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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Well turns out a 4th will happily take a fly its own size. :whistle: But \i may be mixed up and they could be third, I am losing track :fight:



made a pooter with a straw too :lol: It's a lot of fun

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:17 pm 
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held it easily by the looks of it. i reckon one could take a greenbottle twice its size if really hungry. im still having no problem feeding mine. i have fruit fly colonies everywhere lol. i have two mega colonies of d. hydei maggots waiting to explode,plus smaller jars.

i'm determined not gonna be caught short this time :wink:

these are molting just fine even though i havnt misted for ages. but then again, they are not in a heated cage

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Unfortunately during the third instar I have lost a few mantis to cannibalism. I didn't initially notice until today I counted only 17 in the main tank. And I have lost 4 others in the other tubs. So in total now I have just over 30 mantis.

This is despite me putting in about 6 FF per mantis and maintaining this amount at all times, also with several bean weevils per mantis and also one green bottle per 2 mantis. I have really been over-zealous in making sure there is an abundance in food but I guess some mantis scuffles broke out and someone lost their head. :roll: I have seen no dead mantis bodies so at least they made a good meal I guess!

Not that I really need 30+ mantis to keep them going for future generations. I think I have a 5th instar now. Or it might be 4th. I'm terrible.. Interestingly, it is the darker mantis that I have been watching, most are creamy but this one is almost brown.


Sub adult male ?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:21 pm 
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you need alot more ff than that in a big cage. they tend to cluster and not move much so a mantis can have few opportunities unless it is jam packed with flies.

ive been dumping over a hundred a day in. most dont get eaten but it stops them getting hungry as there is always a ff close by. i also move the cage every so often so they fly about and get caught

i put small tubs of cut up apple in which keeps them alive for a long time.

even so you will lose a few to canibalism. but feeding well improves the odds. remember you only need one adult male and female to breed

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:38 pm 
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This is probably an idiotic suggestion, but to clear away the dead flies have you ever thought of putting a couple of male roaches in the tank with the mantids? Something like Blaptica or Brysotria would just need somewhere damp to hide away, and they may be able to eat some of the deads, whilst being too large for Creobroter to bother with, but not so large that they are a danger to the mantids, they are probably fast enough to get out of the way.

Says the n00b....


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:03 pm 
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I have been simply pooting out the dead flies. Takes just a couple seconds to clear the cage and it's not a bother. I just add another straw so I'm not too intrusive.

It may be worth putting in a male or two, though I don't imagine they would have the appetite to get through too many dead flies. And if they climb up the twigs I imagine they would easily disturb any moults.

Self sufficiency would be ideal but it usually involves sacrifices!

Another one is moulting as I type (It started moulting as I began and has just cleared its head) I think it is a female 5th. I just had to poot away three others who were getting a bit too close for comfort :lol: Blowing them away, not sucking them in of course.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:04 pm 
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i suppose you could. but if the mantids were molting close to the ground they wouldnt stand a chance

i just vac them out (on v low setting lol). reminds me i must do it before i get clothes moth larvae in there again building their little tubes. there is quite a pile of dead bodies and shed skins piling up :?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:09 pm 
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agrius wrote:
i suppose you could. but if the mantids were molting close to the ground they wouldnt stand a chance

i just vac them out (on v low setting lol). reminds me i must do it before i get clothes moth larvae in there again building their little tubes. there is quite a pile of dead bodies and shed skins piling up :?



Ah! is that what this cheeky chappy is then?

Just saw it climbing up my bedroom wall. I think it pre-dates any buildup of dead flies as I have only just started using green bottles.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:13 pm 
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I use the stuff you put in the bottom of hanging baskets for my mantis because it holds water well and to clean them out just take it out and give it a quick hover or bush .

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:31 am 
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sounds like a good way to keep humidity up. my cage is wood and fabric that would go all moldy and rot if kept wet so i dont use anything on the floor [apart from a layer of frass, skins, dead flies and occasional half consumed little mantises] :D

yes mazzer thats a type of clothes moth caterpillar. they make little tubes from silk and the things around them. i think there are at least 3 types of clothe moth in my room. tiny thin ones, big flat brown ones and grey and white ones. i think they are eating the carpet or underlay. i kill them on sight and vacuum alot, but they still keep going somehow.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:02 am 
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Yes i find it help with the humidity ,I have used it for a lot of enclosures lately just line them with it first because it holds water well.
As you seen below it makes cleaning a 5 second job , out shake , back in.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:40 am 
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Just caught the brown one that moulted yesterday munching on a sibling, the container it literally packed with flies at this point, little bugger. Didn't even really eat it, just killed it. Removing competition?

I'm putting him into his own container now because I don't want to lose anymore to him. I'm pretty sure he is the one who ate one before too, as he is very distinctive, none of the others are the same colour as him.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:32 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:00 am 
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what is the mantis in the first pic brandan. i dont recognize it.

yes the gemmatus can be like that as they get older. its certainly annoying when they have plenty of food. i thought myself it was to remove competition, not just for food. beats me why they group together if thats the case.

3 of mine got knobbled when they were shedding. something not quite british about that :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:31 am 
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The very rare Polyspilota aeruginosa

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:06 pm 
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well i finally cleaned their cage yesterday. it was quite a job as it was full of fruit flies, so had to let them all out first so i didnt suck them up with the vacuum cleaner.

took me about half an hour to pooter them all up again. hard work is mantis keeping :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:11 am 
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another ooth hatched yesterday. you can see how tiny the 1st nymphs are compared to their older relatives in this pic.

can you believe, one of the adults is still alive and well! she even laid a tiny pathetic ooth the other day!


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P1010223.JPG
P1010223.JPG [ 78.91 KiB | Viewed 2346 times ]

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:11 pm 
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AH, they are so tiny! :lol: I almost forget how small they are. I actually have a second instar kicking around, it doesn't seem to want to moult. :hmm: And I have had them almost a month?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:40 pm 
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yep they are tiny. they grow slowly so you think they are small even as 4th or 5th instar. until you compare them with a hatchling and they look massive.

i really should fish them out as they wont last long. i watched one of the big ones grabbing one; it bit it a few times them threw it away. poor little bugger. ive seen them do that with ff. seems a bit of a stupid thing to do.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:53 pm 
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Oh it's actually been nearly 2 months since the ooth hatched. I wonder how there is still a second instar? Maybe it just just a very small third instar. It is in one of the communal jars so maybe it was just a weak one who couldn't get to the food as well as the others. Ah well-the joke's on them as this little one will probably live for much longer than they do! Unless one of them eat him.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:44 pm 
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thats definitely a possibility. some of mine have wasted away for some reason too. i think if they are stay in an area where flies dont go for long enough, they starve. ive not lost that many though. and they are pretty healthy so far as well. i expect casualties will rise as they get bigger due to competition and cannibalism, and i'll be left with about 10!

its a hard life for a little mantis. its grow fast or die horribly in the raptorial forelimbs of your brother or sister. even if you dont, you'll likely be eaten by something else, or squished by a wilderbeast (or whatever large herbivore is found where they come from).

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Here is one who isn't wasting away!





My camera wants to make me give up living sometimes, but these aren't so bad for something so small.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Hi guys love the piccys Mazzer the second one looks really good and spooky :)
I've been away the last couple of weeks in Canada so haven't been about but my daughters done a sterling job looking after all my critters and my gemmatus have got to be about the same size as your ones Mazzer so I'll put some pictures up of them in the morning. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:38 am 
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Have had adults for a little while, not sure on how many males or females but I imagine I have plenty :lol:

Lost on on the moult to adult, normally I can save such accidents but unfortunately its head had exploded on impact. I think it was a male though, I have at least 4 of them so far.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:30 am 
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fantastic news [not the head exploding part]. are they still communal.
yours are much more advanced than mine.they are a few molts from adult at best. ive been keeping them quite cold to get as many to adult as possible. still on fruit flies

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:05 pm 
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I am keeping some adults communal and some separately. The communal adults seem a lot less bothered by each other than the nymphs. They seem more aware of each other though, maybe that is why. I have never seen one of them with it's back to another mantis that is within a few inches, for example, and they don't seem to cluster as much.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:32 pm 
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thats good to know as i still have over 90 of the little blighters. so what do you think of the females? nice chunky little things arnt they.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:17 pm 
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I'm sure they will be once they have eaten enough flies :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:25 pm 
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I put some roaches in a long time ago, just to see if they would eat any. They didn't, but the roaches now occasionally emerge and display some very interesting behaviours.

The roaches chased the fly across the ground before it ran up a twig and then the mantis grabbed it.



Nauphoeta cinerea almost certainly will actively hunt lesser invertebrates, especially in groups. I have never seen them taking food from the mouth of another insect though.

They pose no threat to a mantis, not as a group of three anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Here is a female :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:55 am 
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Well that female died, not sure why, I just found her frozen in a pose on her twig. :? Luckily I have backups, but she was the only one ready to breed. Have to wait a bit longer now.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:14 pm 
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i wonder why it died suddenly. i had 3 adult females but 2 lived only half as long as the 3rd one for some reason and died unexpectedly. i think they died because i didnt feed them fast enough after they'd laid an ooth so they ran out of energy. they seemed healthy enough though.

some of my nymphs have dropped dead suddenly without apparent reason too. ironically, the ones that have had their heads bitten off have lived on for quite a while. :twisted:

as you can guess, they have thinned out quite alot now. from cannibalism mainly. :roll: they have tonnes of fruit flies but they are probably not enough now. i think there are about 60 left. some are probably subadult by the size of them - maybe have some adults in a few weeks.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:22 pm 
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I'm not sure really, I was just feeding her flies I had bred myself and misting as normal. One of those things :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:39 pm 
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One of my males is rather pink coloured :hmm:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:50 pm 
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Picture or it didn't happen.


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