Recommendations for feeding mismolt nymph?

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brytewolf

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I just got in 3 ghost nymphs from mantidworld, and they all survived shipping, yay! \o/

But one of them molted during shipping (really, you had to pick that one day when it's dangerous??), and unboxing him it's obvious he didn't survive it unscathed. One of his raptorial arms is being held away from his body at an unnatural angle, and he's not moving it.

I'm hoping it'll fix itself when he molts again. I think he's L3, but these are my first mantids so I'm not 100% sure. He's smaller than the other two, and mantidworld said L2/L3. But I think the other 2 are L4s.

What I'm concerned about is feeding him to get him to his next molt. Are there any considerations I should keep in mind when feeding him? Would hand feeding with tweezers be better for him? He obviously won't grip as well.

I'm try to get a picture of him when he gets to a better place in the enclosure XD.
 

The Wolven

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Alright so as the proud owner of a pretzel mantis (Zebrata with a nasty mismolt), this next molt might be tough. In my experience, claws that are at a bad angle can screw up the molting procress and caught the mantis to get stuck in the exoskeleton. Then they freak out and start to warp from their thrashing. It's likely your mantis is L3 if he's smaller than the rest. I can't really give you any ideas on how bad it is without pictures.

As for feeding, if he can grab houseflies with one of his claws, hand feeding will not really be necessary. If he can't hunt the food at all, snip it open and hold the juices to his mouth. He should latch onto it as soon as he realizes it's food. If none of these are possible, do the same this with holding the juicy parts to his face and then coax his head downwards so he can just eat it off the lid/ground. That way you don't have to hold the food in your tweezers for 10-20 minutes.
 

brytewolf

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Alright so as the proud owner of a pretzel mantis (Zebrata with a nasty mismolt), this next molt might be tough. In my experience, claws that are at a bad angle can screw up the molting procress and caught the mantis to get stuck in the exoskeleton. Then they freak out and start to warp from their thrashing. It's likely your mantis is L3 if he's smaller than the rest. I can't really give you any ideas on how bad it is without pictures.

As for feeding, if he can grab houseflies with one of his claws, hand feeding will not really be necessary. If he can't hunt the food at all, snip it open and hold the juices to his mouth. He should latch onto it as soon as he realizes it's food. If none of these are possible, do the same this with holding the juicy parts to his face and then coax his head downwards so he can just eat it off the lid/ground. That way you don't have to hold the food in your tweezers for 10-20 minutes.

Oh no your poor pretzel mantis! I didn't realize his wonky arm could be that much of an issue, I hope he turns out okay! I did manage to get a picture of him, but it's blurry cause my camera was focusing on the reflections on the glass instead of him. But you can still see what angle he's holding the arm at.

After I made this post, my boyfriend and I did observe him moving both of his arms around so it may not be as bad as I thought initially. I don't know if he was still in the process of hardening after the molt, or what. He still doesn't seem able to tuck it into his body completely, however, it's just not at as extreme an angle as here in the picture.

I'm going to try and feed them tonight, I'll have fruit flies available. I'm getting house fly larva in today, but they'll need a few days to pop out before I can begin feeding those. I'll try seeing how he catches one of the fruit flies, cause as I said he does still have one functioning arm. If not, I'll try the juicy fly bits trick, thank you!

Edit: my boyfriend was able to get a better picture of the little guy after the sun came up. Sexing assistance would also be appreciated, if possible xD I think this one's a female???
 

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The Wolven

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Well her arm does not look like it's at an angle where molting would be difficult. Also yeah that's a female I believe. She'll be fine.
 

brytewolf

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Well her arm does not look like it's at an angle where molting would be difficult. Also yeah that's a female I believe. She'll be fine.
Oh, good to hear!! I think she's my only female, so hopefully she makes it to adult. Thank you so much!! 8D
 

brytewolf

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@The Wolven
Feeding success! She wasn't able to catch them on her own (she'd get close, and they'd escape her one little arm), but she happily took them from my tweezers! Two fruit flies in, and her belleh is nice and plump 8D
 

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The Wolven

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See, nothing to worry about lol. Soon she'll be a happy lil ghostie that wants to eat your face but is too small to.
 

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