mantis ooth reminder

xanthoman

Avid Member
last summer there were a couple of threads started by people looking to obtain chinese mantis ooths just after the season had ended. commercially available ooths can be hard to come by jun-dec. most of the commercial mantis ooth suppliers use the same regimen for breeding and/or collecting chinese and european mantis ooths, which results in a season of such. so i just thought i would post a reminder for those that may be interested. most suppliers of chinese/european mantis ooths typically have them available only from dec through june/july. i have yet to find them regularly available from any commercial suppliers year around. so for those that are interested, now is the best time to get them. mantis ooths can be kept from hatching by keeping them cool (45-55*). since they are so cheap, if a person was so inclined, they could get a dozen or so ooths now and just hatch one a month and once they got started, would have a nonstop supply of mantis available right up till next years season. during season commercially available ooth can be had from dozens of online suppliers and even sometimes found on ebay. just for reference they can be had from; http://www.naturescontrol.com/ they also supply a list of local dealers. mantis ooths of varying varieties can often be found off season in the classifieds of mantidforum.net most chams love mantis. chams that have gone on hunger strikes will often take mantis, while refusing other foods. chinese mantis are easy to raise and people who have had problems raising crickets or other feeders may want to give them a try. newly hatched chinese mantis are one of the better food offerings for newly born neonates, but you need to plan ahead, if you wait until you need them, it will be too late. adult/semi adult mantis make great feeders for larger chams too. chinese mantis can be grown to a substantial size in about 6 weeks and can reach a size of 3-5" in about 3 months. mantis also make great and interesting low maintenence pets in their own right. these were at about 10 weeks https://www.chameleonforums.com/mantis-update-41137/ jmo
 
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xanthoman

Avid Member
hatching mantis

great post.

can you force ooths into hatching by increasing heat?
as a general rule the warmer they are the sooner they hatch. 2-4 weeks are common hatch times. for first time hatchers, temps above 80*should be avoided. mantis you get online are typically refridgerated up until the time they are ordered, and may take longer to hatch than ones bought locally. i usually get mine at the "indoor sun shoppe" (they got theirs from natures control), a local grow store that stocks ooths , they do not refridgerate them and just let the ones that are unsold hatch to free roam in the store. since those have been unrefridgerated for a period of time already, they sometimes hatch in a matter of days. one year they even hatched in the car on the way home. /edit; just to be clear, although imo, they are easier to hatch and raise than most other feeders, young mantis are fairly fragile and still require a fair amount of babysitting and once they reach 2-3weeks of age you need to start seperating them if you plan on raising them to a larger size. i usually start out in a 10 g aquarium and later seperate them into a seperate 10 g and later start seperating them into deli containers. the less crowded and better fed they are, the less cannabalism there will be, but by 4-6 weeks they will need to be housed solo if you intend on raising them full size. that is the hardest aspect of raising them to adulthood.
 
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Texas Panther Man

New Member
Im going to try again this year. But keeping them fed is a pita. I hope to hatch a few ooths next spring when my clutch of falys are ready. Ive found a cheaper place for ff's than i was using so that should make feeding easier/cheaper.
 

pssh

Avid Member
Do your own cultures man :) So much easier, and if you make your own media it's even cheaper! psst, I have extra mold inhibitor if you need some.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
How do I make my own media? Is there a diy in the cham food section of the forum? Thats why I ended up lettin most of mine cannibalize last time. I got sick of buying ff's for em.
 

pssh

Avid Member
Dart frog forums :) They are the kings of fruit flies! You can also buy pre-made dry media and just cook it up as you need it (much easier, but a little more expensive.)
 

xanthoman

Avid Member
fruit fly cultures

i get most of my fruit fly culture materials from ebay. mites love fruit fly cultures and the only source i have ever found that guarantees mite free cultures is ebay seller junart79,http://cgi.ebay.com/Fruit-Flies-Culture-Kit-Makes-10-Cultures-/150474960909?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230901b00d he sells a fruitfly culturing kit (your choice of ff variety, but i prefer golden hydei) except for insecticidal shelf paper, it contains everything you need for for 10 large (32 oz.) cultures for $16+shipping, the containers, the excelcizor, the media (one of the better + lower odor premade medias i have tried) he even includes the yeast, and a mite free 32oz starter culture. thats about the price of 2 cultures from most sellers. if you start a new culture every 5 weeks, 10 cultures (assuming none of them crash or get infected) is enough to keep the casual user in a constant supply of ffs for almost a year. you could buy a single culture from the guy but its like $6or7+shipping, so you might as well get the kit . even if you dont want to do ongoing culturing , its less hassle than buying separate media and containers. so i would recomend buy the kit for the convenience of it all. mite free culturing requires the use of insecticidal (lidane)shelf paper available from several sources online. (there are other methods but the lidane paper is the least hassle). jmo
 

fluxlizard

New Member
I tried the following recipe for our fruit flies a few weeks ago after finding it online and I have to say, I am really *really* impressed with the results. The cultures are far more productive than any I have ever seen, including cultures using commercial media, and I've tried a few commercial media and several home-culture recipes over the years. For me, at least with hydei (I don't have melanogaster at the moment), this is far and away the best I have ever tried. I would guess I am getting at least 2x the production of flies as the best media I had used previously. The recipe is really simple too- no brewers yeast or mold inhibitor or other difficult to find ingredients. Everything can be purchased inexpensively at the local grocery.

Here it is-

Harvey Peterson Medium

1/2 cup Warm Water
1/2 tbs. White Sugar
1 tbs. Powdered Milk
4-6 tbs. Instant Mashed Potatoes
5-15 granules Baker’s Yeast

In a 24 or 32 oz. deli container or insect cup, dissolve sugar in warm water. Add powdered milk and stir well. Add mashed potatoes (the exact amount required will vary with the humidity level and ventilation of the cultures). Swirl the container in your hands to thoroughly mix ingredients, then let sit for a few minutes to solidify. Add yeast on top, then introduce fruit flies.
Alternatively, mix all dry ingredients together, then make up culture medium using equal amounts of mix and water
 
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warpdrive

Avid Member
Sadly I disagree with the premise that chinese mantids are easy, or easier then raising crickets or other feeders.

First off, chinese are not communal and by L2 you should be starting to separate them into at least 3 to a deli tub....1 per tub if you don't want any cannibalism.
They grow fast, so by L2 you will be weaning them off of hydeis and feeding them house flys and tiny crickets.
By L3 a mix of small crickets and BB flys will be needed.
By L4. A mix of BB flys and med crickets or small supers will be needed.
I could go on, but you can see that if someone has problems raising crickets or other feeders, chinese mantids is the last thing they should try.

Again, since they grow fast and a newbies timing might be off for when they hatch, if hatched too early, they will be too big by the time your baby chams could use them.

A far better mantis to try for baby chameleons are Gambinean spotted eye flower mantis.
First off they are communal so you can keep 10 in a deli tub and even if starved for a while will not eat each other.
They also stay small. Max size of full adults is just under 1". So if your timing is off and they start hatching before your cham babies are off of hydeis, then even at L2 or L3 they are small enough to use them.
Heck, Gambians don't even need hydeis until L4 so you won't have to use such hard to raise feeders such as crickets or house flys until adulthood.

The downside is that you won't get 100 nymphs from an ooth like the chinese.
Yet if you have a few adults breeding in your communal enclosure, then you'll have tons of ooths to play with.

Another easy to rear mantis that a newbie should start out with is Ghost mantids.
They also are communal and easy to feed if you don't mind house flys by L3 or L4.
An ooth will have between 8 and 15 nymphs, so they might only be good for 1 feeding of baby jacksons or quads. But they make a great pet or snack to feed most chameleons as they grow slowly to a max size of 2 1/2" - 3".
Let's also not forget that Ghost mantids also come from madagascar and all through central Africa from Cameroon to Somalia. So Ghost mantids are a natural feeder for many of our Chameleons.
They are a ton easier then chinese if you want to raise them to L2 or bigger for the beginner, that's for sure.
Ghosts are a lot of fun besides being an exotic mantid. They come in a few different colors so you never know just what you'll have until L5 or so.
Today was also the first day that my Green L5 female hand fed a tiny cricket from me.

If anyone wants to try an easy yet exotic mantid, you can't go wrong with ghosts.
look in the classifieds the beginning of next month for pet ghosts if you would like to try something easy...or shoot me a PM. No, I will not ship X-mas week so you must wait till the 3rd or 4th of Jan.

Harry
 
Sadly I disagree with the premise that chinese mantids are easy, or easier then raising crickets or other feeders.

First off, chinese are not communal
I have raised 30 of them together, to middle age in a small screen cage. Giving them plenty to eat is key, and raising them communally from birth. I simply kept a fruit fly cup in with them whole time, and then moved on to small crickets as they got big. At two and half to three inches in size, over crowding set in and a few acts of cannibalism took place. At that time they all got moved to their own deli cup til adulthood. This is only one example, so not alot to compare. I hope to tinker around with this species more in 2011.
 
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ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Sadly I disagree with the premise that chinese mantids are easy, or easier then raising crickets or other feeders.
So far I'm having the opposite experience! I've been trying to get cricket eggs to hatch for months and have yet to get even one pinhead. But I've got chinese mantids coming out my ears right now! I actually let cannabalism occur to thin the numbers out because I just don't have the space or time for hundred deli cups of them. I fed some off to the chams too because there were still too many. But I did have a lot of success limiting cannabalism at first by providing plenty of food like SSimsswiSS said. I've got a handful that will make it to adulthood and breed before being fed off. Stuffing the female with crickets before mating also stopped her from killing her mate after they did the nasty last generation which was nice.

I dunno, everyone says crickets are super easy to breed so maybe my luck is just backwards so the mantids are easy for some reason. :)
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
I have raised 30 of them together, to middle age in a small screen cage. Giving them plenty to eat is key, and raising them communally from birth. I simply kept a fruit fly cup in with them whole time, and then moved on to small crickets as they got big. At two and half to three inches in size, over crowding set in and a few acts of cannibalism took place. At that time they all got moved to their own deli cup til adulthood. This is only one example, so not alot to compare. I hope to tinker around with this species more in 2011.
So you agree with me. ;)

Also, let's face it. Your not a beginner with mantids.

Harry
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
So far I'm having the opposite experience! I've been trying to get cricket eggs to hatch for months and have yet to get even one pinhead. But I've got chinese mantids coming out my ears right now! I actually let cannabalism occur to thin the numbers out because I just don't have the space or time for hundred deli cups of them. I fed some off to the chams too because there were still too many. But I did have a lot of success limiting cannabalism at first by providing plenty of food like SSimsswiSS said. I've got a handful that will make it to adulthood and breed before being fed off. Stuffing the female with crickets before mating also stopped her from killing her mate after they did the nasty last generation which was nice.

I dunno, everyone says crickets are super easy to breed so maybe my luck is just backwards so the mantids are easy for some reason. :)
Raising crickets are far easier for the beginner then raising any mantid.
Breading is another story...

If you can't get pinheads to hatch then you are doing something wrong or
you are trying way too hard....you might not even be able to see them when they hatch because freshly hatched pinheads are 1/16" - 1/8" big. If kept with adults, they can also be eaten.

I just cleaned out an old dirty 10 gal fish tank I use for crickets. For 3 or 4 weeks it was empty and the laying tub was never misted in all this time. When I went to mist the tub it was bone dry. So dry that I had to till the soil to get the middle and bottom wet. Once I got it all wet, what do you know...pinheads started hatching.

I promise, once I'm back on line, I'll post a "how to" on keeping and breeding crickets. It is so easy that I don't even try and still get plenty of free crickets that make it to adulthood.

BTW, if you think keeping and breeding chinese are easy, then try violins, ghosts, and maybe idolos. Just think how easy it would be if you can raise them up to adulthood and have them breed while having like 6 in a 12x12x18 exoterra. 9 out of 10 times you won't even worry about having a headless male walking around after he did his thing.

Harry
 
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Texas Panther Man

New Member
Ever tried feeding those headless males off after they did the deed? I know others on this forum decapitate dubia before feeding them off so I guess you could feed off a headless mantid also.
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
Ever tried feeding those headless males off after they did the deed? I know others on this forum decapitate dubia before feeding them off so I guess you could feed off a headless mantid also.
I still find it funny that a headless male can not only finish the deed but still walk around for a day or two afterwards. I see no reason not to feed it off.

Harry
 
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