What and how to feed L4 mantis?

NaomiR

Arachnopeon
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May 26, 2017
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Hi my l4's arrived this morning couple of q's

How long can they stay in their transport cups? Their tanks arrive tomorrow afternoon will they be ok 'till then?

I bought fruit flies to feed them but I'm dreading opening the containing because I have no idea how I'm going to get them out and into my mantids tanks?

Thank you
 

basin79

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How big are the tubs they arrived in? If it's not at least 3x their length they aren't tall enough to moult in.

What species of mantid are they? I'd have thought fruit flies would be too small for an L4.
 

NaomiR

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May 26, 2017
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Hi the cups are about 10 times the size of the mantids they're Indian jewelled flowers they're teeny tiny - I sprayed a tiny amount of water into the papers in their cups but won't able to move them into their permanent homes 'till they arrive tomorrow
 

basin79

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Hi the cups are about 10 times the size of the mantids they're Indian jewelled flowers they're teeny tiny - I sprayed a tiny amount of water into the papers in their cups but won't able to move them into their permanent homes 'till they arrive tomorrow
Ah right. Well they'll be fine then if they have room to moult should they need to.

If you pop the fruit flies into the fridge for a few minutes it'll slow them right down. You should be able to decant a few into each mantis then. Just tap the tub when too many start to climb.
 

chanda

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How big are the cages? You don't want to keep them in something too big or they'll have a hard time finding food. I usually keep my mantis nymphs in plastic deli cups (the tall 32 oz size) with twigs, fake flowers, and strips of cork bark to climb on. As far as feeding goes, I use the ventilated "bug lids" with holes punched in the top and covered with a thin fabric. I cut a small (1/2" diameter or so) feeding hole in the lid and use a piece of sponge to fill it. That way, I can remove the sponge and drop feeders through the hole without risking the mantis or the feeders getting out.

To transfer the fruit flies with minimal escapes, I take a large plastic bag (the kind crickets come in from the pet store) and stand it up in a large vase, with the top spread open. I tap on the side of the fruit fly cup gently to knock the flies down from the sides, then remove the lid, tilt the cup over the opened bag, and tap gently to drop flies into the bag. Turn the cup upright (still tapping so the flies don't swarm out the top) and put the lid back on, then collect the bag of flies and shake slightly to get them down off the sides. Pinch the bag (without squishing the flies) to make a crease or channel that you can use to pour the flies through the hole in the top of the mantis cup, then replace the sponge to close it.
 

NaomiR

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May 26, 2017
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The mantis "homes" are 1.8l tubs, I've used them before for L2+ mantis it's just I haven't kept praying mantis for several years so I'm a little out of touch

Thanks for your advise that's exactly what I was asking about the fruit flies I'll give it a go tomorrow.

I've also ordered micro (pin head) crickets which are tricky too but if I remember they require variety? Plus I can gut load them also?

Thank you so much for the replies I'm new to the forum so really appreciate the help.
 

NaomiR

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May 26, 2017
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One of them shed overnight (and is sat looking very pleased with self at bottom of cup) at least I know they have enough room for the next fee hours, I'm off to work for 4 hours their tubs should be here by the time I get back
 

basin79

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Being flower mantids I'd stick with flying insects. Flies and wax worm moths.
 

Gerry

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Nov 8, 2019
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I have my FF cultures in 32oz cups and find the easiest way is to get an empty 32oz cup (lid ready) tap the culture cup take lid off hold at angle over empty cup and drum my fingers on the side so all the flies come out at the bottom edge into empty cup also hold empty cup and tap gently to keep flies from climbing out when you have enough flies lid both cups quickly then put feeder cup in fridge for couple of mins and they go totally immobile so its easy to gently tap out however many you need into your mantis then after a few minutes they will be climbing/running about everywhere
 

mantisfan101

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The containers sound a bit too big, I’d stick eith a 16 or 32 oz deli for now. Hydei fruit flies or house flies would be best for now
 
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