Giant devil flower mantis log
Idolomantis diabolica
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(10-28-2007) The foot cube net cage appear to be crowded with all the idolomantis that are growing into 5th or 6th instar now. So i
have decided to move them into a larger net cage, with lot of thin branches. Besides, i can finally count the actual number of
idolomantis i have left. Final count came out to be 31 nymphs!!! Didn't know i still have so many left. The cage is 2'x2'x3' in
dimensions. The mantis appear to have lot of fun there. I have a light source on the top and another from the side.
(11-04-2007) I am adding another lamp inside the cage to provide a much higher temperature for this species, but there is always
this hazard of catching a fire so i have to be very careful not to use a light bulb over 60W. With plenty of food and heat, they
continue to molt, and i have a healthy and good size, and a good breeding size culture of
idolomantis. The group i received from
Germany is still growing, they are subadult right now, but i just found out they are all female.... bummer!!
(11-11-2007) THere has been a bad news to my idolomantis batch from Germany, the only male couldn't make it and die for no
reason recently. So i am down to 4 subadult female. However, it appear that my idolomantis batch from UK is catching up pretty
fast, so i should be able to breed them.
(11-18-2007) I experienced my first mismoulting casualty from a subadult female (Germany batch), she was apparently moulting
from the mesh screen from top. I later found out that idolomantis moult better from thin branches (see two pics below). The good
news is, all the idolomantis from ootheca been moulting alright, and some of them had moulted into subadult (mainly male).
(11-24-2007) The cool front kicked in recently, i have to use extra heat source to keep my idolomantis warm as they appear to
stop feeding when temperature drop below 70F. Still waiting for the first idolomantis to mature into adult. Recently, i use coconut
fiber sheet as the top screen, hopefully it will provide a good moulting surface. I am also trying it with pantyhose, besides the
regular net cage mesh screen.
(12-02-2007)More subadult specimen continue to molt out alright. I have to feed them tons of flies as they are eating like no
tomorrow. So far, all three type of fabrics provide perfect molting for them. We will see if there is an adult specimen before or
around Christmas.
Click HERE for more on previous idolomantis log.
(12-16-2007) Finally, 3 males have moulted out alright for the past three days. But it hasn't been smooth sailing, i also have two
that mismoult, the shield and legs are all well formed, but my guess is they dropped while trying to position themselves for the
wing expansion. which is really unfortunate. The net cage appear to be a great moulting material, and having lot of sticks clipped
on the roof of net cage work too. Also, a day and night cycle appear to be important for them as most of my
idolomantis  appear to
moult during dark hours.
(12-24-2007) More subadult male continue to molt into adult. The success rate is about 60% so not everything is smooth sailing.
Subadult female appear to show swelling budwing so should have adult female maturing soon. At the same time, plenty of flies is
being supplied continuously.
(12-29-2007) Glad to know the female matured into adult for me now and they are not too far away from the first male which turn
into adult. I am still keeping them in three groups, but i think it lose the purpose, which is to identify which moulting base is the
best, as i have the same result from all there different moulting surface. So, my conclusion on is that keeping them at higher temp
of 90-100F during day time and 67-75F at night, proper food, and humidity condition help the most in moulting process. Of course,
plenty of branches help too. But you will lose some in the process on last moulting, which is very frustrating. I just hope to get
about 5 pairs eventually as in my male bias group, i only have 10 subadult females to start with.
(1-13-08) Not sure what to update, the adults are too young to breed and i am still keeping them all together, females feeding
loads of blow flies. I have only one subadult left, the rest have moulted into adult, heavy casualty on mismoulting for the batch of
subadult specimen. The last moult is really difficult for this species. Now i can only hope at least a pair will mate and eventually
producing fertile ooth. Wish me luck please!! I need all your luck!!!
(1-20-08) Adult female appear to start giving off pheromones (sp?), that gets the attention of the adult male in the cage, and they
all goes ape by flipping the wing, hmmm some kind of ritual dance?! Ha! Lets hope to witness any mating in the cage. i took some
pics from inside the cage and that appear to annoy them a lot so i am going to leave them to their own "devices" in the future.
(2-3-08)Starting from last week, several adult female started to produce oothecae, i have no idea if they are fertile. Guess only
time will tell. Although i wouldn't give too much hope. Now i have three oothecae!
(2-10-08) Nothing much to update here, so far i have 4 oothecae from different females. Only god knows if it is fertile. So far there
is no casualty on both male and female adult mantis.
(2-17-08) finally i have the opportunity to witness mating  for this species, and also the threat pose capture by camera the first
time. Adult appear to be going strong and appear to be robust. I have collected several oothecae so far. Finger cross i have any
fertile one to hatch. Following are several pics of threat pose and a short clip too.
(3-30-08)THe first oothecae hatched in about 50 days after incubation. Unfortunately, many nymphs stucked to the ootheca and
on;y 2 manages to wriggle out from the ootheca safely. However, i have a good hatching rate of 60 and 30 nymphs from the
following oothecae so the future in spreading this species across the nation is looking brighter now. Few hatchling has molted
into L2!
(4-26-08)More oothecae continue to hatch. All the oothecae hatched out during early morning, basically the first light. I am letting
all of them go, and saving some for my friend to care for. But many hobbyists here in the USA also received some good number of
them, so i hope they will continue to breed.