Zoology Help me with a big problem

Discussion in 'Zoology' started by Icewolf, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    Ok, I want a Praying Mantis as a pet, but i'm useless at searching the internet and was hoping you all could help me.

    Can I keep one in Scotland?
    Where would I keep it? (how much - cost)
    What does it eat? (how much)
    Whats the best species to get? (how much)
    Any special equipment i need? (how much)
    Anything else I need to know?

    thx a bunch, my mum might let me get one, if i know enough about it.
  2. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    well here in NZ they are very common, as or climate is about the same I imagine they would be in Scotland too, but maybe not in winter! Look on rose bushes...in summer

    Anywhere near Edinburgh? Give these guys a call..

    Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World
    Walk around and experience the world of hundreds of free flying butterflies and take a close look at live tarantulas, scorpions, stick insects, praying mantis and much more
    Dobbies Garden Centre, Lasswade (just off City Bypass Gilmerton exit)
    10am - 5pm daily
    Phone: 0131 663 4923
  3. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    thx, i know where to see one now (hopefully) do you know much about them helen, (would you let a 15 year old have one as a pet?)
  4. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    well I don't know how beneficial a praying mantis would be as a pet....you can't pet them!

    They are fun to watch thou...my kids occasionally capture them and put them in a jar...fun to add some live flies...they sit very still, then WHAM! all over for the fly...

    they are kinda cool...would be no drama having one as a pet (no cleaning up, no food, no walks!)
  5. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    any escapees, should i be worried about chasing it about the house with a big net?
  6. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Here is an article found at http://exoticpets.about.com/od/mantids/p/mantids.htm that is specifically on how to keep them as a pet.

    Species : There are over 2500 species of mantids. Several of these are available within the insect hobby, such as the African Praying Mantis (actually more than one species - Sphodromantis belachowski, centralis, gastrica and lineola ), which is suitable for beginners.

    Size: Range from around 1 inch or less up to about 6 inches, depending on the species and sex. The most commonly kept pet species are in the range of 2-3 inches or so.

    Expected Life Span: The maximum life span of mantids is a year for the entire life cycle, but most will only live as adults for about 6 months (less for some species).

    Characteristics: Mantids come in a huge range of sizes, shapes and colors. Some look like twigs (and use this as camoflage), some resemble crumpled dead leaves, and others have brightly colored and delicate features that make them look like blossoms. They also come from a variety of climates (mostly tropical). However, all mantids are carnivores, feeding mainly on other insects and spiders (some of the larger mantids may even eat small amphibians and reptiles).

    Housing : Mantids should be housed individually. However, they only need smaller tank -- a general rule of thumb is to use a tank that is at least twice as wide and three times as tall as the mantid, but not too much larger than that. If the tank is too large the mantid will have a hard time finding its prey. One foot cubed is a good size for many mantids. The height of the tank is important to provide space for molting. A mesh top is preferred, and mesh openings on th side are good if possible.

    Substrate and Furnishings: A substrate of an inch or two of soil, peat, peat or soil mixed with sand, or vermiculite can be used in the bottom of the tank. This will help retain moisture. Several twigs should be provided and should reach almost to the top of the tank as the mantid will need space to hang from a twig for molting. Live potted plants or artifical plants can be used too, but make sure not to overcrowd the tank. Your mantid will need space to move about, hunt, and molt.

    Temperature : This is one of the most important aspect of husbandry and one that can vary with different species. Some species are tolerant of variations but some have very specific needs, so check your species! The commonly kept African mantis (spedcies listed above) should be kept at 70-86 F (21-30 C). If additional heat is necessary a small undertank heating mat can be used (as sold for reptiles and hermit crabs). For species caresheets try DeShawn's Mantid Kingdom or MantisUK.com.

    Humidity and Water: The required humidity also varies between species (e.g. the African mantid requires 60% humidity). Regular light misting of the will help provide humidity. A small shallow water dish containing pebbles or a piece of sea sponge to prevent drowning can also be provided and will provide a humidity boost. Most mantids will get their water intake by drinking water droplets off vegetation provided by misting (some may use the water dish). Be careful the humidity does not get too high.

    Feeding: A variety of feeder insects should be provided. The best way to make sure nutritional needs are met is to feed a number of different kinds of prey (fruit flies and aphids for nymphs, instars and smaller mantids, and a variety of flying insects such as moths, fruit flies, and house flies along with an occasional cricket or mealworm for larger ones). Make sure the prey has been gut loaded (feed a vitamin enriched food to the prey, which will be passed on to the mantid).

    Additional Infomation: As always, check your local laws before deciding on a mantid as a pet as they may be illegal where you are.
    Interesting mantid facts

    Mantid Terminology: the term mantid and mantis are often used interchangeably. Technically, the term mantid is the correct way to refer to all mantids, or members of the (sub)order "Mantodea." The term Mantis is technically limited to members of the genus "Mantis" within this large family. The term praying mantis may have originally referred to a specific species, (Mantis religiosa, the European mantis) but now the terms praying mantid (and praying mantis) are used widely to refer to any of the large family of mantids. The "praying" descriptor arose from the way the that mantids hold their grasping front legs, as if in prayer.

    Mantids go through simple (incomplete) metamorphosis, so rather than having a larval stage (such as a caterpillar) they start out as very small wingless replicas of the adult (nymphs) that grow and mature in several successive molts.

    Mantids are marketed in gardening circles as pets control aids.
  7. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    hmm, thanks a lot, now i put it to my mum and see if i get one!!
  8. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    The pet will only live for about 6 months to one year. So,, just as you realize that it is a short term pet
  9. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    they move VERY slowly....no chasing necessary if they escaped!
  10. Mizar

    Mizar Premium Member

    I've only seen one real wild mantis first hand before. It was intresting to watch it and look at it.
  11. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    I'll tell you what is the COOLEST pet... a chameleon, my brother kept one as a pet when we were in Zimbabwe

    awesome creatures!
  12. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    hmm, can I breed mantids i've heard the female eats the male after the business (i still call it that, lol) but could I seperate him and give her lots of crickets or something instead? Short term pet becomes long term pets.
  13. Icewolf

    Icewolf Premium Member

    One prblem after another, I'm allowed one, but I need to get the money myself, hmm, now how will i go about doing that?