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Hymenopus coronatus

Orchid mantis

Hymenopus coronatus adult female and male nymph

General Information

Scientific name:Hymenopus coronatus
Common name:Orchid mantis
Distribution:Malaysia, Indonesia, Sumatra, India, China
Habitat:Rainforest
Size:Female ~ 9 cm
Male~  4 cm
Livespan:Female up to 1,5 years
Male up to 1 year
Colour variations:White/pink/yellow/light green
Aggressivity:Middle*
Difficulty:Hard (sensitive species)

*up to L3/L4 group-housing possible (males until adult stages also in groups)
No guarantee against cannibalism. Always feed very well!

Systematics

Order: Mantodea
Family: Hymenopodidae
Subfamily: Hymenopodinae
Tribe: Hymenopodini
Genus: Hymenopus

First description (year): OLIVIER (1792)

More species of this genus (similar keeping and appearance):

  • Hymenopus coronatoides (WANG, LIU & YIN, 1994)

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 30 cm
  • Small nymphs can be reared in smaller enclosures (for moulting they need twice their body length free space downwards)

Two ventilation areas (gaze at top + front) adviced to prevent waterglogging.

Temperature:
Days 25 – 30 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

Relative humidity:
~ 50 – 60 %

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals seldom stay on the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) and splants with strong and big leaves
  • If possible, living plants with large and long leaves (for example, orchids, bromeliads) as oviposition place
  • Clean with vinegar cleaner or biodegradable glass cleaner (rinse with clear water).

Feeding Recommendation

L1Small fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)
L2/L3Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L4/L5Greenbottle flies
L6 bis adultBluebottle flies

This species also feeds on crawling insects like crickets/roaches etc.

Feeder insects in the shop…

Gender Determination

In general: 8 visible sternites (ventral segments) at males, 6 at females (compare with Hierodula membranacea).

Additionally:

  • strong dimorphism (males only reach one third of the females body lenght)

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females in L9, males in L7
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 7 – 10 days
Females ~ 3 – 4 weeks

Copulation duration:
~ 30 mins

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 7 cm
Form: flat and roundish
Colour: first white, later yellowish
Oviposition place: long & strong leaves preferred (orchids)
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 3 – 6 weeks
Interval: ~ 7 – 14 days
Amount: up to 6 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 8 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 60% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 100
Hatching moment: usually after sunrise (when it is already brighter)
Size freshly hatched (L1): ca. 5 mm

All given information only for orientation. Actual facts always depend on temperature and food availibility etc.!

More

Important for a breeding approach: Males need two molts less than the females to reach the adult stage!

The natural habitat of Hymenopus coronatus (Orchid mantids) are the rainforests of Southeast Asia, as well as northern India and southern China. There it is mostly found on or near orchids whose flower shape and colour are imitaed in a perfect way. The colour of Hymenopus coronatus varies between white over pink to red, especially in the juvenile stages, depending on the colour of the inhabited orchid. At night, the eyes of this mantid species change to a strikingly dark purple color, which is caused by a change in the compound eyes to be able to see even in poorer light conditions.

To meet their high moisture needs regularly spray their arms and the substrate on which they are located with a plant sprayer so that drops are available for uptake. However, like all mantids, it is sensitive to high humidity, which is why waterlogging must be avoided. As far as the food is concerned, it is not very choosy. As flower mantids, they prefer flower-visiting insects such as flies and moths. But especially the adult females catch also relatively large and defensive prey such as grasshoppers or cockroaches.

For a well-functioning metabolism, this species requires higher temperatures than normally prevail in living rooms. With a halogen lamp installed above the terrarium, however, the minimum temperature of 24 ° C can be easily reached.

The sexual dimorphism of orchid mantids is particularly pronounced in body size. The males reach only a maximum of half the length of the females. Also, the males need two moults less to become adults. In order to avoid cannibalism one should therefore already in the larval stage the females separate from the males. Males develop a brown band in the neck, while females develop a green band. Thus, at the latest from the fifth moult (L5), the two sexes can be distinguished relatively reliably. For breeding, the males can be kept cooler, so they are not too old when females reach their sexual maturity. In order to avoid inbreeding, however, males and females of the same parents should not be mated to each other too often. The males of this species are not very aggressive, so they can be kept well in group. They are also good flyers. Even the females can fly, but much more awkward.

The sexual maturity indicates the female in the early evening hours (dusk) by  pheromone spraying. She bends her abdomen (body) far from the wings. To mate initiation, the male holds on to the wings of the female and remains there for some time before it starts mating. Frequently a drum ritual is observed, whereby the male performs audible drum movements on the wings of the females.

The oothecae (eggs) of the females are initially white and may be as long as the females themselves. The oothecae will become brownish over time and to protect them from dehydration they should be kept in a humid environment. However, you should also avoid too high humidity to prevent mold growth. Oothecae are preferably built on smooth surfaces. Best suited for this are long solid leaves, as they have, for example, orchids. Bow hemp (Sansevieria), which is often available in plant stores, is an inexpensive alternative. If no suitable place for the egg deposition is found, the females walk restlessly for days searching through the enclosure and deny often also food intake.

Sources

  • Own expercience

Often available in the shop.

Pictures

Hymenopus coronatus nymphs
Hymenopus coronatus nymph
Hymenopus coronatus pair
Hymenopus coronatus female and ootheca
Hymenopus coronatus female nymph front
Hymenopus coronatus female pink
Hymenopus coronatus L1
Hymenopus coronatus L2
Hymenopus coronatus female subadult
Hymenopus coronatus exuvia