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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 12:36 am 
Finding my way round
Finding my way round
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Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Dorset, England
Heyo guys,
This section is a bit new to me; Ive been trying my hand at moth breeding the last year or so and am gradually getting more aware about the stick insect world too, I like my bugs and as work is a bit quiet at the mo im trying to learn as much as I can while I have the opportunity. I only really got back into entomology from a photography side project I was doing; and ive since kinda regressed to that inquisitorial boyhood stage of digging around the garden and returning home with pockets of butterflies lol.

But I digress...! This year I aquiered a Chinese mantis Ootheca; I was going to go halves on it with my Aunt - but after they hatched I kinda sadly had a mass extinction! - Im blaming the brand new tank I bought for them, something definately wasnt right as it had a realy dodgy smell to it, and we think they might have cooked in the afternoon sun! or got fumagated :( but that was only half the story as I had put half hatchlings into one tank and half in another (I had about 200 altogether)

And this is even before they even got a proper feed! Stupid me didnt have a culture of flies ready...
Took me over a week to find a supplier locally before I could get my own culture going... and that was a lesson in itself, ive only just finally got a good population going of those, but its a bit late!

After the mass extinction I had about 18 left, I got them all set up in a lush tank with fake flowers and plenty of flies, but still after each day id find another one at the bottom, so I seperated them out early incase they were having a go at each other, so i had 8 seperate big jars, and 2 pairs in 2 tanks, and they STILL kept dropping!

Iv just got two left now, well into their 3rd instar, and thankfully looking strong. Still only on fruit flies tho, id like to try giving them some crickets but im really wary now and dont want to do that too soon. Im hoping one is male, 'his' abdomen looks a lil shorter than the others but its probly still too early tho , but would be so nice to keep them going.

I knew this was going to be a learning experience but i didnt think it was going to be this hard! (at least luna moths dont need to eat in their last stage!!! :wink: ) I say that but I lost my whole luna offspring thanks to my mother - she put all my ova in her crystal display cabinet (wtf!!!) and wonders why they all hatched without anyone noticing!!! grrr!!! I know its like im blaming my mum but actually its my little bros fault for moving out and leaving his tortoise at home, while im stuck at home looking after senile parents moving around my bugs!!! ahem! lol thats not as bad as it sounds, but the tortoises new home did oust my poor caterpillars and cost me a whole generation of luna! that was my payday! Im a hands-on save-the-world kinda guy but my bro is a computer programmer so hence has the dosh to move out before his big bro! (lol next time I wont write a post after a pint I promise :rofl: )

So any advice for a noob like me? Perhaps im just looking for a lil reassurance...

Heres some pics of my early brood before they carped it (as I havnt had much luck I havnt taken many pics... dont want to flash them to death!)

looking2.jpg [ 500.67 KiB | Viewed 870 times ]

gunaeatu.jpg [ 558.27 KiB | Viewed 870 times ]

Rob, Dorset

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 11:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:06 pm
Posts: 2359
Location: Liverpool
Glad you got into mantids, Rob! And a sterling name too haha.

Make sure you give them plenty of ventilation, and don't spray them too often. This species likes plenty of space. Fruit flies are fine for now, but they will need greenbottles at the next instar, so get some pinkie maggots now.

I only sell mantids that I have bred myself.

Keep species newly available in the UK in culture - send them to breeders. It's not about money !

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