I first came across this stick like mantis in early Spring 2004 when i acquired an ootheca from Louisiana. By late Summer 2005, I had a chance to actually track down their natural habitat They are indeed a neat species, just like a cross-breed between phasmid and mantid. Female have a small pair of wing but i have never seen a male before, so they must have reproduced through parthenogenesis. This species have a small head and very long body, great camouflage when hiding in tall grass within their natural habitat.
About a dozen or more of adult female were collected from wild by Summer 2005, and laying ootheca the next day. This species were located in a group of 2-3 in close proximity, so I kept them together in a huge cage without problem. However, after separating them into group of 3, one of the adult female were eaten after 2 weeks, so I decided to keep them in individual cage instead.I guess praying mantis is cannibalistic by nature so when opportunity arrives, they will take the easy meal!
Ootheca of this species takes a while to incubate, my first ootheca took 4 month before hatching, and few emerged daily. The largest group I have in a single day was around 10 nymphs. It continue to hatch one or two every week. I was amazed to see one hatched out almost a year after the first hatch!
The hatchlings are very small and slender, and has yellowish antenna. They continue to grow very long after few molts. They feed small fruit flies from L1-L3, but capable of getting larger flies after L4.
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