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Thread: HELP! My captive mantis laid eggs!

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    HELP! My captive mantis laid eggs!

    I kept a mantis which is an adult at 1.5". It landed on the bag of perlite while I was trying to pot some plants.

    Two days ago, it ate the flying termite which I left in the disposable container it was in. Just now, I noticed an egg sac on the side of the container.

    Anyone has got tips on:
    1. how I can keep the damsel from dying?
    2. how long the eggs will take to hatch? I am going away on a trip in a couple of days!
    3. feeding needs?

    Thanks in advance!
    Cindy

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    swords's Avatar
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    If she's laying egg sacks, sadly, it's near the end for her. She's likely at her 7th or 9th instar stage just feed her, fed her as much as she'll eat, Mantids are great and they eat a lot! But don't be too shocked when "that day" comes. They generally live about 9 months ("instars" or skin sheds). Egg laying is a sign of old age for them. If she's a female that hasn't had a male partener each baby will be a tiny female clone of her. This is called "parthenogenesis" ( I doubt that I spelled that right)

    When the babies hatch you'll have anywhere from 100-400 babies so pick a few as pets (keep them in seperate containers) the rest will have to go free or die at their brothers and sisters hands (blades) as they are cannibals.

    Eggs will take several months to develop and then hatch. You can delay hatching by keeping them refrigerated (not frozen) the cool temps put them into "stasis" like cryogenics on an embryo. Then you can pull them out and let them warm up and they will continue to develop and then hatch when they're ready. I keep egg twigs (sacks laid on sticks) in a gallon jar with a screen lid ontop of my TV so I will see them as soon as they hatch. When they hatch I sprinkle the children out all over the garden to go where they may.

    If you keep one in a cage, a net cage is nice because it gives them lots of "walking around": area - they don't need super high humidity. Just a cage with twigs and some plants to climb on. You will need to mist the plants every day so the Mantis can get a drink - they drink off leaves and such. Feed them small bugs - baby mantids need fruitfly sized food. Babies will run from ants since they are about the same size (1/8" or so) so don't fed them ants. Ants are sometimes toxic and can bite back with their big mandibles. When the mantids get bigger feed them small crickets and then large crickets, moths and flying things are appreciated too if you can catch them for it.

    After you feed it for a while the mantis will "get to know you" and allow you to hold it and feed it by hand like a veiled chameleon, but they are skittish at first, your old maid wild one may never become hand tame but the babies-knowing only you, will generally be tame after a few months.

    Have fun, Mantids are one of my faveorite insects - when they watch you watching them, you just know they're thinking something!

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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Wow. What a lot of interesting info. I've always liked mantis. You gotta like those swiveling heads. I usually see a few over the summer. They get pretty big.

    How can you tell a male from a female?
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Thanks loads, Swords.

    It is a pity that she is nearly at the end of her life. She was hiding behind a bag of perlite and while I was pouring the bits out, she stayed on the bag. I tried to shoo her away and she flew into my rack of plants with T5 lights. I caught her and place her in a takeaway container for the fear she might get stuck to some of the sundews.

    Any idea what species she might be?

    Youtube video: Female mantis feeding on winged termite

    Pics






    Cindy

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    Two flies one pitcher. Minus the crap eating. obregon562's Avatar
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    Nice lookin mantis Cindy!

    What swords said is mostly true, but it sounds like he has experience in big mantids, not these little guys.

    Most species, with the exception of a few (like the Chinese mantis, for example) either lay fertile oothecas or non-fertile oothecas that will never hatch. Very few use pathenogenesis. Just because she laid an ootheca doesn't mean she's near the end. She's just at her last stage of development. She may be old, or she may be a very young adult. It is true that she is in the last 1/8 of her life, but she wont just drop dead tomorrow.

    As for the ooth, just keep it how you've been keeping her, and mist it so it is doesnt dry out. With such a small species, expect 15-30 nymphs to hatch out. 100-400 is typical of BIG species, like the Chinese (again). They will be very small and require fruit flies or possibly springtails as a food source. With each shed (there should be around 8 in total) they will get bigger, and be able to take a littl bit bigger food, but the wings only develope once she is mature.

    Hope this helps! Good luck breeding this cool species! Oh-if you ever have extras...i'd be very interested!

    P.S. www.mantidforum.com might help!
    "It's easy to rip on cops, when you aren't the one needing saving"

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    I suppose that since the mum is only 1.5", the babies are going to be tiny. Springtails...which means I can release them into my box of Nepenthes seeds.

    Well, she is just guarding the egg sac and not moving around at all. Or maybe she is too tired from the delivery.

    Thanks for all the help and the link.
    Cindy

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    Dead to Mosqueeto's ALL OF THEM! DJ.Zany-NL-'s Avatar
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    mantis are cute!! (l)
    Victory is mine!
    i like to grow plant's and i like to smoke plant's

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    swords's Avatar
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    Sorry Cindy, I don't know enough of the small species to know what you've got there. Very nice looking though!

    I've had the big Chinese ones and the large Africans (S. Lineola I think). I always wanted a small pink/white flower mantis but couldn't raise the cash for it - $60 for a live one here on the rare occasion that Twin Cities Reptiles has them whereas eggs of the other two are usually only $1-3 each! I'd also like an Empusa mantid species - they look kind of like the Aliens from the movie Alien!!

    Plant a Kiss, in the species I've had the females tend to have a thicker abdomen and a few more segments to their abdomen than a male. Basically they're just a bit bigger.

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