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Pseudoharpax virescens virescens

Gambian spotted-eye flower mantis

General Information

Scientific name: Pseudoharpax virescens virescens
Common name: Gambian spotted-eye flower mantis
Distribution: East, Central and West Afrika
Habitat: Trees and bushes close to flowers
Size: Female ~ 3 cm
Male ~ 2 cm
Livespan: Female up to 1 year
Male less than 1 year
Colour variations: None
Aggressivity: Middle*
Difficulty: Middle (very small nymphs)

*up to L4/L5 group-housing possible (males in adult stages also in groups)

Systematics

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

First description (year): SERVILLE (1839)

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

  • Pseudoharpax beieri (LA GRECA, 1951)
  • Pseudoharpax ugandanus (GIGLIO-TOS, 1915)
  • Pseudoharpax virescens centralis (LA GRECA, 1954)

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH):

  • Single-housing: from 15 x 15 x 15 cm
  • Group-housing: from 20 x 20 x 20 cm for ~ 3 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 25 – 30 °C, nights room temperature 

Relative humidity:
Days ~ 50 – 60 %, nights ~ 60 – 70 %

Set-up:

  • Substrate: Soil, sand, kitchen paper, gravel, coco humus etc. (animals seldom stay on the ground)
  • 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)
L3-L5 Big fruit flies (Drosophila hydei)
L6 bis adult Greenbottle 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

  • Subadult/adult: Antennae of the males thicker and monger than of females. Males also smaller and wings reaching over abdominal end (good flyers). Wings of females do not reach over the abdominal end.

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):

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

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 10 days
Females ~ 14 days

Copulation duration:
~ 2 – 3 hours

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: ~ 1 cm
Form: square, ribbed on top
Colour: light brown
Oviposition place: branches, bark
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 2 – 3 weeks
Interval: ~ 10 days
Amount: up to 15 oothecae

Incubation and hatch
Duration: ~ 4 – 5 weeks
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: 20 – 30
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 2 mm

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

More

Freshly hatched nymphs catch despite its small size aleady small fruit flies (D. melanogaster).

Pseudoharpax virescens virescens looks similar to Creobroter-species, however, they are only about half their size. Additionally Pseudoharpax has very pointy eyes (at the top end).

Sources

  • www.mantisonline.de (August 2017)
  • www.swissmantis.ch (November 2007) Website not available anymore