Betta Fish Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought this beautiful little California praying mantis nymph from an exotic pet store that I didn't know existed till two days ago. /brick'd
I call her Mari, which is short for marigold (which was in the tank with her at the shop). I keep her in a small kritter keeper with a plastic plant to climb on. She's a real sweetie, and whenever she sees my hand she reaches with her little arms 'till she can get to me.

However, she won't eat. I've tried very small crickets, ants, a teeny caterpillar, and a weird unnamed gnat thing I found in my kitchen. She basically ignores them - one ant walked right in front of her and she just watched it, and she literally stepped right over the caterpillar. I don't know if she's getting ready to molt, or if she's nervous, or what her problem is. I'll be buying a container of flightless fruit flies from Petco as soon as they get them in stock and hope for the best with those guys, but until then, does anyone have any tips for getting her to eat? I'm getting nervous that she might not last too long if she doesn't eat soon. Thanks to anyone who can help!~

Here's her picture:


And her home:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,980 Posts
grats on Mari (love the name)
I don;t know a thing about them. However, I saw them once in the LPS and was moaning aloud about the price for them because I saw a dead one.. Then I looked again and it was alive and I got scared until I figured out that it had molted and I was looking at it's shed skin o.o A little traumatized.
I don't know what to do to encourage her to eat. Maybe they don't eat a lot anyways and she just ate recently at the store?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Heh, I would probably be traumatized as well. I know when Mari molts, I'll freak, especially since she's great at hiding.
And I guess she might have eaten recently, although considering it's been 2 days since I've bought her you would think she would at least acknowledge her food. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
What a beautiful insect! I used to be obsessed with these....then one day I went outside and in the corner of the doorway I saw a praying mantis stuck in a spider web, freaking out and trying to get away. I ran to grab my kritter keeper but when I came back the thing had escaped. It was a light brown color, very beautiful with a crinkled leaf pattern. These guys are just big helpers. I think one day I'll buy some praying mantis eggs, hatch them, and just let them all loose into my yard :)
Good luck with your little bug :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
Awh! So adorable.. our kitchen's always got a few mantises roaming about in it during the warmer months, since we don't have window screens.

What instar stage is she? Two or three?

She may be getting to ready to molt, which means she won't be very hungry or appreciate being disturbed.

And she may not eat ants at all - they have a nasty smell and taste that a lot of predators don't like. If the weather is warm, try leaving a glass of red wine outside with a thin bit of cloth over it. Little fruit flies are attracted to the wine (we call them 'wine buddies' :-D ) and may land on the cloth so you can catch them. Mantises are also attracted to motion, so try holding a very small moth by one wing while the other flaps.. or ripping one wing off, if you're not squeamish, and letting it crawl around. The tricky thing is stress during molting isn't good, either.. so best to put a few small wingless moths or flies in to crawl about rather than putting your hands near her. Placing her in a smaller container while she's little at feeding times may help her find the food!

Are you misting her leaves now and then to provide a little moisture?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
To add to Aus's post....
Another way to get fruit flies, which is how I used to catch them for my (wild) treefrogs that I caught and kept for a while was....
What you need~~~
1 glass jar (small preferred)
1 ripe banana
1 bottle cap
1 piece of cloth (thin) that is large enough to cover the opening of the jar
Rubberband
Cloth large enough to over tank
Some time

What you need to do is take the (clean) glass jar and set it down. Take the banana, peel it, and take the softest part out with your fingers. Put the piece inside of the bottle cap and leave it outside for a couple of days. Make sure that it's near a place where a compost pile might be, or near a fruit bowl in your house, so there are lots of fruit flies.
After a couple of days (or even a few hours) you'll see that the banana is turning mushy and brown. This is good. Soon fruit flies will be drawn to the scent, and will hang out on/around the rotten fruit. They will lay their eggs inside of the banana piece, and will hand out for a bit. Watch the jar carefully, now.
When you see a lot of fruit flies around (usually around 7-10), take the cloth and wait for most of them to get in the jar. Once "enough" are in, quickly cover the top with the cloth. Rubberband it down so that no flies can escape.
Wait around 3 days with the jar in your house in a warm, out of direct sunlight location. You'll see more fruit flies than every hovering around. Now, here's the tricky part. You don't want flies all over your house, so take the mantis tank outside along with the culture of flies.
Take the bottle cap out from the jar and carefully put it in the tank where your mantis WILL find it, and where plants and things won't cover it. Use the larger cloth to cover the tank's lid so no flies will escape.
I hope this works and your little buddy can finally eat!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
Aren't these guys super endangered? I'm surprised they're being sold in stores. Or am I still living in the past and they've recovered now? Hahaha.

I just remember my dad always telling me to be careful when I found one because we could get a huge fine if something happened to it (not that they would know, but I dunno lol).

He's cool though. Would be fun to keep one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for all of the help, everyone! Turns out the little thing was just molting - when I went to mist her cage yesterday morning I found her shell on the ground and she was happily munching on a cricket I had given her a couple of days before. She's eaten a couple of wingless fruit flies since then too, so I think she's good to go. I'll definitely keep those ways to catch fruit flies in mind, though - they might come in handy later on. <3

And no, I don't think mantis's are endangered. Maybe a few particular species, but so far I haven't seen a law against hurting them and they seem to be all over around here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Aren't these guys super endangered? I'm surprised they're being sold in stores. Or am I still living in the past and they've recovered now? Hahaha.

I just remember my dad always telling me to be careful when I found one because we could get a huge fine if something happened to it (not that they would know, but I dunno lol).

He's cool though. Would be fun to keep one.
THis is an old wives tail that has gone around for a long time. Some people say its illegal to keep/kill them, or that they are endangered. It's not true. They are actually really cool pets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,736 Posts
Walking sticks are endangered here so are mantis's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Walking sticks are endangered here so are mantis's
I'm curious where you live. I know in the US there is no protection for Praying Manti, in fact the most common species (Mantis religiosa) is commercially bred for insect control in organic farms. You can literally order them by the thousands from farm supply. You are correct that Timema walking sticks are endangered, their habitat is mostly in california.

If you are not in the US it is possible that Praying Manti are endangered as there are many different species out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,736 Posts
I live in Upstate NY and they are a threatened species.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I live in Upstate NY and they are a threatened species.
I think you are misinformed. Only one species of mantis (Apteromantis aptera) is threatened that I know of, and they are native to the Iberian peninsula (Spain). The ground mantis (Litaneutria minor) is also considered threatened in canada but they are quite common in the US.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,736 Posts
Well I looked it up and they said one was threatened in Upstate NY all I can say is I want one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,736 Posts
I would be afraid of killing it. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,128 Posts
Thank you for all of the help, everyone! Turns out the little thing was just molting - when I went to mist her cage yesterday morning I found her shell on the ground and she was happily munching on a cricket I had given her a couple of days before. She's eaten a couple of wingless fruit flies since then too, so I think she's good to go.
YAY! I had a feeling she was molting. Glad that was the case!

And LOL.. and of course, fruit flies would love bananas! Dunno why I didn't think of that. Perhaps because open bottles of red wine are so common in my house in summer. >> And always get 'wine buddies' floating in them.. :lol:

Did you keep the shell? xD

The mantises that invade our kitchen in summer have bright red eyes. We probably get 2 or 3 a week, as we don't have bug screens and get all sorts of winged insects.. and spiders.. big ones..:shock:

I've never minded bugs in the house. I bring them in sometimes. :lol: I love it when the mantises come in though. We sit them on our hands for a bit sometimes before we take them out again, or they quickly dehydrate (or are eaten by the cat). I'm seriously thinking of keeping a vaseful of leaves to mist, just to help the ones I don't see in time to get a drink.. up high on the bench, in case of kitty.

Then I'll end up with pet bugs all over the house, as well as bettas. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
My brother purchased a nymph praying mantis. He is the bug expert, not me. Ironically, he is much younger than me.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top