Looking to get into mantids

shutout2000

Arachnoknight
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Nov 12, 2016
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Hello, I am looking to start a mantid setup. I don't have much experience with these guys. My first question is, can they all be kept together and is breeding easy? Also, I would do a natural set up, With soil, and a live moss carpet. Is there any issues with that?
 

KevinsWither

Arachnolord
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Jul 11, 2014
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Most mantises should be kept separate unless your breeding. And I typically recommend having the enclosure plain to allow it to molt.
 

arizonablue

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There are some species that are communal and are less likely to eat each other. (There's always a risk.) Some are more difficult to breed than others, and your males may be eaten. A natural setup would be fine for adults that like it moist (I assume you'd be keeping the soil and moss misted) but nymphs should be kept in a simpler setup to increase their chances of making it to adulthood.
 

Andrea82

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Great species to start out with are any member of the Hierodula genus. They get rather large, 14cm for adult females. Great feeding response, will actively hunt, but also readily take prey from tweezers. Need a little bit of humidity, misting three times a week should cover that.
Another genus is Sphodromantis, is roughly same in care.
Phyllocrania paradoxa is also easy to keep, they need more humidity though, and they won't grow as large as above species. They look fantastic :)
Basic care.
Enclosures for mantids should be at least 3 times the length of the mantis high, and 2 times the length of it wide. Make sure there are twigs or mesh high up enough for it to molt succesfully, and don't crowd the enclosure too much.
Feeders should be no longer than the mantis, and with Hierodula especially you should watch out not to overfeed it. Its abdomen can get to large for it, and bend over too much, causing it to die.
It's best to feed 'soft' feeders. Crickets alone can cause obstipation, which can also lead to death.
If you type 'beginner mantis arachnoboards' into google, it should give a lot of advice :)
 

darkness975

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Basically what @Andrea82 said.

I tend to mist my Hierodula & Sophromantis once a day. Not ridiculously heavily but enough for it to drink. I suppose having a bunch of nymphs die back in the day on me due to dehydration was a bit of a trauma. Better that they have a bit extra water than not enough. You will want to ensure that it has sufficient ventilation as well. You don't want it getting moist and stuffy in there, especially since they tend to leave parts of prey items around which increases the chances of mold/fungus.
 

basin79

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You won't get a 14cm Hierodula. They are however large, strong and stocky mantids. You're looking at around 9cm-11cm for an adult female. That doesn't sound big but they really are impressive inverts.

3x the length of your mantis is how high your enclosure has to be minimum. Keep the middle and bottom of the enclosure quite empty so the mantis will be able to moult and not get caught.

I absolutely love mantids. Sadly they are short lived compared to a T. Expect to get around 12 months from a female.

I keep mine with kitchen roll on the bottom just for ease of cleaning. They're messy eaters and crap alot.
 

Andrea82

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Basically what @Andrea82 said.

I tend to mist my Hierodula & Sophromantis once a day. Not ridiculously heavily but enough for it to drink. I suppose having a bunch of nymphs die back in the day on me due to dehydration was a bit of a trauma. Better that they have a bit extra water than not enough. You will want to ensure that it has sufficient ventilation as well. You don't want it getting moist and stuffy in there, especially since they tend to leave parts of prey items around which increases the chances of mold/fungus.
Sophromantis? You mean Sphodromantis I think?

Of course, when bought as nymphs you need to mist every day, some species multiple times a day.
 

darkness975

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Sophromantis? You mean Sphodromantis I think?
Of course, when bought as nymphs you need to mist every day, some species multiple times a day.
Yes that is what I meant. Not 100% awake yet, a bit dyslexic. :banghead:
 

darkness975

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I don't have the 'coffee rating' so i'll just give you one like this instead ;)
Don't drink Coffee, never did. Nasty stuff.
I will stick with Juice or Water for the morning!

But at least you know what spp. I was referring to, so I only half failed!!!
 

basin79

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Sophromantis? You mean Sphodromantis I think?

Of course, when bought as nymphs you need to mist every day, some species multiple times a day.
I'm going to have to disagree with that. I lost a Hymenopus Coronatus nymph because I misted every day. I
Don't drink Coffee, never did. Nasty stuff.
I will stick with Juice or Water for the morning!

But at least you know what spp. I was referring to, so I only half failed!!!
Very strong black unsweetened coffee is the dog's danglies.
 

Andrea82

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I'm going to have to disagree with that. I lost a Hymenopus Coronatus nymph because I misted every day. I

Very strong black unsweetened coffee is the dog's danglies.
Ah, the Hymenopus....those are excempt from logic and reason, didn't you get the memo? :D

@darkness975
I used to drink coffee, when I was still a smoker. I quitted coffee as well because it was a huge trigger to light one up.
Now I drink tea in the morning as well.
 

Xafron

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I have only ever kept the ones that live locally. That was the ultimate prize growing up when I'd go out and catch bugs (that and scorpions). They would eat crickets sometimes, although they honestly seemed to really dislike them compared to just about anything else. And since they were caught in my area I wasn't really concerned about giving them food I caught around my house. They will try to eat each other, but even then I managed to get them to breed as a kid.

Story about me and and a mantis...I was probably two, and my dad and sister brought home one they found on a walk and put it in a container on top of the television. I would stand there forever staring at it going "bug bug bug a bug a bug bug a bug bug a bug." From that point on, my mother never really got a break from bugs in the house.
 
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Mantis Army

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Apr 15, 2017
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At 1300hrs est U.S. 1 mantis ootheca was removed from cold storage an placed onto a forked shaped twig. Self contained within a 10 gallon aquarium tank. Now the waiting game.lightly moisturizing if needed yet humidity is not high. Risk of drying minimal. First rodeo with this. Any advice welcomed. Googled hell out of subjects. Confidence is high lol. Yall have a groovy chillin day. ..
 

Thrillhouse

Arachnopeon
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Apr 18, 2017
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This is a short video on keeping mantis as pets. It doesn't go into great detail, but should give you a nice overview.

 

Tleilaxu

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Out of general curiosity, do you think it's possible to keep several mantids in a 55 or larger gallon terrarium?

I remember as a child keeping five Chinese mantis in a 10 gallon and aside from one unfortunate male they all seemed to get along, of course I made sure they had an excessive amount of food at all times. I distinctly remember dropping a jar of 2500 crickets in the house one day...

I also remember that two of them were really tame and seemed to like/tolerate handling well to the point they would chill on my shoulder or accept hand feeding with no issue.

Also what is the largest mantis available? I remember being impressed by the adult Chinese mantis, but if I decide to take up the hobby again in a year or so I want something larger and more impressive.
 
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