Deformed Giant Asian Mantis

RamGoats

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
9
I went from a mantis who wouldn't eat to a mantis who became deformed after a molt. I'm starting to feel like a bad mantis parent.

As background I have had my giant Asian mantis since about June 2016. The other day I placed him in a feeding enclosure with a cockroach. I did not know he was about to molt and did so that night or early morning. I enclosure is small, only about 5 or 6 inches tall at the most. When my mantis hung from a twig after molting somehow he fell onto his back, still partially inside the old skin. The enclosure was too short to accommodate a larger mantis plus extra room for the old skin. (I would have never left him in the small cage had I known he was about to molt). I scooped him up and placed him in the larger cage. The damage, however, was already done. As you'll see below both back legs (which I believe were tangled in the old skin and twig) are twisted and broken. One of the other feet also appears broken. In addition his newly gained wings won't fold down properly. He seems to get around okay but does drag himself a bit.

My questions are as follows: is there anything I can do for him, he seems to get around okay but it looks pretty pitiful. Also will he molt anymore or is he done? (if so, how many months does he have left).
 

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Jacob Ma

Arachnoknight
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Feb 2, 2016
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281
You can try "force-feeding" him if he does not readily accept food, which is when you offer a liquid portion of a feeder (make it bleed) up to the mantis's mouthparts or provoking him gently to persuade him to attack the feeder and grasp onto it. Make sure his enclosure has plenty of objects and materials to grab onto because a crippled mantis like this one will struggle to move around. You can try and "amputate" the leg of the mantis by encouraging it to drop its leg, but only if his case turns very severe. He is fully matured at this stage, which can usually be identified by long wings with a glossy exterior (when they're folded), and has around 3 months left but this may be shortened due to his deformity and the stress it imposes on him.
 

RamGoats

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
9
I'm feeding him with that method until I find out whether or not he can catch prey on his own after the bad molt. This could be a crazy idea but would it be possible to reinforce the broken legs with some kind of rapidly hardening glue? Two of them are not completely broken but I fear if he attempts to use them they will break more and become completely unusable. Those are the two "good" legs.
As for amputations, other than it getting in the way it doesn't seem to bother him much. I don't want to cause further harm and undo stress unless I need to.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,075
As above. He's full grown now so you can fill his enclosure with all manner of plants so that he can always reach a leaf etcetera. He should happily feed right out of tongs. Crush the head and gently touch his mouth with the food. He should start eating.

Obviously give him 2-3 days to harden up first. You could also give him a little honey water. Just use a tooth pick or something to get a drop and offer it to his mouth. He'll drink it.

It's too late now but if you remember the 3x rule for any future mantids you buy. The cage should be at least 3 times the height as your mantis is long. This gives them the room they need to moult.

However some times they'll fall whilst molting no matter what. It's sadly one of those things.
 

RamGoats

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
9
As above. He's full grown now so you can fill his enclosure with all manner of plants so that he can always reach a leaf etcetera. He should happily feed right out of tongs. Crush the head and gently touch his mouth with the food. He should start eating.

Obviously give him 2-3 days to harden up first. You could also give him a little honey water. Just use a tooth pick or something to get a drop and offer it to his mouth. He'll drink it.

It's too late now but if you remember the 3x rule for any future mantids you buy. The cage should be at least 3 times the height as your mantis is long. This gives them the room they need to moult.

However some times they'll fall whilst molting no matter what. It's sadly one of those things.
As I stated in my original post the problem was that he was in his feeding enclosure when he molted. He's had trouble finding food his entire life (to the point for a while I thought he was blind), so I always transfer him to the green-topped cage with a prey item. As you can see in the picture his living enclosure is very large and very sufficient. Ironically, (if you can call it that) the reason I built a very large cage in the first place was that I had another mantis a few years back who had a bad molt as well and died.

As for feeding I fed him last night. He hesitated to catch on his own so I decapitated the cockroach and offered it, which he accepted.
 

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basin79

ArachnoGod
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Sep 14, 2013
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5,075
As I stated in my original post the problem was that he was in his feeding enclosure when he molted. He's had trouble finding food his entire life (to the point for a while I thought he was blind), so I always transfer him to the green-topped cage with a prey item. As you can see in the picture his living enclosure is very large and very sufficient.

As for feeding I fed him last night. He hesitated to catch on his own so I decapitated the cockroach and offered it, which he accepted.
Apologies for ballsing that up then. That'll teach me to skim read. Well I'll leave my post up as a reminder to myself.

It's fantastic if he's ate. I thought he'd only just shed. Again skim reading like a plank. Just tong feed him every few days and he should live out his life fine and well.
 
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