Florida bark mantis
Gonatista grisea
I had a chance to keep this species two years ago. It was actually an ootheca traded from Paul Bollinger. The ootheca hatched out
about 40 nymphs and I kept most of the nymphs until L3/L4 before letting them go due to commitment on other mantis species and
my PE license exam. However, i was lucky to have a chance to rear some subadult specimen collected from Paul again.

Stock: Wild collected from Paul at Florida.
Nymphs: 3 female and 4 male (subadult)
Food: crickets and roaches
Temperature/Humidity: 85F/60%
Cage: Keeping in group in 32oz plastic container with towel paper
Note: These species appear to have the ability to imitate the background color for camouflage purpose. Almost none of the 7
specimen i have resemble similar colors.
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Well I lost quite a few subadult and adult when I was away from home. One escape and several die mis-molting. I am down to only
3 mantis left. I realized that 32 oz plastic container is too small for this species and the small enclosure is causing the damage in
their eyes (especially the male). I moved the only male into a larger container and put the other two females in large net cage. I left
the fluorescent light on (dim light) at night when they are active. I continue to feed the barky with flies, crickets, and roaches.
This species is taking its own sweet time to molt into adult. The first female finally matured into adult after close to a month (could
be more as I received her as subadult a month ago). The male is still showing no sign of swelling on budwing which means
another maybe 2 weeks to go. It is all about the waiting game.
Finally, the subadult male matured and this one has no eye damage, so this species requires a large enclosure with lot of bark to
thrive and remain healthy. In less than two weeks I will try my luck on pairing them up. The adult female has been adult for 2 weeks
and has been “calling” for the past few days. Wish me luck!!
THe adult male is doing fine and feeding on roahces and crickets, in a week i will let the adult female in his enclosure. Wish me
luck! He is the only adult male i have at the moment.
9-30-08: The female chased down a huge cricket and finished it all yesterday. While male does show much interest on food. I am
still letting the female continue her “mating call” but it should be time soon that I place them both together and hopefully it sparks
magic ;)
10-07-08: For the past few days i let the female in the same cage with male. I have witnessed male on female's back several times.
Female seems to be aware of my present and appear very nervous. I took couple of pics and let them alone. Pairing seem to
happen at night. I can only hope the male knows what to do! I continue to keep the cage warm and humid (85F/70%).
10-12-08:The only male passed away few days ago, he didn't last too long, now i can only hope he did his deed. The female
produced an ootheca a day after the male die. Only time can tell if this ootheca is fertile.
10-22-08: The female produced another egg case probably a day ago. I seldom feed her but she appears to do alright. I was hoping
to find another male for her just to confirm mating. I lost the other subadult female few days ago after puking some nasty liquid. She
must have eaten some dirty flies bummer!!
11-02-08: The lone female is being fed sparingly, and she hasn't produced another ootheca since. Her coloration is now matching
and blend well with the bark i placed inside her cage. This species must be very tough to spot in the wild if they remain motionless.
But once it move they will almost certain to be spotted.
12-02-08: The ootheca hatched finally about couple of week ago. The hatchling appear to be weak although i have a good hatch out
rate of about 40 nymphs.
(3/19/09) The adult female continues to produce oothecae total up to 5. I managed to get rid of all the hatchling and send the adult
female to the museum for exhibition. She is still doing well. I am dropping this species out for now it has been a wonderful
experience and I learn a lot with this native species from this breeding experience.