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Plistospilota guineensis

Giant mantis

Plistospilota guineensis female adult

General Information

Scientific name: Plistospilota guineensis
Common name: Giant mantis
Distribution: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia
Habitat: Shrubs and bushes
Size: Female up to 11 cm
Male up to 9 cm
Livespan: Female up to 2 years
Male up to 1,5 years
Colour variations: None
Aggressivity: High*
Difficulty: Middle (space-intensive)

*up to L4/L5 group-housing possible

Systematics

Order:  Mantodea
Family:  Mantidae
Subfamily:  Mantinae
Tribe:  Polyspilotini
Genus:  Plistospilota

First description (year): (ROY, 1965)

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

  • Plistospilota congica (GIGLIO-TOS, 1917)
  • Plistospilota maxima (GIGLIO-TOS, 1917)
  • Plistospilota nova (BEIER, 1930)

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 30 x 30 x 40 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:
Days ~ 50 – 60 %, nights higher

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals sometimes stay on the ground)
  • Thick branches (also horizontal/bent)
  • Living or artificial plants (Beware of pesticides!)
  • Clean with vinegar or biodegradable glass cleaner (afterwards rinse with clear water)

Feeding Recommendation

L1/L2 Small fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and
Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L3 Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei) and Greenbottle flies
L4/L5 Greenbottle flies
L6 bis adult 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).

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females & males in L10
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 4 weeks
Females ~ 5 weeks

Copulation duration:
~ 5 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 5 cm
Form: round/oval
Colour: brown-gray
Oviposition place: thick branches or bark
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 6 weeks
Interval: ~ 14 – 20 days
Amount: up to 4 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 8 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 250
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 5 mm

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

More

This species is one of the largest species in breeding and it also overwhelms large food animals such as grasshoppers and cockroaches.

Although they have a delicate appearance as larvae, they should be kept separate early because of cannibalism.

Sources

  • Own experience
  • www.mantisonline.de (February 2018)

Often available in the shop.

Pictures

Plistospilota guineensis female adult display
Plistospilota guineensis male adult
Plistospilota guineensis ootheca