|Arizona grasshopper mantis log
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During my recent bug hunt here in Tucson, Arizona, I have collected several grasshopper mantids of adult stages. Two were
adult females and are likely to have been bred in the wild, but I also have many adult male of same species collected on the
field so I have decided to mate the female just in case. This species must be able to handle high temperature as I was really
exhausted looking for this species under hot sun with temperature above 100F!!! Both adult male and female are wingless even
as adult. The adult also jump like grasshopper (thus the name) and when I said jump I mean they really like to jump!
As i have many adult males of this species, i decided to mate the female with the adult males just in case she hasn't been bred
in the wild. I realized immediately that the adult female is pretty cannibalistic as both the males became the females snack!
However, i was rewarded when both females deposited oothecae that is only half a cm long, thin and black in color. The seam
of the ootheca is lighter in color.
Adult females continue to feed on lot of flies and i am still waiting for the first ootheca to hatch. The female has eaten all my
adult male but not before being mated several times to each female. This species does not climb smooth surface very well so
plenty of raffia with towel paper-lined plastic container is required. The female prefers to deposit the ootheca at the hidden
area in folded raffia grass.
I am down to only two adult female while the rest of the adult males have fall victim to cannibalism. One of the female also
showed sign of weakness due to old age, with one broken leg, but both continue to feed on flies. I only keep one ootheca of this
species, it hasn't hatched yet i wonder if they need overwinter. That's the problem with new species...sigh.....
(3/19/09) After close to 2 months of letting the oothecae outdoor with the lowest temperature at freezing point, the oothecae
were brought back indoor at 80-85F. the oothecae starting to hatch after 5-6 weeks. Each ootheca hatched out 1 or 2 every
other day. The hatchling is so small that it might have problem handling D. melanogaster. I would suggest something smaller
like spring tail. I left another set of oothecae in constant indoor temp. of no lesser than 70F and it still hasn’t hatched. This might
suggest that a diapauses might be required to kick start the life cycle. I have sent all (both overwinter and non-overwinter)
oothecae to another friend in New Mexico to keep track of the oothecae. There is a plan to revisit Tucson this coming Summer
so if that happen I am sure to bring more of this species back.