Mantid ootheca hatched

flpanther

New Member
The first of 15 chinese praying mantis oothecas I bought on ebay hatched today. It looks like there are at least 200 of them. They are about 1/2 inch long each but thier stick like bodies make them the equivalent of a 1/4inch cricket, they look like huge mosquitos at first glance. My 7 month old female panther has gobbled a few already, but they don't have much nutritional value at this size. I wouldn't even bother to offer them to my big male yet. Has anyone else had experience with mantids? How long will it take for them to grow big enough to be worth feeding off? I have only used them to feed juveniles before, but I just have the pair of panthers right now.
 

DrewNYC

New Member
i hatched mantids last spring and yes my cham's loved them, they grow pretty quickly. mine were not incaptivity i let them live on my terris.
drew
 

garfield1

New Member
I live in an apt. and would have to keep them inside. What do you keep them in and what do you feed/gutload them with? I was always under the impression that mantids were meat eaters (ants,aphids,spiders,crickets,etc...). I live in California and as a kid used to always catch them and feed them crickets.
 

flpanther

New Member
Yes, they are insectivores

It's kind of complicated feeding your insectivore another insectivore. You have to have prey items for your prey items. You can keep mantids in just about any container with a ventilated lid. The recenly hatched babies can eat fruitflies, which is no problem for me since I always have them for my dart frog. I have never found a nutritional analysis of a mantid, so I don't use them as a staple, plus they just aren't practical. Roaches and silkworms are still my favorite staple. Mantids make a great treat though, and I believe variety is beneficial to a chameleons mental state. Mental well being leads to better physical health. This is just a theory based on my observations.
 

garfield1

New Member
I absolutely agree about the mental health, good mental health=no stress=physically healthy, well, most of the time!!!!
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
In zookeeping you would refer to this as "enrichment".
Animals that are kept by us do not face the challenges they would in a natural setting. By offering interesting environments and new food items we try to enrich their lives. I'm not sure if a chameleon can become bored, but I do know that faced with some challenges presented by it's keeper it will get in a lot less trouble on it's own. They instinctively have jobs to do ie: scout out and establish a territory, hunt down prey, seek out water etc.
If all of this is handed to them easily they can suffer from, for lack of a better word, "boredom". This can result in becoming uninterested in the same old food, lethargy and/or restlessness.
By the way this is in no way a proven scientific statement but rather a personal theory.

-Brad
 
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