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Bordered Mantis

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Other common names: Arizona Mantis

Scientific name: Stagmomantis limbata

The basics:
The Bordered Mantis is native to the western United States and Mexico. Stagmomantis limbata live in trees and bushes and use their bodies as camouflage to hide as they wait to prey on insects. Like other Mantids, the Bordered Mantis is an aggressive predator, and are easy to feed. However, like all Mantids, Stagmomantis limbata are cannibalistic, and only one individual should be kept in an enclosure.

Appearance / health:
This mantis can grow upwards of 3 inches. Their colors will range from a dark brown color to bright green.

Behavior / temperament:
Bordered Mantis are usually docile and easy going. They may get aggressive while feeding. Handling is not recommended as they can fall and get injured. These are very active mantids and make wonderful additions to anyone’s collection; beginner or expert.

Housing:
A fully screened enclosure works best for all mantids as they are fully ventilated. Baby mantids may live in a temporary jar with many air holes punched in the lid and sides. They may be housed together, but enclosure space will need to grow according to how many are being housed. However, it’s best to house separately as cannibalism is very common.
Temperatures should stay around 75-85F with humidity levels of 60-70%. Humidity is important especially around molting time. Substrate is best as potting soil or a mix of peat and potting soil; 1-2 inches deep. Tank décor is highly important and should be items such as vines, twigs, branches, and many other climb-able items. They also need a place for molting and this can be a branch laid horizontally at the top of the tank. They will hang upside down to molt, so make sure there is room underneath the branch. Misting the tank during molt time is beneficial. If not molting, mist the tank 1-2 times a week to keep the range between 60-70%.

Diet:
Adults should be offered variety especially before breeding time. Offer crickets, flies, moths, and other insects. Babies should be offered fruit flies, pin head crickets, and other small insects. If more than one are being housed together, always make sure food is abundant to prevent cannibalism.

Breeding:
Once the male and female have had their last molt, they are ready to breed. About 2 weeks from the last molt, introduce the male into the females enclosure. If she is receptive, she will allow the male to jump on her back and get positioned for breeding. If she allows this, copulation will begin and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a day. Once mating is finished, make sure to remove the male as female African Mantids are very aggressive and will not hesitate to hunt them down for food. Whether she was fertile or not, 3-4 weeks later she will lay her egg case. Keep this at the same temps and humidity as the adults and in about 4-6 weeks later, nymphs will hatch out. Care for these just as the adults.

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