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Mantis fell after molting

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by ArthurJS, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

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    I Got to watch my male juvenile molt for the first time, but it ended in a disaster. He tried to reach out for a twig when he was almost emerged but fell straight down from his old exo skeleton.
    He struggled to move but was very determined. After some help he could stand a bit more properly but wanted to stay low and rest his body to the ground.
    Some more hours passed and he could climb up, but he was very weak. His one raptor claw pad (don’t know how it’s called but he uses them to walk), is kinda bent and he can’t control it well. His right back leg seems wonky too. But he can walk and he tries to stand but struggles. Will he be okay?
    And why is the mortality of mantids that fell from molting so high? Do they get internal damage from the fall due to their exoskeleton not being hard?
     
  2. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Sorry that happened! Unfortunately, he's going to have a difficult time recovering from it, even if he doesn't have internal injuries. The leg damage will make it harder for him to get around, to cling to twigs or branches or whatever decor/supports you have for him, and more likely to fall again, but the real problem is the damage to one of his raptorial arms. If those arms are not functioning properly, it will be more difficult for him to catch prey and eat. It is possible for him to catch prey with just one raptorial arm, as long as the other one is uninjured - and if he's having trouble, you can help him out by prekilling his prey (if he'll accept it) and offering it to him with a pair of tongs or tweezers. If he won't accept prekilled, you can at least offer crippled prey (remove hind legs from crickets or wings from flies) so it will be easier to catch.
     
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  3. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    I’ll check tomorrow to see how he’s doing. Thanks for all the tips! Is there anything I can do to prevent such falls?
     
  4. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    You should make sure he has plenty of rough-textured climbing surfaces that are easy to climb and hold onto. Some plastic plants in particular can be a bit slippery and hard to grip, even if they do look pretty in an enclosure. Also, twigs that are very slender may be harder to grip. If he is molting - or preparing for a molt - you should keep your distance and minimize any other disturbances that might startle him or accidentally dislodge him. But really, even under optimal conditions, sometimes it happens - and there isn't anything you can do about it.
     
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  5. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    Today he’s way better. He can move around pretty well his one back leg is still weak but he uses it. I tried to offer food but he avoids it at all costs and wants to go somewhere high. His abdomen is pretty skinny too. I’m misting him in hopes he’ll drink the water. He does groom himself pretty well so that’s great. What I’ve noticed is he doesn’t completely lift his abdomen up. Not that’s he drags it but it’s very low to the ground. I’m hoping he’ll eat asap :(
     
  6. Might be a bit controversial, but I have a few ways to attempt helping mismolted insects.
    If there is one leg that mangled but the rest are fine, I just snip off the part that is bent to make their movement easier, so the leg does not trip the other legs. I have tried this on an assassin bug, and it is recovering well.
    If all 4 legs are mangled and they can't move very efficiently, you can try anchoring all 4 legs on a surface and hand feed it till it molts out this stage. Some people have had success in this method, and it's a good last effort if their can't move and hang upside down at all.

    It is still early post molt right now, most of the time you'll need to give it a day or 2 till it starts eating again.
     
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  7. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    He can move around and strike even, but not accurately. He can hang upside down. He usually ate the day after a molt. He’s very skinny and he refused both mealworms and crickets. He strikes at them as in defense. By now he has not eaten in 4 days. I don’t think he’ll make it sadly but I’ll try all I can
     
  8. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    His abdomen right now:

    614E781D-3C20-4FA6-880C-79DEA38EF883.jpeg
     
  9. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Considering how big he is it might be a couple days till he fully hardens up and is ready to eat. Give him some time and when he’s hungry he’ll eat. I had a parasphendale agrionina female that molted to adulthood and woudn’t eat for a solid week. The older the mantis is, the larger the fasting time is pre- and post- molt.
     
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  10. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Also if he’s still not eating try crushing a mealworm or cricket and placing it directly on his mouthparts or hold it up to his mouth; they usually start feeding from that too.
     
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  11. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    Thanks a lot! I’ll wait and try everything I can. I counted and it seems like he’s an L8. Though he only has very small wings. Maybe I misgendered my mantis, but seems like he has 6 abdomen sections o_O
     
  12. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    He’s not very accurate but he ate one cricket and two mealworms! I’m so glad he’s eating :)
     
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  13. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Post some pics, but females have 5 segments no matter what. Look at the last segment- if it divides and tapers off into smaller segments it’s a male; if it’s just one big segment that simply tapers off it’s a female.
     
  14. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Also the large wingbuds look like it’s subadult so expect wings after the last molt.
     
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  15. ArthurJS

    ArthurJS Arachnopeon

    Here’s his abdomen. I’m pretty sure he’s a dude lol

    9307A7F2-F15F-4F5B-8A91-74A1562B1D44.jpeg 840B9070-132F-41B6-978B-E1B6469B54D7.jpeg
     
  16. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnobaron Active Member

    Definite male.
     
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