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Phyllovates chlorophaea

Texas unicorn mantis

General Information

Scientific name: Phyllovates chlorophaea
Common name: Texas unicorn mantis
Distribution: Texas & Mexico
Habitat: Warm and dry areas
Size: Female ~ 8 cm
Male ~ 7 cm
Livespan: Weibchen ~ year
Male less then 1 year
Colour variations: None
Aggressivity: Low*
Difficulty: Middle (heat-loving & food specialist)

*group-housing in all stages possible
No guarantee against cannibalism! Always feed very well – especially adult females.

Systematics

Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily:
Genus: Phyllovates

First description (year): BLANCHARD (1836)

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 23 cm
  • Group-housing: from 45 x 45 x 50 cm for 3 couples
  • 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 – 28 °C, nights room temperature

Relative humidity:
Days ~ 50%, nights ~ 60%

Set-upv:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals seldom stay on the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent)
  • Gaze an der Deckel von Vorteil.
    Do not use metal gaze, as this can damage their claws so the cannot hold themselves anymore!
  • 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 should only be fed with flying insects!

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:

  • from L3/L4: Females have 5 visible abdominal appendances (“spines at the belly”), males 6 appendances (and last one usually smaller)

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):

Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 2 weeks
Females ~ 3 weeks

Copulation duration:
~ 3 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: –
Form: round
Colour: brown-red
Oviposition place: thin branches
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 3 – 4 weeks
Interval: ~ 14 days
Amount: ~ 6 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 6 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 50 (avergae 30)
Size freshly hatched (L1): –

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

More

Sources

  • www.swissmantis.ch (November 2007) Website not available anymore