a question on Mantis...

skadiwolf

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okay, i basically know nothing about these creatures except i think they are really cool and some are just beautiful.

are they hard to care for? i was considering getting a Psuedocreobotra occellata but again know nothing about them.

what are mantis temperaments like, specifically the one above? do they bite? do they do something else? what do you feed them?

lay it on me guys, i'm ready to assimilate vast quantities of new knowledge....ahhhh. :D
 

Wade

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Mantids are generally high matinence captive when compared with, say, tarantulas. They grow fast and are short lived, usually less than a year total, although tome of the tropicals may go beyond that (I've mostly worked with NA natives and adventives).

They molt frequently (until they reach adulthood), and usually do so hanging upside down or from the side of an object. Care must be taken to insure the mantid has enough open space to do this, if kept in a low cage with too many obstructions molting deformities may result. They seem to do better in well-ventilated encosures, as damp cages with stale air will kill them quickly. I usually opt for a cage with plants but without substrate and a fully screened top. I provide water by misting maybe 3 times a week (the tropicals may need higher humidity) and they drink the droplets. Again, wet condition are no good! Some species may accept water from a bowl, or so I've read.

I feed adults and larger nymphs appropriately sized crickets twice a week, but be sure not to have live cricks in there when they molt. Fruitflies are ideal for small nymphs.

A mantid couldn't really bite you effectively, but they can grab on with their "raptorial forelegs" and give a good pinch. I had a large female Chinese mantid (Tenodera aridifolia siniensis, an introduced species common in most of the US) latch onto my finger and begin chewing! Not really painful, but very uncomortable to say the least. I've never kept P. occellata, but since they're a small species I doubt they could hurt much. Sometimes mantids will be content to walk on your hands, but they difinately do not like to be grabbed. Also, they will sometimes try to hop off and the adults of many species can fly, so watch out for that.

There's a book called "Praying Mantids: Keeping Aliens" by A. Lasebny and O. McMonigal that has pretty good husbandry info if you can track it down. It's published by a company called Elytra and Antenna.

Wade
 

Steven

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Hey, all what Wade wrote before is correct, i can only say, they are very intresting creatures.
If you gonna buy some, i would recommend the larger species
- Sphodromantis species
- Hierodula species
they are good beginners mantis ;)

greetz
 

Wade

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Those are good choices. Since she's in the US, she could also consider collecting a native species like Stagmomantis carolina.

Wade
 

Steven

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Stagmomantis carolina
mmm, never seen one in real life, only on pictures, far as i know they haven't been sold here in europe, are they common were you live???

they can also reach 3"/ 8cm adult size i've read.

greetz
 

Wade

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They're very common here, although maybe not as common as the larger introduced Chinese. They're very variable in appearance, some females are bright green while others are a mottled grey and black (like bark). Males are often much more colorful.

I've found them to be quite easy to rear and not very prone to the molting deformities that are so common in many captive mantids.

She may also have the very bizzare Brunneria borealis in her area, a narrow, wingless, 4 inch long, phasmid-like species with wierd "fleshy" antenna. I'm too far north to find them, but they do occur in the southern part of North Carolina and most of the south east, so the probably at least occur in her state. This species reproduces through parthenogenesis, there are no males. Rearing nymphs is somewhat difficult, however.

Wade
 

Steven

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maybe not as common as the larger introduced Chinese
do you mean that there are Hierodula species living there? :?

Brunneria borealis
i've just looked at some picts of those, they look quite like stickinsects and have antenna like empusa species, mmmm intresting species :)

Stagmomantis carolina
that are also very beautiful mantis species, i wasn't aware of all those good looking invertables of the US :D


greetz
 

Wade

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Originally posted by gongyles
do you mean that there are Hierodula species living there? :?

greetz
No, I'm talking about Tenodera aridifolia siniensis, a very large mantid of 4-5" (They've been known to eat hummingbirds!). Very common here in the US and probably the species that's most familliar to Americans, although we have a number of other introduced species as well, including T. angustipennis, Mantis religiosa (the original "praying mantis") and in the west Iris oratoria. Probably some other too. Introduced and natives combined, there's around 20 species in the US.

Most of these are here as the result of deliberate releases for the purpose of pest conrol decades ago. Truth be told, mantids aren't really that great as bio control agents. Since they're very prone to eating one annother, the population density rarely is big enough to really impact pest populations. Plus, they are also just as inclined to feed on arthrpods that are considered desirable, such as butterflies, bees and spiders. Still, they're cool to have around in and of themselves!


Wade
 

sunnymarcie

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Hatching questions...?

I have a Mantid egg case.........
How long until it hatches? Maybe 2 to 3 weeks? This is
what a vendor told me.

Can you tell what type they are by looking at the case?
He said they were the Chinese type.

I plan on setting them free to help in my garden, I figure
they can eat the unwanted pests then be on their way
to make more mantids.
So, I need to know that it is ok to do so. I wouldn't want
to introduce another possible pest.
 

Wade

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The Chinese is so well established that it's probably already in your area so I doubt you're doing any harm.

IME they take about 30 days from laying to hatch if kept warm. Being cooled will postphone hatching indefinately.

The ootheca (egg case) of the chinese is usually yellowish-brown about the size of a misshappen ping-pong ball, with one side kind of flattened. Most of our native species have an elongated ootheca.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

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Mine are Chinese then, thats good to know.
I have seen some in our area, I just wanted to
be sure it was ok to let them free.
Should I keep the egg case in a sunny window or just
in a warm place?
 

Wade

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Anyplace in the 70's or 80's should be fine. The window might overdo it.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

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Good news today:D
The mantis babies are starting to hatch, so far there are 5 of
them. It started within the last hour.
Does anyone know how long it will take?
 

genious_gr

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Originally posted by gongyles

- Hierodula species

:eek:
=D =D =D =D
LOL, hierodoulos in Greek means..... uhhh "A woman the accepts money in order to have $ex with a man"
 

sunnymarcie

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.........LOL, hierodoulos in Greek means..... uhhh "A woman the accepts money in order to have $ex with a man"......=D

Now thats FUNNY!! Latin has so many words like that.


Now I have tons of mantis babies and more are still being born!

Can I feed them now, or should they be left alone with their
ootheca (egg case)
 

Steven

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LOL, hierodoulos in Greek means..... uhhh "A woman the accepts money in order to have $ex with a man"
really? LOL =D some kinky mantis species then those Hierodula's :D
 

Wade

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Originally posted by sunnymarcie
.........LOL, hierodoulos in Greek means..... uhhh "A woman the accepts money in order to have $ex with a man"......=D

Now thats FUNNY!! Latin has so many words like that.


Now I have tons of mantis babies and more are still being born!

Can I feed them now, or should they be left alone with their
ootheca (egg case)
You can start feeding them right away. They will also start cannibalizing soon. The easiest thing would be to release most of them now and keep a dozen or so to rear. The Chinese will cannibalize unless kept seperately or kept in a very large terrarium.

Wade
 

STAR105.7

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mmm, never seen one in real life, only on pictures, far as i know they haven't been sold here in europe, are they common were you live???

they can also reach 3"/ 8cm adult size i've read.

greetz
I just got one of those! Mine is tan and is a female.
 
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