Overfeeding adult mantids?

nicodimus22

Arachnomancer
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Sep 26, 2013
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Hey gang!

I have an adult female M. religiosa who just had her final molt a couple of days ago, and I'm not sure how frequently I should be giving her food. I've seen recommendations online as high as twice a day, and as low as once every 4 days. I don't know if overfeeding is a problem, or if it's even possible. Opinions?
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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Jun 27, 2010
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Feeding frequency will depend on the size of the prey.

Twice a day sounds like way too much unless you are preparing to introduce her to a male and breed her. If you are preparing to mate her, then feed both her and the male all they will eat before putting them together (and separate them again after mating has taken place).

I currently have a mature male T. sinensis and a D. desicata nymph. I've been feeding them once every 2-3 days (give or take a little) and they're doing great.
 

Tenodera

Arachnobaron
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Sep 28, 2011
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They won't overfeed, so if you do breed her and are powerfeeding her in the future, don't worry about that (unless she is liable to fall very far or onto something in her cage, then an extremely fat abdomen can be dangerous). Healthy adult female mantids can go for days without food if necessary, but every four days is definitely suboptimal. I feed my adults of large mantid species a hefty grasshopper or moth every two to three days, or several small flies or other "snack" insects a day. Males won't eat nearly as often and will often refuse food or only eat part of it.
 

nicodimus22

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Thanks, guys. She is doing well, and gradually starting to fill out in the abdomen.
 

Ranitomeya

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Oct 11, 2012
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You can't overfeed a mantis. Many people will argue that you can and offer evidence by talking about how one of their mantises was overfed and had its abdomen ruptured, but that's not a result of overfeeding. That's the result of the mantis eating however much it felt like eating and then being kept in an enclosure that was not safe for it to move around in. Simply being in an enclosure is dangerous for a fully-fed mantis as the walls are often close to the perches and mantises like to walk to the very top or end of a branch and feeling like there's something nearby that's closer will entice them to move around and risk falls. Smooth walls, flimsy fake plants, and brittle, dead branches are usually the cause of the falls that end in a ruptured abdomen. A mantis in the wild would be on something sturdy and in a location where they wouldn't feel the need to move around when they're at their heaviest.

Mantises in the wild will perch in locations that insects tend to be attracted to and will often have a steadier and more abundant supply of food as things crawl or land in those prime resting and feeding locations. If mantises were so prone to overfeeding, you would either expect mantises to wipe themselves out or select against the behavior.
 
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