Life cycle of Mantis Species from Resaca de la Palma State Parks (End)
• In all cannibalism occurrences during mating, the casualty was always the S. carolina adult male, where the adult male’s head
and thorax were severed, but the body continued to stay connected with the female. The body parts eventually dropped to the bottom of
the cage, but in some cases, the entire body was later consumed by the adult female, except for the wings and occasionally legs.
Conclusion and recommendation
• The slight size difference between the captive bred and wild collected S. carolina adult females may be due to the constantly
available food source provided to the captive bred batch.
• The lack of a period of quiescence for incubating ootheca seemed to suggest that there would be two breeding cycles in a year
for this species in the LGV region in Texas. The cooler winter months provide less feeder insects for the S. carolina mantis living
through the winter and thus, less number of S. carolina mantis observed in the cooler period compared to the summer months.
• Although smaller in size with less aggressive and skittish characteristics, the species appear very similar to the typical S. carolina
mantis. However, without a proper genitalia study, there was no reason to believe this was not S. carolina mantis, although the
different hatching requirements could distinguish this particular batch of S. carolina as a separate, notable subspecies.
• The observation of the body color of these mantids, both in the wild and in captivity, matched the findings by Phil Rau and Nelle
Rau presented in ‘The Biology of Stagmomantis carolina’ (see Reference 3), where the green color nymphs were observed to change
to dark gray or brown when the environment was dark, but were unable to revert back to the green color despite any further
environmental adjustments, whereas the green color nymphs remained green when the environment was predominately green. This
supported the finding that mantids discovered in darker environments were always darker brown or gray, whereas green mantids were
always found hiding in a green environment, with occasional darker colored mantids spotted in the ‘green zone’.
• The larger S. carolina, which were normally females, tended to be the aggressor when keeping the batch together. The female
was capable of devouring males and females, but was more likely to prey upon the smaller males. In general, mantids prefer smaller
prey that do not fight back when caught.
• It is best to retain more than five Stagmomantis carolina nymphs in order to study the complete growth process of both male and
female mantids, from hatchling to adult. Casualties due to mismolt, sickness, gender bias, etc. could reduce the number of nymphs
reared in captivity. In order to ensure that mantids of both genders could be observed and studied from hatchling to adult, a minimum
of 10 mantids is recommended.
• A further study on the effect of over-wintering the S. carolina oothecae on the hatching pattern would determine if the ootheca
could survive the cold winter of below freezing such as those S. carolina living in more temperate regions. This study could determine
if the population of S. carolina could continue if the LGV experienced an extremely cold winter such as that of 2010.
• A further study on the effects of different humidity, light, food availability, and temperatures on the mantids’ growth could provide
insights into how well the S. carolina mantis could adapt to sudden changes in the environment.
4.2 Bactromantis mexicanus
• Both adult males failed to survive long enough to provide sufficient information for documentation.
1.0 Mantis Species in Resaca de la Palma State Parks. Document number : RDLP-Mantis-001.
2.0 Mantis Species in Estero Llano Grande State Parks. Document number : ELG-Mantis-001.
3.0 Phil and Nellie Rau, The Biology of Stagmomantis carolina. Trans. Academy of Science of St. Louis, Vol. XXII. 1958.
|Figure 4.1-2: S. carolina adults size differences between the RDLP batch (bottom row) and ELG batch (top row)
|Figure 4.1-3: S. carolina adult males (RDLP on the
right and ELG on the left)
|Figure 4.1-3: S. carolina adult females (RDLP on the
right and ELG on the left)