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Parasphendale affinis

Budwing mantis

Parasphendale affinis adult female display

General Information

Scientific name: Parasphendale affinis
Common name: Budwing mantis
Distribution: Kenya
Habitat: Shrubs and trees in steppes
Size: Female ~ 6 cm
Male ~ 5 cm
Livespan: Female ~ 1,5 years
Male ~ 6 months
Colour variations: Grey and brown, sometimes green
Aggressivity: High*
Schwierigkeitsgrad: Easy

*up to L3/L4 group-housing possible (males in adult stages also in groups)

Systematics

Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Mantinae
Tribe: Miomantini
Genus: Parasphendale

First description (year): GIGLIO-TOS (1915)

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

  • Parasphendale agrionia (GERSTAECKER, 1869)
  • Parasphendale fricana (GIGLIO-TOS, 1915)
  • Parasphendale costalis (KIRBY, 1904)
  • Parasphendale minor (SCHULHESS-SCHINDLER, 1898)

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 30 cm
  • Group-housing: from 30 x 30 x 30 cm for ~ 3 – 4 adult males
  • 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:
Day 22 – 32 °C, night room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

Relative humidity:
~ 40 – 60 %, spray every third day

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals sometimes hunt close to the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) with ~ 2 cm diameter & bark
  • Living or artificial plants (Beware of pesticides!)
  • Clean with vinegar or biodegradable glass cleaner (afterwards rinse with clear water)

Feeding Recommendation

L1 Small fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)
L2/L3 Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L4/L5 Greenbottle flies
L6 to adult Green- and Bluebottle flies

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

Order feeder insects in the shop…

Gender Determination

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

Additionally:

  • adult: Wings of females cover only half of their abdomen (reduced wings), males thin with wings reaching over abdominal end.

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females in L8, males in L7
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 10 days
Females ~ 14 days

Copulation duration:
~ 4 – 10 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 5 cm (average 4 cm)
Form: half-round
Colour: light brown
Oviposition place: Bark & thick branches
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 14 days
Interval: ~ 14 days
Amount: up to 8 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 5 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 200
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 5 mm
Appearance after hatching (L1): black (ant mimikry), from L3 species typcial

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

More

Parasphendale affinis and others of this genus are quite exciting pets. Not only their short wings make them special (when they show their display it looks even more extraordinary). Also they are more active as many other species. When sensing prey, they often jump towards it and catch also bigger prey than themselves. To adult females you even feed big Dubia roaches.

Males however are much smaller than females and are good flyers. 

Sources:

  • Own expercience
  • www.mantisonline.de (October2017)

Often available in the shop.

Pictures

Parasphendale affinis female camouflaged
Parasphendale affinis male
Parasphendale affinis nymphs
Parasphendale affinis oothecae
Parasphendale affinis L2