|Empusa mantis log
Traded some Empusa sp. from Poland recently, i thought it was E. pennata but was later told that it is E. Fasciata instead.
Regardless, they are cool looking, i have 4 L4/L5 nymphs and 3 L2 nymphs. I am keeping them hot and dry at this moment.
(90F/40-50%). They have started to feed on house fly and fruit flies and doing well. This species remind me of the gongylus (violin).
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Well now i am not sure if they are E. fasciata or E. pennata. Lets wait till they grow into adult. Either way, they are great looking
species. I am keeping them as hot as the idolomantis which is 95F, no spraying at all. This species is supposed to stop growing at
subadult when winters kick in, and will not mature till the following year. I will keep a pair in that condition while another pair
continue in hot environment.
They are still stubbornly staying at sub-subadult stage. However, they are eating and pooping fine. So i have little worry. I am
slowly reducing the daylight hour for them, hoping to initiate the beginning of the winter and therefore "fool" them into believing
the winter is fast approaching and end in as little as a month when i will increase the daylihgt hour and the temperature again.
Wether it is going to work that way or not, we will know that hopefully by Christmas.
I have noticed a slow down in growth and almost completely stop on molting. The day light hour for them been reduced
tremendously. Temp. been kept at 70-mid 70s.
They continue to stay on the same stage, guess the shortening of daylight hour is working on them. Will keep them in this
condition for another 2 weeks.
After about a month of cooler period and less day light, they are brought to the warmer temperature, and almost immediately both
the males moulted into subadult. Lets hope the female will molt soon as well.
I have a feeling that i am not going to make it for this species. One of the male matured into adult recently and the other male is
going to soon. While the other two females remain at 2 moults behind. My guess is the 1 month cooling period works for the male
but female is not buying it. Bummer!! Lesson learn: incubation period has to be longer than 1 month!!
The female probably heard me crying for them, one of the female decided to moult into subadult, which hopefully give me a slim
chance of breeding this beautiful European species. I am still keeping the male in hot temperature and they are feeding on blue
(01-06-08) Ok i have another female moulted into subadult stage, that gives me a slim chance that i may be able to get an adult
pair. I am still keeping them very warm at 90-95F and hope for the best (i.e. male will survive long enough)
(01-13-08) Female are being fed continuously, at the point which they rejected flies all together. So i tried hand feed them with
roaches and that appear to work! they love it! lets hope female will mature soon with this hand feed method. She is still growing
and her budwing is hopefully swelling soon.
(01-20-08) AFter careful review, this species appear to be Empusa fasciata. Thanks to Jose from Spain who gave me the
guidance. The method for differentiate several empusa mantis can be seen in the following pics. Glad it is all figured out. See
lobes on base of coxa on the middle and hind legs to differentiate the species of empusa, the pic shows lobes on subadult female
and adult male. Now i can only hope the female will mature sooner, as i am not sure how long can the male hang on.
(01-27-08) One of the subadult female finally showing sign of molting with bulging budwing, i am hoping the adult male can hang
on for another month so there is a chance to breed this species.
Edit (01/28/08): This morning she molted into adult, she is beautiful.
(02-10-08) Just about 6 days after turning into adult, i introduce the female into a large cage with two adult males of about 6 week
old. Leave plenty of flies and basically left to their own devices. Couple of days ago i was surprised to see an ootheca!! This has
got to be the species where a female is capable of producing ootheca this early after turning adult. As i didn't witness mating, i
am assuming that she could have been mated which resulted into oothecae production this early stage. I was shocked again to
see another ootheca the next day!! and this time the pair was witnessed mating. This species surprise me beyond my wildest
dream! Since the day i found the first ooth, she has produced three oothecae in 4 days!
(02-17-08) Last female mature into adult, but unfortunately the first male appear to be sick and die shortly. I will try to mate the
female a week later with another surviving male after she is heavily fed. By the way, the first adult female is still depositing ooth
frequently, so far i have 5 oothecae from her in about 10 days since she first layed her first ootheca. I am keeping the ooth the
same condition as the adult and was told the ootheca could hatch in as little as 2 week!
(02-24-08) Now i no longer have doubt about how soon this species can hatch. It is merely 2 weeks and the first ootheca hatched
out for me when kept under the same condition as parents (Except that i gave one extra mist every two days)!! it was a small ooth
so there are only 5 nymphs. I am impressed!! So there we go another species goes under my belt on successful breeding. The
nymphs are much darker than their grown up parents.