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Parasphendale sp.

General Information

Scientific name: Parasphendale sp.
Common name:
Distribution:
Habitat: Shrubs and trees in steppe
Size: Females ~ 6 cm
Males ~ 5 cm
Lifespan: Females ~ 1,5 years
Males ~ 6 months
Colour variations: grey & brown, seldom green
Aggressivity: high*
Difficulty: easy

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

Systematics

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

First description (year):

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

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

Keeping

Enclosure (LxBxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 30 cm
  • Group-keeping: 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:
Days 22 – 32 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

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

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc.
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) with ~ 2 cm diameter
  • 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 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:

  • adult: wings of females cover only about half of the abdomen  (short wings), males with long wings  (longer then the abdomen)

Biology

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

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Male ~ 10 days
Female ~ 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 of nymphs (L1): black (ant mimikry), from L3 similar to adults

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

More

Parasphendale sp. is not determined yet.

Parasphendale 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 (October 2017)

Often available in the shop.