So many mantids - SO many questions!

SueAndHerZoo

Established Member
A few days ago I received my order of 5 mantis eggs. SURPRISE: one of them hatched today! I ran to the store and got a fruit fly culture but am really confused about lots of things - I really thought I had more time to do my homework and research before they hatched.

1. If they can eat flightless fruit flies as soon as they hatch, shouldn't they also be able to eat fungus gnats right away? The reason I got the eggs is because my two bioactive enclosure are over-run with fungus gnats so Lord knows I have plenty.

2. Any suggestions how I would get said fungus gnats into the mantid enclosures so they can eat them?

3. I placed the container of newly hatched mantids in the chameleon cage (he's outside getting some fresh air) with their door open so some of them can wander into the chameleon cage, but if I put them at the bottom of the cage (where the gnats congregate, it will be too cold and dark for the mantids, right?

4. If I want to release some into the yard, can I do it now or do I wait until they are bigger?

5. Is my ultimate goal to grow these mantids out in their own containers and put them in the cham cages at a steady rate so they can eat fungus gnats before they get consumed by the chameleon? Wish me luck with that, the male is a hunter and a chow hound!

5. My fruit fly culture: never bought one before so not sure what I do with it. Do I have to feed them anything or just let them be?

Sorry for so many questions and thanks in advance for any answers!
Sue
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Afraid all I do is put the ooths in my enclosures to hatch. I hope at least some will live long enough to eat the gnats (they usually do) before becoming a snack. I had kept some aside the first time I got them and fed them fruit flies. It was a challenge to get the flies in the container without all of the mantids escaping. I took them outside to feed them as they were very skilled at escaping.
 

SueAndHerZoo

Established Member
OK, I'm sure at some point that will probably be the route I take but since this is my first hatch I'm really excited about them and might want to riase some to adulthood, or at least juvies. I need to find a big container for the hatchlings that will contain them and the fruitflies but yet let air in..... going to have to be something big and mesh I guess.
Sue
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I used a large cricket keeper but I had to hot glue fabric to cover all the little vents on the lid. I thought I’d be able to just drop the fruit flies in thru the top door, but the mantids were always right there, just waiting to escape. They are super cool little animals and I enjoyed watching them eat and grow.
They do need their enclosures to be lightly misted, both for drinking and for humidity so they can molt properly. They also need something to be able to hang from at least twice as high as their length for molting. I put in lots of little twigs for them.
 
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