Grass mantis log
Thesprotia graminis)
I only have 1 adult female and 2 L5 nymphs left. I will most likely go out and collect more wild species this coming summer.
Well, my first ooth hatched! about 10 nymphs now but i hope more will hatch tomorrow.
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The adult female laid an ooth yesterday. I hope it is fertile, guess will find out in 3 weeks. The only 2 L5 nymphs are a pair.
The adult female laid the second ooth yesterday. The nymphs hatched on 2-7 have all molted into L3. Very fast growth.
The adult female laid her third ooth 3 days ago. I am still waiting for her first ooth to hatch. I must have overfed this female. The
nymphs have all molted into L4 nymphs.
The adult female continue to lay ooth, her fifth! I must have missed one of her ooth laid previously.
I have sold out all the nymphs for this species except for the adult female.
During my recent bug hunt here in Houston, I have collected several grass mantis from nymphs to adult stages. Two were adult
females and are likely to have been bred in the wild. This is a good sign that the species is making a comeback here. It was a very
wet Summer last year and I could not find any of this species in the park. So I promptly feed the adult female with lot of house flies
and both deposited oothecae the next day, and another one after 4 days. This species prefers temperature around 80-85F and
high humidity of >70%.
Both of the ootheca hatched so that means both have been bred in the wild. Glad to see the hatchling of this species again. It took
only 16 days for the first ooth to hatch!! The small nymph would stretch the front legs out posing as a stick soon after hatching.
The hatchlings appear to be thin but are able to catch and hold on to the small fruit flies. I also have several nymphs molted into
subadult stage. This species usually lives on short grasses. Adult female climb to the tree bark to deposit ootheca.
The first subadult male molted into adult today. Glad to see adult male for this species again. I can use him to re-mate the wild
collected adult female again if necessary. Another 3 subadult male and another subadult female will hopefully molt into adult in a
week or so. (Edit: the first instar nymphs took less than a week for the first molt : 9-28-08)
9-30-08: the hatchlings have starting to molt into L2 which is almost twice the length of L1. I still continue to feed them with D.
melanogaster which appear too big for them to handle. But then they are able to handle it even at L1 so even a D. hydei should be
a problem now for L2.
10-07-08: The new generation grows up quickly with plenty of wild fruit flies. Some have molted 3-4 times by now. I also have
more subadult molted into adult, about 4 male and 1 female. Guess the male will have to fight for this lady now and hope his head
stay intact!
10-12-08: Decided to pair up the lone female which matured about 10 days ago. Mating took place quickly as soon as i leave both
of them together in a net cage. Male of this species will move around the female and turning a few circle on the female's back
before settling in. I am quite surprise that female is very tolerate with the male which doesn't appear to be gentle or careful at all.
10-18-08: Lot of new generation hatched from the oothecae by wild collected females. One of the female die recently but the other
is still going strong. But i have another female which matured in captivity starting to deposit ootheca after mating. The first batch
that hatched are now just 2-3 molts away from adult!! This species not only has the least incubation time they also grow fast!
10-22-08: the older batch finally slows down as I kept them cooler and fed less. Hatchlings are still popping up here and there for
me; the little nymphs resemble the miniature shape of the adult female when they stretched their front legs forward mimicking a
12-02-08: I have sent out all the nymphs leaving only one adult female. She is mated and continue to deposit oothecae every 3-5
days if well fed. This female has huge appetite, blue bottle won't stop her for trying to grab it with its small front legs.
(3/19/09) As of today I have given away all my grass mantis to friends around. The previously wild caught batch was very
productive which is typical for this species (20 oothecae from each female is not uncommon). The new generation grew up in as
little as 2 months and ready to mate again. This species is pretty common in Texas I am sure I will come across some in the