Sunday, December 12, 2021

My New Peruvian Moss Mantis

Welp, here we go guys, my first real foray into the world of mantid keeping! Last month I won a Pseudacanthops lobipes nymph and a pre-made rearing container in a contest from @arizona_mantids on Instagram! (she also has a website, Arizona Mantids, speaking of which TODAY is the last day to buy anything from her until after the holiday season!). 😁 

This species is known as the "Peruvian Moss Mantis", though I personally think they look more like lichen mimics. In any case, they're a beautifully cryptic species, and I hope to rear this one to maturity successfully! Not only that, but since I'm not a fan of trophy keeping, I fully intend on finding it a mate and will attempt to breed this species as well, to try and help keep them going in the hobby via captive breeding. 

Sadly, it's all too common for mantid species to die out in the hobby due to a lack of hobbyists trying to actually breed them, so many people just want to keep and rear one or two nymphs, especially of the rarer species, with no real intention to breed them. 😔 This quickly leads to lines dying out in the hobby due to a lack of breeding stock going to actual breeders, it's quite a shame really. That's why I dislike trophy keeping, at least when it comes to rare or finicky species where we need every individual in captivity possible to go to captive breeding efforts. Otherwise, we're just gonna keep losing cool species from culture. 🙁

Trophy keeping rambling aside, I've got my nymph housed in the enclosure it came with, which is moderately ventilated and has a thin layer of coconut fiber as the substrate, which I'm keeping moist. There's a fake branch in there that's bendable that the mantid likes perching on, as well as some plastic lattice stuff glue to two of the sides going all the way up to the top. The lid itself has mesh glued to the underside for the mantis to hang from if it wants. I was initially feeding it Compsodes schwarzi, but realized it would gladly take larger prey, so now I've been feeding it adult Hemithyrsocera palliata, which it takes with zeal.

The Pseudacanthops has already molted once since I got it, and while I'm not sure of the instar, I've been told it looks to be in the L5-L6 range. I've also been told it looks male, or at least it did in it's previous instar, I haven't taken a picture of it in it's new skin yet...

Here are some pictures I took of it shortly after arrival:

A very cute little alien, can't wait to see what the adults look like in person! Hopefully I'll be able to get it a mate easily too, and then breed it and further solidify this species' place in captive culture. 😁

Anyways, that's gonna do it for this post, thanks for reading, hope you all enjoyed, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

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