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 Post subject: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:59 pm 
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Man I love these things. Their appearance, the way they walk and move, attack and eat prey and the coolest thing the way their eyes and head will follow a moving object.

These are Gongylus gongylodes, common name Violin mantids. I got these a couple of weeks ago and so far so good. They're pretty simple to care for, temps in the mid to upper 80's, a daily mist that evaporates within a few hours, a wide open well ventilated home and chow. These prefer flying prey but they're doing well on small crickets and fruit flies.

They get to three plus inches in length.

This is one of the better pictures. I took one right before this and the noise and flash made it turn it's head toward the camera and I kept wiggling a finger until the camera was ready for another shot. Staring right at me.

Image

Not exactly sure how many you can see in this photo. There were eight of them when I started and I'm pretty sure the number remains the same. I have read that these are communal but I think I'm going to need a larger abode for them.

Image

They also molt to grow. The first one of these I found on the bottom of the container broke my heart, thought I had lost one.

Image

Thanks for checking out the thread.



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 Post subject: Re: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Patrick,

Nice! I've always dreamed of having some of those. I think they are tolerant of one another because, unlike most mantids, they generally prefer prey much smaller than themselves.

Let me know if you get any ootheca!

Wade


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 Post subject: Re: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Very cool. I love these.
Thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:09 pm 
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Thanks for the info Wade and Anette.

I watched them go after the fruit flies and man they just tear them up. I think they must swallow them darn near whole as they don't spend a lot of time with their front legs holding the prey to their mouth. Other mantids that we've kept would take a bit of time to chew their meals.

I'll be happy to share in any offspring and will announce it quite loudly when it happens.



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 Post subject: Re: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:28 am 
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Pretty sweet, Patrick!

Are you feeding them on melanogaster or hydei & what instar are they? I ask because I have a bit before my blue bottle spikes are ready and I didn't think they'd take to the smaller fruit fly. I've had to collect all my food at this point since they wouldn't take crickets, banana roaches or anything else I culture. Boo.


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 Post subject: Re: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:32 pm 
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Thanks zonbonzovi.

I'm feeding the Drosophila melanogaster flies.

We got six of them that were at 3rd instar and two that I would say were 4th maybe 5th instar as they were significantly bigger.



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 Post subject: Re: Gongylus gongylodes - Aliens or not?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Thought it was time to show off one of my ladies--I think.

Image

This lady is not from the original ones in this thread. I found someone who loved them more than I do so I gave them away. I got five from a friend but I'm down to three. They are eating small crickets but I've done some reading and what I've found is the crickets don't provide the correct nutrition for the females to reproduce. Fruit flies are too small so now I'm going to try the lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) as I can get wax worms. Just have to let them pupate. Shouldn't be too hard as I've had a can or two of wax worms get lost and when found it's full of moths.

These things are mesmerizing. I'll get one out to walk around on my hands and it's almost like you're hypnotized. Had a roofing contractor stop by while I had one out and I thought he was going to start drooling at one point. Eyes kind of glazed and glued to the mantid, mouth hanging open. I could move my hand and the guys head would follow it. Funny stuff.



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