Questions from a beginner

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Dana

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We are raising up either a stagmomantis carolina or possibly a tenodera sinensis.  I'd love to get your thoughts as to what it is.  I live in South Carolina, and honestly I'm hopeful that it is, in fact, a Carolina mantis.  My questions are as follows (for now...):

- Is there a way to approximate what instar he/she is?

- What is the approximate time frame between molts - like a couple of weeks, etc?  I'm notating when we got it, etc., so I can keep track.

- Can you tell from these photos if it's a male or female?  I'm not sure I can get a photo of him/her from underneath yet.  He/she is pretty active at the moment.

- Do you think this size of enclosure is okay for now?  I made it with the help of those that have posted in your forum about making enclosures.  It's not the prettiest of containers, but it's definitely functional.  I'm so grateful for the information I've found here.  This is a feta cheese container that's been washed several times before being used for the mantis.

- Do mantids need direct sunlight?  At the moment I have it on the screened-in porch.  My thought process with that is, it's native to my area, so therefore the weather outside should be ideal for it anyway.  Not to mention my husband isn't keen on the idea of keeping it inside. :)   It's probably too cool in our house anyway would be my guess, and much less humid.

I think that's it for the time being.  Thanks so much for the help!

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romantisize

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So disclaimer, I'm something of a novice myself and I'm sure more experienced people will drop by and chime in if the information I'm giving you is wrong, but that definitely looks like a carolina to me! I'm raising a bunch of carolinas and tenoderas at the same time, and all the tenoderas are generally longer with thinner abdomens proportionally speaking and all the ones I've seen tend to have brown backs even if their fronts are green.

It's hard to approximate instars without having seen a species in all the different instars I think, but just eyeballing yours, I'd guess L4? 

Your container seems okay for now, but a taller one would be ideal. I think carolinas (if that's indeed what it is) tend to max out around 3 inches, so something twice the height or more i.e. 6+ inches tall would be best.

Also, it should be fine on the porch as long as you keep it out of direct sunlight, actually. Indirect sunlight is fine, but I feel like direct sunlight carries too much risk of heating up the container a lot (even with the screening) and overheating the mantis. 

Good luck with your mantis by the way; its so exciting raising these kiddos up!

 

Kris Anderson

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Dana

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Thank you!  Do their segments reveal how many molts they've been through?  Like five segments, five molts? Or anything close to that?  I'm just trying to understand if there's a way to look and say, hey, that's definitely an adolescent and one molt away from adult, or anything like that. Mainly just curious and looking to educate myself. 

And it's a girl?  Time for a name change. ? Kids will have to work again on another name. Ha!

 
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CosbyArt

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Thank you!  Do their segments reveal how many molts they've been through?  Like five segments, five molts? Or anything close to that?  I'm just trying to understand if there's a way to look and say, hey, that's definitely an adolescent and one molt away from adult, or anything like that. Mainly just curious and looking to educate myself. 

And it's a girl?  Time for a name change. ? Kids will have to work again on another name. Ha!
Nope segments are just part of their exoskeleton and are the same since they hatch, just the end segments fuse and are easier to ID as they reach maturity.

As far as knowing their current instar (age from molts) from looking at it, you can in time like most of us (in real life is easier than photos for sure). ;) It appears to be a L3/L4 as it is small even for a Stagmomantis carolina and has likely 4 more molts to go until adulthood when it gets wings. You can also tell when it is in the later instars due to the appearance of wing buds and their size.

For identifying gender see the post here from Rick, or this site too.

 

Ocelotbren

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It looks like most of your questions were answered already, but I just wanted to say that writing down the dates for arrival and molts is a great idea.  It really helps give you an idea of when to expect the subsequent molts, knowing that it is likely to be slightly longer than the wait between the previous molts.

 

kurlyq101

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This post is old, but if any of the people are still here- Thanks!! I just found two about that size and have been asking all the same questions.
 

Dimity

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I have a question too! This is Aubrey, a Texas Unicorn. Can anyone tell the sex from these pictures? I tried to get better ones but he/she just kept jumping on the camera to look at me unless I was far enough away... the last 2 are Aubrey's enclosure and one with my 2 chaeta nymphs in it.
 

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