Mantid Madness!

Joined
Apr 19, 2012
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4,438
Location
Greeley, CO, USA
So just recently I got into a new hobby, one that I tried a couple of times years back (before I knew what I was doing) with no success, and thus far things are looking a lot more promising....

Of course for keeping predatory insects, you need stuff to feed them with, and my main food source for them is almost as interesting to document as the mantids. I just got my one current adult female dubia to give birth for the first time:
juvenile dubia roach by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
And she's a little chunky still after the fact:
female dubia roach by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
And one of the other previously immature roaches molted into an adult male, so I can be assurred likely of youngsters every month for as long as I have carrots to give them:
Male dubia roach by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr

My first mantids (came in a little over a week ago) are young African Giant lined mantises, currently dubbed Lucy, Fred, Ethel, and Desi (bonuses for those who get the referene), though Lucy, the biggest one, is the only on I'm certain of the sex right now.
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr


And just yesterday, received 4 other species to try my hand at. The largest and currently the only adults I have, 2 female and 1 male African Budwings. The first female has already mated, and the other two I will eventually get to couple
Parasphendale affinis -female #1 by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Green on her face and red on her sides; very colorful close up
Parasphendale affinis -female #1 by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Munch munch...
Parasphendale affinis -female #1 by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Parasphendale affinis -female #2 by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
And the male is puny by comaprison
Parasphendale affinis -male by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr

Species #3, 5 L2 African spiny flower mantids. Babies mimic ants while the adults are showy with unusual wing eyespots
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr

Species 4, Giant African stick mantids. These guys look like they're constantly disappointed with my decisions in life...and eventually they'll get up to 6 inches long
Heterochaeta occidentalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta occidentalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta occidentalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta occidentalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta occidentalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr

And my final current mantid, an undesignated African ground mantis species. For their size they have huge attitudes, and if anything moves around them they start displaying with pumping arms and flexing abdomens.
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
The current largest
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr

Here's hoping I can keep all of them to maturity and breeding size...
 

DragonsEye

carnivorous plants of the world -- unite!
Joined
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Good luck! Many fascinating mantid species out there. Unfortunately, all are short-lived so successful breeding and raising of the young is necessary unless one doesn't mind laying out $ for new ones. Maintaining the necessary humidity would be the main hurdle for me.
 
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Plant Heathen and Huntsmanshorn: Most of them I got from another mantid breeder (there are a lot of FB groups and forums out there), and the Sphodros from US Mantis.

DragonsEye: Already as of today have an ootheca from the mated Parasphendale female; doubt it's fertile since it's small and so soon after shipping but it's a step in that direction and she'll undoubtedly lay more soon with how plump she still is. The male died, sadly, but I should be getting a replacement shortly so I can mate them both again, and the other species I have both males and females present. Humidity isn't much of an issue for me despite where I live since they're all in mostly closed containers and a spray every couple days takes care of the rest of the problem.

Jimscott: Don't have orchids at the moment, starting mostly with species that are easier (though the Heterochaeta may be an exception, but they're doing just fine at the moment), but I do agree they're fantastic looking and I'll get there eventually. Certainly plenty of places I can get them too, apparently.
 
Joined
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Location
Providence, RI
Very beautiful species! Just keep in mind that some species (I think the Heterochaeta in particular) prefer flying prey. I think adult male dubia can fly, but they don't like to and are probably too big for nymphs. I could be wrong about preferences, though--if they're happily eating already they'll probably be fine.
 
Joined
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So cool! Always been my favorite insect. I live in Washington state and had only seen them in travel until a couple years ago...I found at least 6 last summer. Obviously just your standard European mantis. But we had a pretty hard winter for us and I've seen none this year :(

Good luck with them! They are fascinating critters
402cb33e0e35ceffb3bf06085eb7834d.jpg



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Joined
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Messages
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Very beautiful species! Just keep in mind that some species (I think the Heterochaeta in particular) prefer flying prey. I think adult male dubia can fly, but they don't like to and are probably too big for nymphs. I could be wrong about preferences, though--if they're happily eating already they'll probably be fine.

None of them have problems with the flightless fruit flies or moths I'm giving them, so I think prey-wise I'm covered at the moment. The Heterochaeta just don't like to chase things, bu they'll more than happily grab whatever walks by.

mballard3513, pretty sure the photo you've attached is a Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis), which might be more common in much of the US than the European species, and one I'm trying to hatch out at the moment, but the two are very similar.
 

DragonsEye

carnivorous plants of the world -- unite!
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Michigan
Roach-wise, I think you would be better off with Blatta lateralis. They tend to be more active than dubia and are less likely to bury themselves in the substrate (should you be using one). Also the don't get as large as adults which may.make them more suitable for adult mantids.
 
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I thought the European have the black dot on the leg? But I'm no expert, I'm sure you know far more. I just did a quick google search when I found it, trying to identify.


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Dragonseye: dubias were more than easy for me to obtain (friends with a science teacher who has them) and I'm only concerned really with feeding the babies or semi-mature to mantids after I can no longer catch things outside, plus no I don't use a substrate other than the carrots etc. I feed them and don't mind digging around for them so that's not an issue.

mballard: so does Tenodera sometimes, so that can't be used necessarily; the striped colors along the sides of the wings were what I looked at among other things. As I'm just beginning this hobby I am far from expert as well, but I did find enough photos to suggest variability of both.
 
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Very interesting, thanks for the info! Good luck with your babies! [emoji4]


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Pseudocreobotra wahlbegii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbegii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbegii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbegii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Big enough to take flies now
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Turns out I had this species mislabeled...
Heterochaeta orientalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta orientalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta occidentalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta orientalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
And my first Elmantis molted to adult yesterday! Pretty sure this is male, but just to be sure I'll be watching closely for a while yet. Need one of the opposite sex to mature now
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
 
Joined
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Messages
4,438
Location
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Catching a spiny in molt
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Also had 2 ooths from Elmantis
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. ooth by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
One of which I caught her in the process of laying
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodros are getting bigger
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Sphodromantis lineola by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta orientalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta orientalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Heterochaeta orientalis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Thesprotia graminis by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Some of the spiny's are getting interesting colors; this guy is now dubbed Mr. Pink :D
Mr. Pink (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii) by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
 
Joined
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The first ooth from the Elmantis sp. female hatched...marking the first hatching of an ooth produced in my care! Can't keep them all, so in probably about half a week when they all molt first I'll have most of these little guys (and I do mean little :) ) up for sale; there are 42 of them currently.
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
Elmantis sp. by Hawken Carlton, on Flickr
 
Joined
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Messages
144
Location
Providence, RI
Glad to see these are doing well! I particularly like those last pictures, though I'm forced to admit I imagined you looking totally different :)
 
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