Anyone else has any experience with Sia Ferox?

Harrow

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I’ve been keeping a pair of Sia Ferox for the past 2 weeks now, feeding them grasshoppers, crickets and dubias, but I’ve heard from a few local sources that they’re omnivores and need grain and veggies, while my prior research before obtaining them indicated they are a carnivorous and predatory species, any one can help in discerning whether they need an omnivorous or full carnivore diet?
 

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mantisfan101

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I think you should try offering them some greens every once in a while just to check. Also, just wanted to say but absoutely awesome specimen, these've been a dream of mine for years and still are.
 

Harrow

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I think you should try offering them some greens every once in a while just to check. Also, just wanted to say but absoutely awesome specimen, these've been a dream of mine for years and still are.
Ahhh, of course, I’ll place some greens in there just in case they chomp down, what I noticed they’ve been eating are white bread, apples and dry cat food as well as other insects, I’m not sure whether or not they’re eating because they desire too or because it’s part of their diet, and thank you, they are indeed very beautiful specimens :)
 

Hisserdude

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Being Stenopelmatids, I'd assume they are "predatory omnivores", they'll eat and probably appreciate fruits and veggies being offered from time to time, but the bulk of their diet probably does consist of other invertebrates in the wild, (in captivity common feeder insects and even protein rich grain based dog/cat foods will work).
 

Harrow

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Being Stenopelmatids, I'd assume they are "predatory omnivores", they'll eat and probably appreciate fruits and veggies being offered from time to time, but the bulk of their diet probably does consist of other invertebrates in the wild, (in captivity common feeder insects and even protein rich grain based dog/cat foods will work).
Ahhh yeah, that makes alot of sense, but I think I’ll provide a bit of everything just to be safe, while now I know they’ll primarily eat the live prey, I can give them a few supplements to make sure they’re not lacking in nutrition, I was told they like starchy foods like bread and rice as well as living prey, but vegetation would also make sense, so I’ll give them fruits and greens too I suppose, thank you for the assistance.
 

Hisserdude

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Ahhh yeah, that makes alot of sense, but I think I’ll provide a bit of everything just to be safe, while now I know they’ll primarily eat the live prey, I can give them a few supplements to make sure they’re not lacking in nutrition, I was told they like starchy foods like bread and rice as well as living prey, but vegetation would also make sense, so I’ll give them fruits and greens too I suppose, thank you for the assistance.
Yeah, definitely won't hurt to add more foods to their diet! 😁 Good luck breeding these beauties, I would love to keep this species one day...
Also, are these subadults? Sia ferox adults are supposed to be fully winged, males and females...
 

Harrow

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Yeah, definitely won't hurt to add more foods to their diet! 😁 Good luck breeding these beauties, I would love to keep this species one day...
Also, are these subadults? Sia ferox adults are supposed to be fully winged, males and females...
Yeah, they’re subadults, I’d like to breed them when they mature, a bit of a shame, I’ve heard they’re illegal in the states, they can establish a population if they escape, aggressive to boot to, I can see them wiping out other insects, I don’t think even my T’s can handle em.
 

Hisserdude

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Yeah, they’re subadults, I’d like to breed them when they mature, a bit of a shame, I’ve heard they’re illegal in the states, they can establish a population if they escape, aggressive to boot to, I can see them wiping out other insects, I don’t think even my T’s can handle em.
Ah OK, good to know, I hope you are successful! 😁
And TBH I don't think they could establish themselves anywhere except FL, as our winters would almost certainly wipe them out.
 

The Snark

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Not limited to Sia, our resident entomologist described the larger crickets found in Asia as the junk yard dogs of the invertebrate world. People who keep ornamental gardens and bonsai often keep a thriving population of them. Apparently given their choice their diet tends towards pure carnivore and presents minimal or no hazard to the plants. There is also a lot of folklore about them especially in China and having them come into your house is supposed to be lucky. I'd venture a guess this partly comes from disease carrying insects or simply obnoxious pests quickly get eaten.
 

mantisfan101

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Actually funny enough, the USDA is a lot more concerned with plant pests, which would explain why we’re allowed to keep exotic Ta, scorpions, whipscorpions, etc but can’t keep exotic stick insects or even some roaches(although quire a few were recently deregulated). If there’s proof that they eat any type of plant matter or eat another essential pollinator(which is why we exotic assassins are illegal because they apparently have been known to eat bees). However, if there’s proof that they are wholly carnivorous them we could hopefully get them deregulated. I know for sure that we won’t ever get Tropidacris cristata or any cosmoderus armored crickets. However, if we could get proof that the Sia ferox are purely carnivorous and don’t consume any planr matter, we could get them potentially deregulated.
 

Hisserdude

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Actually funny enough, the USDA is a lot more concerned with plant pests, which would explain why we’re allowed to keep exotic Ta, scorpions, whipscorpions, etc but can’t keep exotic stick insects or even some roaches(although quire a few were recently deregulated). If there’s proof that they eat any type of plant matter or eat another essential pollinator(which is why we exotic assassins are illegal because they apparently have been known to eat bees). However, if there’s proof that they are wholly carnivorous them we could hopefully get them deregulated. I know for sure that we won’t ever get Tropidacris cristata or any cosmoderus armored crickets. However, if we could get proof that the Sia ferox are purely carnivorous and don’t consume any planr matter, we could get them potentially deregulated.
But Sia ferox almost certainly DO eat at least a little bit of plant matter... They can't survive on plant matter alone of course, but they'll nibble at it, and that's probably enough for the USDA to never let them be kept here, (legally at least).
 

The Snark

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I think a part of the USDA precautions regarding these animals is the vast array of pathogens they can carry. Some a native part of their digestive system.
 

The Mantis Menagerie

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Actually funny enough, the USDA is a lot more concerned with plant pests, which would explain why we’re allowed to keep exotic Ta, scorpions, whipscorpions, etc but can’t keep exotic stick insects or even some roaches(although quire a few were recently deregulated). If there’s proof that they eat any type of plant matter or eat another essential pollinator(which is why we exotic assassins are illegal because they apparently have been known to eat bees). However, if there’s proof that they are wholly carnivorous them we could hopefully get them deregulated. I know for sure that we won’t ever get Tropidacris cristata or any cosmoderus armored crickets. However, if we could get proof that the Sia ferox are purely carnivorous and don’t consume any planr matter, we could get them potentially deregulated.
It is unlikely that exotic, predatory katydids will be deregulated. Exotic mantids have almost no chance, even for species that do not prey upon pollinators. The slight chance that mantids could have would be that many species leave their oothecae on branches that would leave a tropical species fairly exposed to cold temperatures. Orthoptera usually insert their eggs somewhere that would be much more insulated, and this could give them more chance of surviving than a mantis. That is the main reason I want to do the temperature measurements under logs to figure out exactly how much of an advantage organic matter gives (particularly for exotic beetle deregulation, but could support orthopterans).

Now, I have an alternative: Neobarrettia spinosa. This happens to be the first organism I ever asked the USDA about, and they said no permits are required within the Continental US. If we can get more people breeding this species in captivity, then we have a native that rivals some of the beautiful foreign species.
I think a part of the USDA precautions regarding these animals is the vast array of pathogens they can carry. Some a native part of their digestive system.
That is indeed the reason they give for many species, such as beetles, but are the unregulated arachnids magically immune to carrying something in the same manner? They even deregulated the three Goliathus species, yet I do not think there is any data suggesting they do not carry pathogens. Moreover, as they are eating insects, I would imagine they are exposed to plenty of parasites and pathogens.
 

mantisfan101

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I did not know neobarrettia spinosa did not require permits. I thought they were regulated but I finally have some sort of exotic looking katydid that I can look forwards to, thanks for telling me! Shame about the exotic katydids though, although if someone were to try and leave a bunch of eoxtic mantis ooths out during winter we could maybe prove that they don't pose a threat.
 

Hisserdude

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Now, I have an alternative: Neobarrettia spinosa. This happens to be the first organism I ever asked the USDA about, and they said no permits are required within the Continental US. If we can get more people breeding this species in captivity, then we have a native that rivals some of the beautiful foreign species.
Unfortunately with that species, the hatch rate can be quite low, and they need a dry period followed by a wet period to hatch, overall their eggs can take upwards of a year to incubate if I remember correctly... (whereas a lot of the exotic species are easier to breed consistently and hatch much faster). Basically what I'm trying to say here is very few people have enough interest and determination in breeding Neobarrettia to keep them in culture consistently... They've entered the hobby several times, have been bred by a very few select breeders, and then end up dying out. Most people just want them as "trophy" pets IMO, few want to go through the difficulty of breeding them. :/
 

The Snark

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That is indeed the reason they give for many species, such as beetles, but are the unregulated arachnids magically immune to carrying something in the same manner? They even deregulated the three Goliathus species, yet I do not think there is any data suggesting they do not carry pathogens. Moreover, as they are eating insects, I would imagine they are exposed to plenty of parasites and pathogens.
This is what is referred to as one of those impossible coincidences. The USDA. I was just readling, delving into, existentialism (Sartre) and Turing's hypothesis..
In the name of all that's profane and unholy, has the U.S. Gov somehow managed to develop the perfect irrational element?
I'll be under the rug if anyone wants me.

"And my shoulders had to shrug as I crawled beneath the rug and retuned my piano." -Phil Ochs
 

The Mantis Menagerie

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I did not know neobarrettia spinosa did not require permits. I thought they were regulated but I finally have some sort of exotic looking katydid that I can look forwards to, thanks for telling me! Shame about the exotic katydids though, although if someone were to try and leave a bunch of eoxtic mantis ooths out during winter we could maybe prove that they don't pose a threat.
Before this quarantine mess stopped my volunteering at a local museum, I was working on persuading the museum to import some more exotic mantises, but I now do not know when we will get another shipment. My plan, though, was to test the cold-tolerance of the ooths and nymphs. I remember reading once that someone attempted to slow male orchid mantis growth rate down so they would be in sync with the females. The result was infertile males, so I am curious if that would be effective enough that it would lead some species to be deregulated should that be found to be a common occurrence. That being said, I think there are limits to USDA regulatory ability, so if there are warm areas they could survive (Florida, Texas, California), then the USDA might not be allowed to deregulate in only some states.
Unfortunately with that species, the hatch rate can be quite low, and they need a dry period followed by a wet period to hatch, overall their eggs can take upwards of a year to incubate if I remember correctly... (whereas a lot of the exotic species are easier to breed consistently and hatch much faster). Basically what I'm trying to say here is very few people have enough interest and determination in breeding Neobarrettia to keep them in culture consistently... They've entered the hobby several times, have been bred by a very few select breeders, and then end up dying out. Most people just want them as "trophy" pets IMO, few want to go through the difficulty of breeding them. :/
I am working to acquire some this spring for breeding, so do you know people who have been successful? I am planning to build them a custom tank, so if I could get some tips for what helped previous breeders then that might help me find the optimal design.
 

Hisserdude

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I am working to acquire some this spring for breeding, so do you know people who have been successful? I am planning to build them a custom tank, so if I could get some tips for what helped previous breeders then that might help me find the optimal design.
@kitkat39 has the most extensive experience breeding this genus out of anyone I know, @Elytra and Antenna has also bred them I think.
 

Harrow

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Hmmm, I’ve tried feeding them greens these past few days, nothing, not even a nibble, I can say for sure that Sia Ferox do not consume cucumbers, lettuce and greenery of that kind, what they do consume from what I’ve offered are, potatoes, apples only had a few nibbles, they love bread, dry cat food and living insects, I think they’re not the kinds of omnivores that eat leafy greenery but roots and tubers as well as living prey items who remain on the ground, opportunistic feeders but also capable predators, I think it’s because they’re terrestrial animals.
 
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Harrow

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I’ve noticed something peculiar, they don’t seem to hunt prey that stays still, like dubias who play dead, they lose interest, but with grasshoppers and crickets who hop, they give chase, They don’t consume prey that remain still it seems.
 
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