Creobroter gemmatus also called flower mantis imitates flowers like all of its species. Both sexes as adults have a green coloration and on the wings a so-called eye spot of different shape. The eyespot is yellow and oval with a black border. Freshly hatched larvae so-called mimicry are red/black colored and look like ants. In the course of further molts the larvae take on a green-beige coloration and after the mature molt green coloration. When it takes a threatening posture you can see that the hind wings are colored pink at the base and carry a deterrent spot.
A very beautiful and above all interesting species in an optimal size. It is really exciting to observe the physical changes in the different stages.
The oothema deposition is a fascinating process. You can see them really pumping and weighing.
They eat with great pleasure and abundantly, so that you can also study their feeding behavior extensively.
Male: 3,5 cm
Female: 4,5 cm
L1/L2: Drosophila melanogaster
L3/L4: Drosophila hydei
L5/L6: Lucilia sericata
L7/adult: Calliphora sp.
Creobroter gemmatus are found on flowering, strongly branched shrubs. There they wait for approaching nectar seeking insects. It has a relatively large catchment area that extends over South, Southeast and East Asia. There is a relatively high humidity which is between 50-60% during the day and increases by 10% at night. The temperature during the day is between 25-30°C and what is very important, not below 20°C at night. The large catchment area also means that the species is not particularly susceptible to minor fluctuations.
Please note, in higher altitudes where temperatures drop lower than 20°C, it is no longer found.
Keeping in a terrarium:
I keep them in groups at this stage in a 500 g/ml packing cup. In the lid I cut out an opening and flushed a ladies stocking underneath. On the side I have added a vent for safety. At the beginning I take untreated wood wool as climbing possibilities and as ground kitchen towels. There must always be twice the size of the mantids at the bottom, so that the moulting can proceed smoothly. In the evening I spray the substrate so that it is almost dry the next evening. When spraying, it is better to start a little more carefully and approach slowly. Waterlogging is more dangerous for your animal like a slightly lower humidity. There should always be enough Drosophilas in the container. I change the kitchen cloth at least once a week, depending on how they rage in it. If you buy single animals now you can go straight to L3/L4.
Creobroter gemmatus have a medium aggresivity towards conspecifics. Therefore a separation in the L3 stage is sufficient. In general, however, single keeping is always better. This way the animals have less stress and grow faster. Therefore I keep them individually in a 500 g/ml packaging cup. I cut out an opening in the lid and put a stocking underneath and a vent on the side. I continue to use wood shavings as a climbing medium and kitchen towels as a substrate, since they are cheap and hygienic. It is really important that you always leave twice the size of the mantids at the bottom, so that the moulting goes off without complications. In the evening spray the kitchen towel so that it is almost dry the next evening. I always offer them food in the form of drosophilas. Once a week the container is cleaned.
(L4 Creobroter gemmatus bei der Futtersuche)
I use BraPlast tins with the dimensions 18.5×18.5×19.0cm. There should be branches and flowers there as in their natural environment. The mantis does not distinguish whether they are real flowers or plastic flowers. It can adapt its coloration to the environment. Its otherwise white parts of the body then become yellowish, brownish or pinkish. Here you can gather your own experience.
If you take branches from nature, put them in the microwave for 20 seconds or in the oven at 100°C for 15 minutes. This will kill all the mites and other parasites that can cause you problems later. Also there the motto is, less is more. Mantises are lurking hunters, you should not pack it full. Leave space for the molt, because this moment is the most dangerous time in the life of your guest.
First of all we need to know what is a female and what is a male.
In all mantid species, females can be distinguished from males by the number of visible abdominal segments (sternites).
Males have 8 sternites, whereas females have only 6 visible ones. This can be seen with a magnifying glass often already from L3, from L4 and L5 it can be seen with the naked eye. Mostly it is enough to look only at the last segment on the abdomen. If it is as long and wide as the previous segments, it is a female. If the last segments become progressively smaller and narrower, it is a male. Note, in the adult stage the male also has an elongated last segment.
In the subadult larval stage you can also recognize the males of this species by the thickened and longer antennae.
Females become adults after about 8 molts, thus in L9. Male Creobroter gemmatus after 7 molts, thus in L8. Females take 2 weeks to become ready to mate after the mature molt. Males only 1 week.
This means males become sexually mature one molt and one week before. This is a fairly unproblematic time period, as males live for about 2.5 months after the mature molt.
The sex difference can be recognized from L3 on. So you can keep the males a bit cooler than the females as a preventive measure. Please remember, do not go below 20°C.
So about 2 weeks after the mature moult the animals are ready to mate.
(Foto: Mating of Creobroter gemmatus)
I always mate the animals in the insectarium of the males. It should be noted that the males are good and agile flyers. Before that I give the female a large food animal so that she is busy eating during the mating and does not attack the male. This reduces sexual cannibalism and at the same time provides better ootheca. Mating proceeds as follows. The male jumps on the female’s back while holding her with his front legs. Copulation can last up to 12 hours, so you can watch the spectacle in peace.
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Mating of praying mantis of the genus Creobroter gemmatus
WATCH ME DO IT
The first ootheca may be deposited as early as 2-4 days and may be delayed up to 7 days. After that, 6-7 more oothecae follow at intervals. They are usually narrow and about 3-6cm long. The ootheca can contain up to 50 eggs. In contrast to the free ootheca of cockroaches, mantis shrimp adhere their roundish, elongated, shield-like, teardrop-shaped, or parcel-like ootheca to various substrates. They are often attached to climbing surfaces or to the gauze lid. To do this, they first apply a proteinaceous secretion to the substrate. Under spiral movements of the abdomen, more of this foamy secretion is now released, whereby the eggs are now deposited one after the other into the same in such a way that they are in a certain arrangement to each other and occupy one compartment of the ootheca each. Finally, the secretion is drawn out in a more or less long thread before it hardens into a sponge-like, very firm cocoon. Along the surface lies the thinnest-walled area from which the nymphs hatch. It can usually be seen as a large-pored, seam- or comb-like strip. For more on the ootheca, click here.
Hatching is strongly coupled to temperature and humidity- at 29° C and 70% humidity the 4mm sized hatchlings will hatch after about 5 weeks. Please feed the young immediately after hatching, this will reduce the cannbalism significantly.
Incubate mantis ootheca | Creobroter gemmatus ootheca
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