Ralphys mantids/Mantid Palace


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Jul 11, 2014
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Just a few days ago I wanted to buy a few feeder insects and maybe a mantis or two. Long story short I managed to come into contact with Ralphys mantids. When my package came in not only did I receive my order but also an extra mantis courtesy of Ralphys mantids :) . The one day shipping also made it a lot less worryful wondering if they would come I alive or not. And only 10 dollars for one day shipping! I felt I should share my experience with everyone so they could also have a place to go to for their mantis needs!

My son won their contest for a free mantis! Sadly, when we received them all three arrived dead. Upon hearing of this they replaced the babies with a l3 and even threw in an ooth! Thank you! We are very excited to see the babies grow!

Received some L4 Idolos from Ralphy a few days ago. They arrived quickly , in individual containers, and in great condition... at an awesome price too! Will buy from him again.

I ordered three Idolomantis diabolica L1 nymphs from Ralphy last week, they were shipped express and arrived in perfect condition today. Added to that were a sub-mature Popa spurca, a Pseudoharpax virescens ooth and a free Budwing. Eagerly awaiting the ooth to yield some very cute nymphs!

Thanks Ralphy, you made my week! :D

A few hastily taken macros of one of the Idolos ...

I had a very positive experience with the way in which my initial transaction with Ralphy went. He shipped quickly, maintained excellent communication, and was thoughtful enough to include deli cups of honey and fly food. He also sent along a freebie Budwing in the package.

Not long after I'd begun taking macro photographs of the mantids however, I clearly saw that every specimen which I had received from him was infested with mites, several to a significant extent. While mites are not believed to cause harm to the mantis merely by way of their feeding upon the host, they can cause enough stress to frequently bring about the loss of the insect, especially in younger specimens. The three Idolo nymphs which I had received regrettably all died within a week, likely due at least in large part to their refusal to eat (excepting one which did take a single fly early on and was btw the one least infested). Additionally each of the Idolos had already experienced the loss of significant lengths from the ends of their antennae. Based on my macro photographs they died in a sequence corresponding to the number of mites evident on their exoskeletons ... seen in particular around the mouthparts, eyes and around/within the leg joints.

A few of the mites can be seen around the mouthparts of the third Idolo image which I posted above ... this individual was actually the least infested and last to die. I had not yet noticed the presence of these mites at the time of posting.

I exchanged several communications with Ralphy regarding the problem, and had believed that I'd been successful in convincing him that it would be most irresponsible of him to offer any more mantids for sale to other collectors until he had successfully eradicated the infestation from his collection. But it now appears that I was mistaken. I also felt that I was due at least partial compensation for the losses, but upon requesting this I received no response. I do however understand that guaranteeing the survival of any mantids ordered does solely depend upon the inclination of the seller, and I admit that no such guarantee had been stated in his ad.

I wish to make clear that I am fairly inclined to attach no deliberately negligent intentions on his part in sending out these mantids before I had alerted him to the problem ... though experienced keepers are able to detect the presence of mites on their specimens via naked eye observation alone, I personally would not likely have noticed them had I not the capability of taking clear macro images of the mantids.

Having kept and bred a good number of tarantulas over the past seven years I know very well that losing specimens to various causes ... most definitely including mites ... is just a part of the game, though especially in cases such as this is also one for which the diligent keeper would best remain on the lookout. And I feel responsible for alerting others to the possibility that subsequent purchases from Ralphy could potentially introduce mites into their homes.

Ralphy, I sincerely apologize for feeling so strongly compelled to post this information regarding my personal experience, but I believe that it is due in the interest of protecting others from the significant possibility of experiencing the same situation as did I. And I do encourage your response.


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I just received some nymphs from Ralphy's_mantids. They were all healthy and the packaging was great :)

I ordered a Minomantis binotata pair and they arrived dead I was really upset because they were going to be for a friend. He then offered me a Bruners Stick mantis ooth as a replacement.

I will order from him again because I understand that it was a shipping issue and not his fault.

Thanks Ralphy!!

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*Important Notice*

Buyer was aware there would be risks having me ship an item priority during the week of a holiay. The buyer was also aware I had no live arrival guarantee.

Buyer also failed to mentioned the box was crushed and damp which is a postal issue.

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I bought a Hierodula bipapila ootheca from Ralphy and I was very satisfied with my purchase. Packaging was great and the ootheca was also in great shape. will definitely buy from again. Thanks ralphy :)

Received a female lobata female from Ralphy today... It was packed and insulated very well... was shipped when he said and it arrived when he said.. I was pleased with his service.. Thank you!

Again Great service and shipping from Rafael, great, great seller and mantis breeder. i bought an A.japonica ootheca from him and I arrived in great healthy condition :) Thanks Rafael


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