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Narknit

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So a mantis followed me home a few months ago, and I've been caring for them ever since. This is my first mantis that I haven't just kept in the garden, and I've been reading up a lot on their care. (I already care for jumping spiders and tarantulas, and wanted to start branching out into caring for some insects anyway.) Well, seeing as there are a few mantid species in my area, I wasn't completely sure on the exact species or gender of my new friend. Turns out my friend is female and just laid her ootheca.

I had moved her to a temporary critter keeper while I affixed some mantis webbing to her regular enclosure, and when I woke up she'd set up her ootheca on the vented lid of the critter keeper. That was a pleasant though big surprise. I'm moving mom back to her regular enclosure shortly. But now I'm at a loss for how to move the ootheca without damaging it. I'm pretty sure that the eggs won't hatch for another few weeks, especially since I keep my room below 73 degrees F.

So I'm not too sure what to do in this scenario. I could affix mesh to the critter keeper, but I'm worried about adhesive. Especially since I couldn't air it out beforehand away from the ootheca in this scenario and know that stickiness is deadly to young mantids. Ideally, I'd like to get the ootheca moved to a tall deli cup with a fabric lid. But I am at a loss on how to move it since it's attached to the plastic lid over one of the vent slats. I'm looking for advice on what to do in this scenario.


P.S. I also can't keep the critter keeper outside. Or more like won't since I, previously, used it as a temporary house whenever one of my critters needed their tank deep cleaned or something big adjusted. The roommate also recently got a bf with a dog (who isn't the brightest and wants to investigate everything) and there are ducks in the garden now. So, no, I don't intend to put it outside and have been researching young mantid care. Once it's warmer, I'd maybe keep a mantid or two and release the rest into the garden since they're native to the area. At least that's my plan pending what happens with trying to move the ootheca.
 

agent A

the autistic flower mantis
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hello!!
so you're in Idaho, so there are 3 species you could have
Tenodera sinensis is the largest you'll find, with adults well over 4 inches on occasion. They have a distinctive brown wing with green edging, and a fairly long, skinny thorax
Mantis religiosa is your second-largest species, but quite variable in size, often between 2 and 3 inches. They have a very distinctively round head, full wings, and a distinctive black and white spot on the armpits
Finally, your native species is Stagmomantis carolina. They are about 2 inches long and variable in color, with only half wings in the females

Yes, I'm using pretty simplistic language, but I could use very scientific language if you wanted ;)

once the ooth is a few days old, you can easily pry it from the plastic surface. If you want, you could slip an index card under it too. Then, hot-glue it (let the hot glue cool a bit first) to the ventilated lid of a deli cup, put a bit of moist paper toweling into it, and fridge it until May
 

Narknit

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Hello! That's all good to know, thank you! I knew we could have a few around here though I didn't know we do get the Chinese or European mantis. I'm more familiar with the Stagmomantis californica, which I mistakenly thought it was. My little one has the black arm pits so it seems she's a Mantis religiosa. (I'm still learning the species names and recovering from long covid memory damage.)

The ooth is sorta wedged into the slats on the critter keeper so that's what has me so worried. See photo.

Also, would double sided tape work? Oddly enough, hot glue is the one type of craft glue I don't own. Haha! Usually, I use aquarium silicon if needed for my critters since it's non-toxic (always make sure to full air out though just in case). Obviously, I'd cut down the tape so none of it would be accessible short of cutting through the ooth. If that won't work though, I guess I better get a glue gun. Lol.
 

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agent A

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Hello! That's all good to know, thank you! I knew we could have a few around here though I didn't know we do get the Chinese or European mantis. I'm more familiar with the Stagmomantis californica, which I mistakenly thought it was. My little one has the black arm pits so it seems she's a Mantis religiosa. (I'm still learning the species names and recovering from long covid memory damage.)

The ooth is sorta wedged into the slats on the critter keeper so that's what has me so worried. See photo.

Also, would double sided tape work? Oddly enough, hot glue is the one type of craft glue I don't own. Haha! Usually, I use aquarium silicon if needed for my critters since it's non-toxic (always make sure to full air out though just in case). Obviously, I'd cut down the tape so none of it would be accessible short of cutting through the ooth. If that won't work though, I guess I better get a glue gun. Lol.
1: Stagmomantis californica is now Stagmomantis wheeleri. Very cool species to work with
2: Just upload an image of her!
3: That's fine. U can probably jam a flathead screwdriver into those little ventilation slits (gently) to loosen the ooth
4: I am not sure about double-sided tape. I would recommend against it because the adhesive can loosen as it gets wet. Some people use a tack of some sort (blue tack I think), and that should work just fine as long as it's chemically inert
 

Narknit

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1 - Very cool! We have them here in Southern Idaho too. It's a desert in this part of the state.
2 - I added a photo! :D
3 - Ok, I have a tiny flathead and can try that. Being very gentle of course.
4 - I didn't think of that with the moisture, and that's a really good point. Sounds like I finally need to invest in a hot glue gun. Haha!

I'm also curious what size of deli cups would be best for these little ones and if their species is more prone to larger or small clutches (not sure if that's the right term for mantids, but they lay eggs). I have a couple 12 oz deli cups with fabric lids that I could use, but I know I'll need a lot more eventually.
 

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agent A

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1 - Very cool! We have them here in Southern Idaho too. It's a desert in this part of the state.
I may have to have you collect me some :)
2 - I added a photo! :D
She's Mantis religiosa for sure :)
3 - Ok, I have a tiny flathead and can try that. Being very gentle of course.
4 - I didn't think of that with the moisture, and that's a really good point. Sounds like I finally need to invest in a hot glue gun. Haha!

I'm also curious what size of deli cups would be best for these little ones and if their species is more prone to larger or small clutches (not sure if that's the right term for mantids, but they lay eggs). I have a couple 12 oz deli cups with fabric lids that I could use, but I know I'll need a lot more eventually.
Oh boy here's where things get dicey
this species doesn't do well as young nymphs in captivity. You need to chill the ooth down for several months to get healthy nymphs hatching. Then, you will want to incubate the ooth at room temp. When it hatches, you need several net cages. You DON'T want to overcrowd these nymphs. A net cage should have maybe 25 nymphs in it plus perches like live plants and excelsior
The ooth will hatch up to 200 nymphs!
Give them a spray of water daily and at 3 days old, offer them some fruit flies
You wanna gut-load the fruit flies first! See my thread on it here:
 

Narknit

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I may have to have you collect me some :)
I know our local Fish & Game office mentioned seeing some, but I have no idea where to find them. I'm also working to move states in the next few months. Hopefully by early spring at the latest.

She's Mantis religiosa for sure :)

Oh boy here's where things get dicey
this species doesn't do well as young nymphs in captivity. You need to chill the ooth down for several months to get healthy nymphs hatching. Then, you will want to incubate the ooth at room temp. When it hatches, you need several net cages. You DON'T want to overcrowd these nymphs. A net cage should have maybe 25 nymphs in it plus perches like live plants and excelsior
The ooth will hatch up to 200 nymphs!
Give them a spray of water daily and at 3 days old, offer them some fruit flies
You wanna gut-load the fruit flies first! See my thread on it here:
Well, I slept on it, and it seems like in this case the best course of action for everyone involved is for me to find a safe place to attach the ooth outside. I was able to safely remove it from the critter keeper lid. So I'm just waiting on the hot glue gun to arrive. Perhaps another mantis will befriend me down the line. :)
 

The Wolven

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I know our local Fish & Game office mentioned seeing some, but I have no idea where to find them. I'm also working to move states in the next few months. Hopefully by early spring at the latest.


Well, I slept on it, and it seems like in this case the best course of action for everyone involved is for me to find a safe place to attach the ooth outside. I was able to safely remove it from the critter keeper lid. So I'm just waiting on the hot glue gun to arrive. Perhaps another mantis will befriend me down the line. :)
You can always buy a ghost mantis nymph for a fairly cheap price since they’re so common!!! They’re very cute and great beginners, although I typically recommend something like an H. venosa or H. majuscula as a beginner because they have a higher prey drive. Creobroters are also great if you prefer a smaller mantis with a big appetite.
 

Katnapper

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"Followed me home" LOL! That's how I got started in the hobby also... Except it was, truthfully, discovering an adult female Tenodera sinensis at work and relocating her to plants in my yard. "Followed me home" gave me a chuckle... ☺️
 

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