Life cycle of Mantis Species from Resaca de la Palma State Parks
(Part 1)
This document presents the life cycle for the praying mantis collected in Resaca de la Palma (RDLP) with the permission from Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). RDLP, in Brownsville, Texas, is part of the World Birding Center network. Together with nine
other sites (including three State Parks), RDLP forms The World Birding Center at the LGV in Texas.

There were two species of praying mantis collected in RDLP on Oct 29th, 2010. The mantids were identified as Stagmomantis
carolina and Bactromantis mexicana from the previous document (Reference 1). All adult specimens were kept in captivity to study the
biology of these insects and the life cycle of the next generation over a period of more than 6 months, until the new generation
completed their life cycle, i.e. attained adulthood.

In this document, the detailed life cycle and biology of both mantis species are presented, which includes the captive conditions,
hatching, molting, food habits, physical traits, growth, mating, body color, cannibalism, and oothecae production.

1.1        Notations
TPWD         Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
RDLP          Resaca de la Palma State Park
ELG             Estero Llano Grande State Park
LGV             Lower Rio-Grande Valley
NA                Not Available


2.1        Wild caught adult mantis
There were many S. carolina adult females spotted in the park, but only 5 adult specimens (all females) were collected for future study.
The following are the photographs of the 5 adult females.
This is a rather long and 'boring' journal I started to document since January 2011, it is about the life cycle for the mantis species
collected from Resaca de la Palme State Park in Texas. Before presenting this report, there are two people I would like to thank for
making this  happen. Their editing turn my report around to something readable. Many Thanks to Charlene and Phil!
Figure 2.1-1: SF1
Figure 2.1-2: SF2
Figure 2.1-3: SF3
Figure 2.1-4: SF4
Figure 2.1-5: SF5
SF3 and S5 have grayish/brownish body and wing color, while the rest were predominantly green in color.

Captive rearing
The specimens were first kept in small 5 oz transparent deli containers (see Figure 2.1-6) for about a week before being transferred to
the 16 oz plastic container (see Figure 2.1-7). Some females decided to deposit ootheca in the smaller container. Each mantis was
later kept individually in the 16 oz insect container with aluminum mesh lid (see Figure 2.1-11 – lid on the right) for the rest of their
lifespan. The 16 oz plastic container was about three and a half inches tall with a diameter of four and half inches at the top. There was
paper towel glued inside the container walls to provide better footing for the mantis as shown in the following photographs.
Figure 2.1-6: 5 oz container
Figure 2.1-7: 16 oz container
Figure 2.1-8: Metal mesh lid
Figure 2.1-9: Inside 16 oz container
Figure 2.1-10: Container’s height
Figure 2.1-11: Container’s width
All mantids were kept in the room regulated by a fixed set of temperatures. During the winter months (December to March), the
temperature ranged between 70-80F, by centralized air conditioning together with a space heater as backup, to avoid temperatures
from dropping below 70F. Humidity was kept at around 40%, but all mantids received water misting every evening. During the warmer
spring and early summer months, temperatures were set to about 80-85F while humidity usually remained above 50%.

The collected mantids were mainly fed houseflies (Musca domestica) and medium sized crickets (Acheta domesticus). Occasionally,
bluebottle flies (Calliphora vomitoria) and soldier flies (Stratiomyidae) were offered to the mantids (photographs of the feeder insects
are shown in Section 2.8). Houseflies and bluebottle flies were given honey water before they were fed to the mantis. More details on
mantis food is available in Section 2.8.
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To be continue - Part 2