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Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii

Spiny flower mantis

Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii display

General Information

Scientific name: Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii
Common name: Spiny flower mantis
Distribution: East & South Africa
Habitat:  –
Size: Female ~ 5 cm
Male ~ 4 cm
Livespan: Female up to 1,5 years
Male up to 1 year
Colour variations: White parts sometimes pink, yellow or green
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): STÅL (1871)

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 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 25 – 30 °C, nights room temperature (below 18°C no problem)

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

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals seldom stay on the ground)
  • Branches (also horizontal/bent) with 0,5 – 1,0 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 70
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 4 mm

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

More

The Spiny flower mantis P. wahlbergii usually has a white and green colouration. However, depending on humidity and colours of the surrounding, they can also get pink, yellow or green parts. So they are very well camouflaged in their natural habitat.

As they are adapted to live close to flowers, the main food source should be flying insects. However, they can also catch stronger food like grasshoppers.

When it feels in danger, very often they open their wings and show their astonishing thread display.

Sources

  • Own expercience
  • www.mantisonline.de (July 2017)

Often available in the shop.

Pictures

Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii male adult
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii female adult
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii oothecae
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii hatching
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii L1
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii male subadult
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii female pre-subadult
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii display
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii wings
Pseudocreobotra wahlbergii female adult (abdomen)