Need to know if I have this right (Praying Mantis laid eggs)

MikeR37

Arachnopeon
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Oct 21, 2016
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I work in a pet store. A few weeks ago, a woman came in with a Praying Mantis in a cage. She said she found it where she lives and didn't want it to get stepped on so she brought it in to the store. I took it from there and have been keeping it since.

It looks to be an adult Chinese Mantis and she was pregnant (at least I believe the eggs to have been fertilized). What I need to know are the following:

1. She isn't going to live much longer. From what I read, Mantids don't live long (A year or so?) and become sexually mature late in their life cycle so there really isn't anything I can do there.

2. I should take the Ootheca out of the cage in a few days when the foam case hardens enough to be moved (she laid the one last night and I assume more are to come) and place it in it's own tank since they need a different climate to survive.

3. It's going to be winter here in New York soon. However. this species of Mantis has a cycle where it lays it's eggs in the early-mid fall and then the eggs inside basically hibernate until it warms enough for them to hatch. So, if I keep them cold (I'm not sure how cold but I read a refrigerator would be fine) then they wouldn't die and I could prevent them from hatching until it's warm enough.

4. I plan to release them back into the wild when spring comes around (I originally planned to do that with the adult until I read about their short life span). So, do I just leave the egg sack(s) outside and let nature take its course or would I be better off hatching them in captivity and then releasing them?

Thank you for the help.
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
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May 28, 2012
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650
You're right on all accounts. She will probably produce several ooths if you keep feeding her. You can hatch them yourself if you want, it's pretty cool, but you will end up with a whole lot of mantids if you do. You could just put her back outside and let it play out like normal. Or you can keep the ooths somewhere cool (~42-50 degrees F) and then put them outside in the spring once temps are adequate (70+ degrees F) or hatch them inside in large containers. It's really up to you. You'll need to release them soon after they hatch to avoid cannibalism. I mean, they'll still eat each other outside, but it won't be as much of a Mantid Cage Death Match.
 

MikeR37

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
4
You're right on all accounts. She will probably produce several ooths if you keep feeding her. You can hatch them yourself if you want, it's pretty cool, but you will end up with a whole lot of mantids if you do. You could just put her back outside and let it play out like normal. Or you can keep the ooths somewhere cool (~42-50 degrees F) and then put them outside in the spring once temps are adequate (70+ degrees F) or hatch them inside in large containers. It's really up to you. You'll need to release them soon after they hatch to avoid cannibalism. I mean, they'll still eat each other outside, but it won't be as much of a Mantid Cage Death Match.
Thank you very much
 

BobBarley

Arachnoprince
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Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,487
You're right on all accounts. She will probably produce several ooths if you keep feeding her. You can hatch them yourself if you want, it's pretty cool, but you will end up with a whole lot of mantids if you do. You could just put her back outside and let it play out like normal. Or you can keep the ooths somewhere cool (~42-50 degrees F) and then put them outside in the spring once temps are adequate (70+ degrees F) or hatch them inside in large containers. It's really up to you. You'll need to release them soon after they hatch to avoid cannibalism. I mean, they'll still eat each other outside, but it won't be as much of a Mantid Cage Death Match.
If it is indeed Tenodera sinensis, only one or two will survive to adulthood anyway, even if kept apart with the best possible living conditions. @Toxoderidae correct me if I'm wrong...
 

Toxoderidae

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If it is indeed Tenodera sinensis, only one or two will survive to adulthood anyway, even if kept apart with the best possible living conditions. @Toxoderidae correct me if I'm wrong...
Sadly you're correct. T. sinensis will have massive die-offs right at hatching for no reason, and a lot will be cannibalized as soon as they harden. They do suffer molting problems and other issues throughout their growth.
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
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650
Sadly you're correct. T. sinensis will have massive die-offs right at hatching for no reason, and a lot will be cannibalized as soon as they harden. They do suffer molting problems and other issues throughout their growth.
Yep. I hatched Tenodera sinensis this spring. I started with around 70 babies. I separated after the initial culling (let them cannibalize) and I had around 35 individuals. Over half of them died for no discernible reason. I only had one that I kept that made it to adulthood. I was trying not to be such a Debbie Downer though ;)
 

MikeR37

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
Messages
4
If it is indeed Tenodera sinensis, only one or two will survive to adulthood anyway, even if kept apart with the best possible living conditions. @Toxoderidae correct me if I'm wrong...
Sadly you're correct. T. sinensis will have massive die-offs right at hatching for no reason, and a lot will be cannibalized as soon as they harden. They do suffer molting problems and other issues throughout their growth.
Yep. I hatched Tenodera sinensis this spring. I started with around 70 babies. I separated after the initial culling (let them cannibalize) and I had around 35 individuals. Over half of them died for no discernible reason. I only had one that I kept that made it to adulthood. I was trying not to be such a Debbie Downer though ;)
Right, but isn't that the whole reason they have so many offspring? The nymph stage has such a small chance of survival that it's more about winning by repeated trials. Mass death isn't too unexpected.
 
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Toxoderidae

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Right, but isn't that the whole reason they have so many offspring? The nymph stage has such a small chance of survival that it's more about winning by repeated trials. Mass death isn't too unexpected.
Not really, as a lot of other mantid species have huge ooths as well, just T. sinensis happen to like to die a lot for no reason.
 

Bugmom

Arachnolord
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Not really, as a lot of other mantid species have huge ooths as well, just T. sinensis happen to like to die a lot for no reason.
On the bright side, it's cheap to buy an ooth (or free if you find one) and a good experience for anyone who thinks they might want to get into mantids. I learned that I definitely do NOT lol.
 

MikeR37

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
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Not really, as a lot of other mantid species have huge ooths as well, just T. sinensis happen to like to die a lot for no reason.
Fair enough. It sucks but nature is what it is I suppose.

On the bright side, it's cheap to buy an ooth (or free if you find one) and a good experience for anyone who thinks they might want to get into mantids. I learned that I definitely do NOT lol.
Makes sense. I'm not sure if I want to get into Mantids but I've enjoied taking care of this one so far so who knows.
 
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