Ok, so I have these mantid egg cases...

-Sarah-

Arachnobaron
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Feb 25, 2006
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My mother and I went to trim an elderly friend's hedge tonight and lo and behold, I found a ton (and I do mean a TON) of mantid egg cases. I brought a handful or so home just to see if I could hatch and then release them, since we're really low on wild mantids at my house and they're so darn cool to watch. Anyway, my question is... these cases look like they were laid last fall (or nearing the end of summer, maybe? I'm not a mantid expert) and I'd like to know when exactly these little boogers might hatch (if they're even fertile) and I'm curious to see if anybody's got any more advice for me :D

Thanks!!
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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They may well have already hatched.

I'd expect them to hatch soon.

Get fruit flies. Now.
 

Brad Ramsey

Arachnoknight
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If the ootheca have hatched you will be able to detect the point on the case where the nymphs emerged.
Look for a tiny explosion of little dried up threads coming out of the front of the ooth.
Otherwise they are either infertile or haven't emerged yet.
What's the weather been like? I guess it's possible that fertile ooths haven't hatched yet but it surprises me.
Seperate them into deli cups with ventilated lids and keep them warm and pretty humid.
If you're just going to release the nymphs you won't need the fruitflies...if you plan to keep and culture a few then you (as previously mentioned) need to start a fruitfly culture very soon.
They will most likely begin canabalism at L2 or L3 so be prepared to seperate the ones you decide to keep before that.

-Brad
 

-Sarah-

Arachnobaron
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Well, I'll need fruit flies if I plan to keep them :rolleyes: But... hmm. Keeping a few is really tempting. Maybe I'll keep two...

The weather here has been exceptionally warm for this time of year, as we're not far away from Roanoke Virginia we've already gotten to 99 degrees fahrenheit when Roanoke's gotten to 92. Generally cool in the morning, hot and usually humid by lunch and into the afternoon. It doesn't cool down until 7:30, 8 pm. Sometimes (depending on cloud cover) it stays warm and humid all night. We live right in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, so essentially, it's like a bowl and holds humidity. Okay so summing that all up, hot and humid days with the occasional (and very rare) cool night :D

A few of the cases I found had a small spot of lines (which do resemble dried up little threads) on the front, and they're horizontal on the cases; it doesn't appear that anything would have hatched out of that small patch since it appears to be solid. Another question, probably a retarded one, but still a question: you can't judge by the weight of the ooth, then... can you?
 

padkison

Arachnoangel
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I am pretty sure those have hatched already based on the weather in the Carolinas and Virginia this spring. Down here the Chinese nymphs are 1"+ now.

If you go back to that area and look carefully in the brush and grass, you will likely find some mantid nymphs.
 

Brad Ramsey

Arachnoknight
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Yes it sounds like they are already hatched.
You really can't even see the hole they come out of unless
you look really closely/carefully.
No, you cannot tell by weight.

-Brad
 

-Sarah-

Arachnobaron
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Feb 25, 2006
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Aww, nuts. :rolleyes:

Yeah, I'm thinking they've probably already hatched too, after further inspection of the cases. I was practically crawling everywhere last evening but I didn't see any nymphs. I just hope I didn't hit any with the hedge trimmer.

Oh well. There's always next year, now I know where to look!

Thanks for all the help, guys :D
 

Brad Ramsey

Arachnoknight
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Do your collecting in February to early March next year.
You can keep ooths refrigerated in a ventilated deli cup with a moist paper towel (really important that they not dry out)
Then bring them out (however many at a time) and warm them up (room temperature) to hatch.
I'm guessing they were chinese and in my experience they take about 10 days to 2 weeks to emerge in late April or May after starting the warm up.
There are a couple of other species possibilities in your area....results should be similar.

-Brad
 

-Sarah-

Arachnobaron
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Feb 25, 2006
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570
Do your collecting in February to early March next year.
You can keep ooths refrigerated in a ventilated deli cup with a moist paper towel (really important that they not dry out)
Then bring them out (however many at a time) and warm them up (room temperature) to hatch.
I'm guessing they were chinese and in my experience they take about 10 days to 2 weeks to emerge in late April or May after starting the warm up.
There are a couple of other species possibilities in your area....results should be similar.

-Brad

Thanks, I never knew how I'd go about keeping them until hatching. In our area, we usually see the big, green European mantids or the brownish, mottled Chinese mantids and the occasional walking stick insect. The mantids are equally scarce, so I was really hoping that those cases would have contained something... :rolleyes:
 
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