Pnigomantis medioconstricta (Double Shield mantis)


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mantisman 230

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Apr 8, 2013
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North Carolina
  • Pnigomantis medioconstricta (double shield mantis)
  • This is a larger species reaching approximately 9 cm in adult females, colors are highly variable, but the main characteristic that is constant are stripes on the forearms and legs. There are also two light colored cheek patches. There are two shields on the pronotum, usually visible after fifth instar.
  • Native range: Flores Island, Indonesia
  • Good species for a beginner, but some experience with other species is a bonus.
  • Rate of growth is the typical food/heat dependant, when kept warm they will grow quickly, and if kept cooler slow down, however even when kept cooler this species is a hearty eater.
  • This species has a decently long lifespan, with females capable of living over one year.
  • Nymphs will shed frequently when kept warmer, and the instars get increasingly longer as the mantid reaches maturity.
  • Mating can be difficult with this species due to the extreme aggression in females.
  • This species is moderately active, but is usually a sit and wait predator, however they will give chase if hungry.
  • Younger nymphs are a little more on the skittish side, but respond to handling well once older.
  • This species will not hesitate to cannibalize, but will often threaten one another instead of attack.
  • This species utilizes bright blue inner arm markings with two darker patches lower down on the inner forearms, the wings will also be slightly raised to the sides. The two facial markings also add to the display with open mandibles.
  • This species is very tolerant of temperatures, but around room temperature 20 c will often suffice, however they do quite well when kept a bit warmer around 25 c
  • This species does not require much humidity (I have never witnessed one drinking) and only requires around average humidity (60%), however a slight increase may be required for the final shed into adulthood.
  • Nymphs should be housed to the normal requirements of 2x width of the mantid in length, and 3x the length in height. This species almost always molts from the lid of the enclosure, but will also molt from a diagonally placed stick. They can remain in a 32 oz insect cup for some time, and even when larger are still capable of gripping a fabric lid.
  • A substrate can be used, but I have found it to be optional, had no mismolts for quite some time without it, and this was due to the mantid falling early in the molt.
  • Decorations can include a fake plant of some kind that does not impede molting, and the mantid will use this item to get to the prey if it does not reach the mantid on it's own.
  • Communal housing is only possible when very young, as this species is voracious, and siblings will be eaten regardless.
  • This species is probably the mist aggressive feeder I have ever kept, they will gladly chase prey nearly as large as themselves, and will eat anything small enough to catch. Feed 1st instars Drosophila hydei and increase prey size as the mantid grows. I have had 3rd instars take prey as large as themselves, and they are not fussy.
  • This species will eat as often as you offer prey, adult males will not eat as much, but females can feed many times daily, even accepting mice.
  • Females and males both exhibit similar appearance, with females having the six abdominal segments, and males eight, females are slightly larger than males, and have shorter antennae, however both sexes are stocky in build
  • This species should be treated similar to any Rhombodera species, wait until calling has been witnessed to attempt breeding, as the females will often kill the male prior to this.
  • As such feed the females extremely well, and make sure she is feeding when the male is introduced. As long as they are both mature he should proceed to approach the female, however if she begins to act hostile he will fly away from her.
  • To ensure fertile oothecae, mate her a few times and check for spermatophores.
  • This species will lay ooths without issue, and if oothbound try the methods often used such as a change of decorations.
  • Oothecae are dark brown in coloration, and appear similar to most Rhombodera and Hierodula oothecae.
  • Keep the oothecae warm at around 25 c and time is variable between 6 and 12 weeks, mist once weekly.
  • Average hatch is 60-100 nymphs, which are very hardy from the beginning.
Overall this is one my all time favorite species to keep due to their larger size, amazing color variations, and predatory response.