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Pseudocreobotra ocellata

African flower mantis

General Information

Scientific name: Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii
Common name: African flower mantis
Distribution: South and West Africa
Habitat: Trees, shrubs and meadows in humid areas
Size: Females ~ 3 cm
Males ~ 2,5 cm
Livespan: Females ~ 1 year
Males less than 1 year
Colour variations: White with light yellow, pink or green variations (nymphs)
Aggressivity: Middle*
Difficulty: Middle

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

Systematics

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

First description (year): PALISTOT DE BEAUVOIS (1805)

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

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 20 x 20 x 20 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:
Days 28 – 35 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

Relative Luftfeuchte:
Days ~ 50 – 60 %, spray every or every second day

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals seldom stay on the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) with ~ 0,5 cm diameter
  • 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)
L2/L3 Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L4-L6 Greenbottle flies
L6 to adult Green- and Bluebottle flies

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):
Females in L8, males in L7
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

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

Copulation duration:
~ 30 min

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: up to 5 cm
Form: long and flat
Colour: brown
Oviposition place: thin branches
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 4 – 5 weeks
Interval: ~ 7 – 14 days
Amount: up to 6 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 5 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: up to 80
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 4 mm

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

More

Smaller grown P. wahlbergii get often confused with P. ocellata gehalten. However, P. ocellata is very seldom kept in captivity these days.

Sources

  • www.mantisonline.de (July 2017)