Giant Shield Mantis log
Rhombodera sp.
(7-25-2007) Couple days ago, the female decided to lay an HUGE ootheca. Glad to know this has been smooth sailing for me and
hopefully the ooth will hatch out handsomely.
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(8-5-2007) Out of the 8 female, i am pretty sure 6 have been mated and fertile. But it came with a huge price, 3 male casualty. I am
down to only 1 male. Even when fed to the extend that she rejected food, i still found half body of the male riding on the back of the
female. Obviously, while mating, female turn around and grabbed the male, and presumably finished off the head and prothorax of the
male. However, i have 4 oothecae form the females, all out them the first. So the next generation is looking good!! All oothecae have
been larger than what i have seen before from the wild collected female.
(8-15-2007) Finally all 8 female were mated. Actually, the last one is still connected to the male, if all 8 female are fertile, i will be
swarmed by loads of hatchling! I don't mind for some reason, just have to prepare loads of fruit flies cultures. The first ooth will
hopefully hatched by end of this month, all the oothecae i have so far appear to potentially produce 200 nymphs!!
(9-7-2007) August come and go, it is into first week of September now, the mated female are still laying ootheca but the first ooth is yet
to hatch. I am getting worry, finger cross it will still hatch, i will give it another 2 weeks before making the decision for a "destructive test"!
(9-15-2007) One of the oothecae hatched finally!! what a wait on this species, it certainly worth the wait. After all the hardwork on this
species, it will be hard to swallow if it fail to generate a new generation. About 350 nymphs hatched!! Casualty is there but minimal
fortunately, they are as usual feeding like mad even at L1. I almost forgot how small they are when hatched, but they sure have a huge
(9-18-2007) The first moult was being witnessed as i checked the idolomantis cage, really glad to have this species bred for the first
generation. I am re-mating some females here to increase fertility. The casualty rate increase significantly but i still have about 200
nymphs left.
(10-14-2007) Another ooth hatched out in hundreds, other ootheca hatched only few, it is very unreliable on some ooth but another
ooth hatched out just fine? I am going to just sell them off and not keeping another generation.
(10-21-2007) Another 3 ooth hatched out in hundreds, I am again out of fruit flies, well at least i expect them to be depleted in as little
as 3 days. My supply from Chuck is still in transit. ANyway, i am starting to sell off few oothecae, bet fruit flies are pleased to hear that!
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(10-24-2007) Another ooth hatched out in hundreds, but i received the fruit fly pupa from Chuck, yep Chuck to the rescue again! THe
last 4 oothecae been pretty accurate in hatching time. All hatched in 30 days. I lost one adult female from unknown sickness, as she
only produced 4 oothecae, other adult female is on the 6th ooth.
(10-28-2007) One more ooth hatched out, about 200 nymphs, i decided to get rid of anyootheca in the future to avoid caring for more of
them. I will probably keep the next 1-2 ooth to hatch, and that is it!!
(11-04-2007) Another ooth just hatched today, i have so many now i am keeping bunch of them together and let the cannibalism take
care of the number. It is crazy!!
(11-13-2007) Two of the female couldn't make it recently, i think they are sick because each of them only lay 4 ooth. My guess is the
crickets could be the culprit. I am being more careful now when feeding crickets to shield mantis.
(11-18-2007) The nymphs are growing now as i fed them lot of flight capable fruit flies and plenty of heat. But cannibalism kicked in too
but with hundreds of nymphs i will still be hand full even with 50% casualty. Anyway, i am dropping this species to concentrate on other
new species.
(11-25-2007) My mated female is still alive and couple are on their 7th ooth. That means the other female that die after laying their 4th
ooth are probably not dying due to old age, but of sickness. My first guess is food. I have bought some roaches to increase variety of
food supply in this cold winter.
(12-02-2007) I am still offloading my shield mantis nymphs around the world, they are pretty popular in the Europe apparently, but not
as marketable here in the USA. However, i still have people asking for it once a while. One of my adult female produced a huge ooth, it
was her 5th ooth but it appear to be as large as the first ootheca produced by most of the female.
(12-16-2007) I am down to the last three females, after close to 6 months as adult, female show sign of "tear and wear" with broken
legs especially on the tarsus and faded wing color. After the 6th or 7th ooth, i wonder if they are go on for another ooth. I have to say
goodbye to this species for now, even though i am  still waiting for their actual species name.
(12-24-2007) Finally all my females perished after 6 months as adult. Each produced 4 to 7 oothecae. I am dropping out this species
now to concentrate on other species. It is a shame that the actual species name remain unknown, but i am sure i will revisit
Rhombodera species again, if not this species. Following is the classic pic of my adult female devouring a mismoulted idolomantis.
(3/19/09)  I was given another chance to keep this species again when I received an ootheca from a friend living in buffalo, New York.
The ootheca hatched out about a month ago, many first instar mismolt when food source is limited but I still have plenty that molt
successfully into 2nd instar. This species has huge appetite just like the Hierodula patellifera and grow quickly. Currently I have a
batch that is about 2-3 molts away from adult. I will keep some to adult and will see if I have enough room to continue with this
species, especially when I am going to travel away from home this coming Summer.
(3/29/09) I had been busy for the past week and as a result seldom find them feeding them, which is a big mistake as larger females
tend to pick on the smaller male and now i am left with one male and dozen of female!!! Another lesson learn for this species, sort their
gender soon and separate male from female if you plan to keep them together. It wouldn't stop cannibalism but at least male wont be
picked on. I have another small batch of L3 I hope not to repeat the mistake again. I guess my previous success in breeding this
species made me a little over-confidence and care less about them, my bad!
(7/24/09) I sent most of my subadult females to Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas for the summer insect fair event and left
myself a male and 2 females to the Insect zoo in Houston. Each female has deposited one ootheca while I was on vacation and when
I received the mantis back, the male was unfortunately too weak and die. I left a female in the museum for exhibition and managed to
receive another male from a breeder. The pair mated and hopefully this species will continue for another generation for me. This will
be the last update on this species.