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Thread: How to hatch a mantid case?

  1. #9
    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Thanks, Josh.

    I thought I saw the panels on the underside (where the hatchlings emerge) "throb". No holes on the egg case so it might really have been the larvae wriggling around...erm, mantids do go through the larva stage don't they?
    Cindy

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Just an update...the ooth got a little mould on it so I've removed it from the terrarium. Heard from friend that he is experiencing the driest weather at the moment. Yikes...
    Cindy

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    Yeah, it can take some experimenting to find the right mix of humidity & ventilation that will keep the egg case from getting moldy. If you let the case dry out the mold should go away with no harm done. A jar with a mesh lid partly covered with packing tape is what I use for egg cases.

    Do you have fruit fly cultures going? Drosophillia melanogaster (small) and D. heydei (large) will be needed for their first month or so until they can take on very small crickets, house flies and moths. It's good to have both sizes of fruit flies on hand incase the babies are afraid of the larger flies. If you don't have access to the flightless fruit flies in Singapore you can catch the local flying kind with just a few banana peels and some old fruit in a jar and start a culture with wild fruit flies and culture them the same as the laboratory fruit flies (you can find culture medium recipes online). With flying fruit flies/house flies you just have to remember to put the container in the freezer for a couple minutes before transferring them so they can't fly for a few minutes, just hop.

    Mantids go through some sort of embryonic stage but when they emerge they are fully formed mantids - just ant sized and moving at the fastest speeds that they will ever move! Be forewarned they can end up running everywhere if you get a mass hatching. The first time I hatched a Chinese Mantis ooth and unscrewed the lid on my hatching jar I had baby mantids leaping out of the jar and running everywhere! I had no idea they would be so fast moving and with 100+ running in every direction.... It seems to be the hatchlings who are the fast movers (baby stick & leaf insects are the same way) but after they've been out a few days they calm down to their standard level of near inactivity. Once they find a spot they like they will stay there for days moving not much more than their head or to preen and groom themselves sort of like a cat does. lol

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    THEY HATCHED!!!!

    I'll post pics tomorrow. I managed to separate 13 of them...two died on the egg case (kinda stuck). Not sure how many escaped 'cos I found one about 3ft away (left the egg case danging in a 1.5 litre bottle uncapped to dry out from the mould) and another in one my Cephalotus pot.

    The question is, how long can they survive before they need food? I am looking for homes for them. Peeps with aphid infested plants...or fruit flies infested home.
    Cindy

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    swords's Avatar
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    That's cool! You will need appropriately sized food for them as soon as possible - at the latest Monday if you aren't planning to put them outside in the garden to fend for themselves. I feed mine everyday (or make sure there is a fly buzzing around in there if they do get hungry) but they can eat every other day or two at the least. There are pics on the mantid forum of someone getting their baby mantids to eat at a tiny glob of canned cat food but I've never tried it myself since mantids are predators, not scavengers but there were pics. Do not use ants to feed the babies, the ants can bite & sting.

    While you are trying to acquire food be sure and very lightly mist their container so they can get something to drink. They will need a drink like that every day even if they do have food - try not to spray the babies directly at their size you can drown them. I don't think they will do anything to aphids, too small and non-moving enough for the mantids to notice them.

    If you have aphids you can try Lady Bugs which look like this:
    http://www.google.com/images?q=ladyb...iw=947&bih=502
    (mantids won't eat ladybugs)

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Currently, they are in their own tiny "paradise" with a turf of live sphagnum moss for moisture. I am trying to get baby crickets for them either today or













    Cindy

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    swords's Avatar
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    Good luck with them - baby mantids are always so cute!

    I haven't ever seen a nymph that looks quite like that (looks like there is a dark stripe down the back?) if you post your pics on the mantid forum I linked to earlier someone there may be able to ID it for you.

    I don't know if you'll be able to get them to take pinhead size crickets but it's worth a try. See if you can get some fruit fly cultures, often they sell them as live food for betta fish and baby reptiles so check with both fish and reptile shops. It's funny how scared the baby mantids can be of prey. Once they make it through their first molts they are braver in tackling food but that's about 2-3 weeks after hatching and heavy feeding. Mine don't seem to go for crickets at all - they will watch them but never go for them even if they are right there at arms reach. If I try to hand feed them crickets they swat the crickets out of the tongs, but if I offer blue bottle house flies or moths on the tongs they grab them and start eating immediately.

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Yup, I just posted the images there. I can't believe that my account with the mantid forum is still alive!!
    Cindy

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