since it's time consuming and I have to chase my more skittish mantises around with the tweezers.
Feeding a variety of different insects to mantises is important because they naturally eat different insects in the wild. So, I recommend having a staple food and then tossing some different in every now and then. I like to buy Trichoplusia ni (cabbage loopers) from @agent A every now and then to add some variety.
I should warn you that while some people have no problem with crickets, mantises are known to die from them. The common house cricket (which is commonly sold as a feeder) carries a bacterium that is deadly to mantises. I do not recommend them as feeders.
Roaches are great
BANDED crickets are fine. but they have to be BANDED! I order from ghann's cricket farm-they are great!
I'm working on doing better at T. ni rearing, starting with some god damn ventilation in larva cups!
 

kylelleonard

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Really good info guys. They are banded and they have been bred by me in really pretty sterile and conditions. However, for the ghosts it seems like house flies(captive raised) are the favorite. All six struck and hit almost the second I dropped them next to them. So I think that will be the food for now until they get big enough for soldier flies.
 

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