Mantis eggs arrived.... questions

SueAndHerZoo

Established Member
I ordered and received 5 of the North Carolina species and now am trying to figure out what to do with them. I would like to put one or two in each chameleon cage and then put the rest in individual containers and possibly give them to friends and relatives for their garden. Couple of questions - hoping someone can help:

1. If I put the eggs in the cham cage, will the chameleon eat the hatchlings before the hatchlings have a chance to eat some of my fungus gnats? In other words, should I hatch them somewhere else and then put them in a few at a time so my piggy cham doesn't devour them all in a day?

2. I'm worried that the ones I hatch in the house may take a long time since it's now spring/summer and it's often 68-70 degrees in my house. Granted, the inside of the cham cages gets warmer, but not much warmer at the bottom. Should I somehow hang the eggs closer to the heat lamp? I did see a video that said you are supposed to keep the eggs up high, not down low.

3. I'm thinking of creating individual containers for 3 of the eggs and keeping them inside my "she shed" until they hatch, but is there harm in it getting TOO warm for them? It gets HOT in that shed in the heat of the day!

Thanks in advance for any tips or experiences.... I'd like to keep these gnats under control but also want to have some fun with some mantises as pets for a while. Hey, should I concoct some sort of "grow-out" cage for some of the mantises so they can be put in the cham cages when they are adults, or do they only eat gnats when they are hatchlings? Sorry, guess that's question #4!
Sue
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes chams will eat them all immediately so stagger them
Your house is plenty warm, depends how hot shed is but I think high 80's probably ok
They'll keep eating gnats until they are too big to care about them. But if you let them "grow up" you will have to feed them continuously so they don't eat each other, you must initially use the SMALL fruit flies.

I just hatch a container, put a bunch in each cage for several days and before the rest die I release outside. In my experience they don't live more than 3 days or so without food ( I mist for water)

Chams definitely enjoy larger mantids if they get the chance!
 

SueAndHerZoo

Established Member
Thanks, that was helpful! I know my local pet stores almost always have fruit flies so as soon as I see them starting to hatch I'll go load up. If I want to "gift" a container of them to a few people, do they need to care for the youngin's or can they just release them in their gardens?
Sue
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh for sure release them! They are fabulous hunters. All they need to do is maybe mist the plants they put them on for some water the fist day or two, after that the dew will be fine.
 
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