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Old 07-16-2010, 08:52 AM
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Default Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Using the clay technique of kitty litter and peat moss I learned about from this site I have setup a 10 gallon vertical vivarium for my Ghost Mantid trio (F/M/M) who have all molted into adults in the past few weeks and should be ready to mate soon. This will be their (hopefully) breeding chamber.



The magic mud (kitty litter & peatmoss/LFS) I'll never do the spray foam and silicone again! I smear the mud on wood where I want to initiate moss samples to grow, the slight mud coating seems to cause the wood to retain moisture longer until the next misting. Try it!










Female Green Ghost Mantid (Phyllocrania paradoxa)




Brown Male drying after his adult molt (in his own tank):



I know it's not a frog but it is a vivarium. Hopefully someone enjoyed it anyway! LOL

I would like to get some dart frogs for my empty tanks now that I have the temps in my terrarium area under control with new fans and a new AC for summer. What species does well in a pair or trio in a 10 or 20 gallon vertical setup like this? I am most interested in D. auratus blue panama, luecs and red pumilos. Which of those would be best for me as a beginner never having darts before?

Last edited by Swords; 07-16-2010 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Man, that tank looks great and those mantids are sweet looking.

Dave
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Totally badass!
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Gorgeous tank and bugs!

IMO, the pumilios would do best in the 20 vert. But they might not be best for a beginner.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

I love mantids.... that's a GREAT setup. I hope your breeding project goes well. Sell me an ootheca
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

looks like they will love that. have you ever kepted orchid mantids before?

what part of MN you from. I live just south or Red Wing
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Thanks!

I have not had a chance to keep some Orchid mantids yet, I do have Spiny Flower Mantids (Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii) one of which just recently matured I am waiting for the two others to mature:

Looks like a mature male this mantis has a big yellow "9" on it's wings when it displays them.




Immature Spiny Flower that has taken on a purple camouflage to match the purple plant in it's enclosure:



I hope to have ooths or nymphs available for sale/trade sometime soon.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

that last one rocks. so cool.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Is that last one eating the insides of a beetle? Looks amazing!
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Awesome ! Thanks for sharing.

I know they have forums for Mantids as well, right?

Whats the "average" life span of some of the different species?
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

females live longer than males, if you can get them to live a year...you're stoked
With afew species, the males might only live 2 months.

Those are soooooooooo awesome though, and you're viv looks great



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Old 07-16-2010, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Yes there is one good mantid forum here: http://www.mantidforum.net you have to join to read it though, why I don't know, but it's free.

Many of the other insect websites are UK/European and will not let people from the Usa be members since there are trade restrictions on international swapping of bugs and eggs with Europe and the Usa. Though I don't care about doing any international trades since I have sources inside the US where I can get what I want but just being able to ask questions from people more experienced with mantids and also do the fancy vivariums is all I want to do.

The mantids generally eat blue bottle flies that I hatch from pupae, sometimes I can get them to eat a cricket but it's not reliable - sometimes they just watch the cricket. They LOVE moths when I can catch them for them, so I'm trying my hand at pupating and breeding some wax moths, hoping to find a culture of the lesser wax moths as these mantids are not huge, only 3" or so.

Last edited by Swords; 07-16-2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Very nice enclosure and mantids, makes me want to get ghosts and orchids again. I like your plant selection as well, is the red one mounted in the top left in the clay Selaginella erythropus? It also looks similar to Begonia bipinnatifida. How is the Rhaphidophora doing? I would be interested to see how well it dose growing up the clay substrate as they usually prefer a harder surface to climb up. Also what kind/s of moss do you have in there? they look great.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I have been looking into getting some orchid mantids for a while now but just never delved deep enough into it. Your post has inspired me to get back into researching and possibly,finally, buying some.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Not the usual: Ghost Mantid vivarium

Hey Ghetto,

Yes that's Selaginella erythropus "Ruby Red", I've never been able to keep Begonia bipinnatifida alive for very long. I don't know what it wants but apparently I can't supply it. I've tried several plants from several sources and it fails each time no matter what sort of enclosure I put it in.

Speaking of begonias I've been looking for Begonia bognerii for years (small grassy leaves species) anybody need a kidney in exchange for a 1" x 1" clump? LOL

I've tried a Rhaphidophora sp. with white veining on the leaves several years ago mounted at the base of a plain wood branch in my Anoles vivarium and I lost the plant It grew up but only made 1/4" leaves then petered out so I'm just going to see how it does and hope for the best.
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