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Theopropus elegans

Banded flower mantis

General Information

Scientific name: Theopropus elegans
Common name: Banded flower mantis
Distribution: Borneo, Malaysia (peninsula), Myanmar, Java, Sumatra
Habitat: Bushes and small trees in humid areas (rainforest)
Size: Female ~ 3,5 cm
Male ~ 1,5 cm
Livespan: Female up to 1 year
Male ~ 6 months
Colour variations: Lower wings yellow or red
Aggressivity: Middle*
Difficulty: Hard (sensible species)

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

Systematics

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

First description (year): WESTWOOD (1832)

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

  • Theopropus borneensis (BEIER, 1942)
  • Theopropus cattulus (WESTWOOD, 1889)

Keeping

Enclosure (LxWxH): 

  • Single-housing: from 15 x 15 x 20 cm
  • Group-housing: from 20 x 20 x 30 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:
Day 25 – 30 °C, night ~ 20°C

Relative humidity:
~ 50 – 70 %, spray in the evening every 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 – 1 cm diameter
  • 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 (males only 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:

  • L4/L5: Males with appendages on their abdomen (missing at females)
  • from L6: Females with smaller appendages as males
  • adult: MAles smaller than females (and good flyers)

Biology

Adult stage (= full-grown + winged):
Females in L8, males in L6
Amount of moults variates (especially under abnormal temperatures or injuries)

Sexually mature after adult moult:
Males ~ 1 week
Females ~ 3 – 4 weeks

Copulation duration:

Oothecae (egg-cases)
Size: ~ 4 cm
Form: long and flat
Colour: light brown
Oviposition place: –
First ooth after adult moult: ~ 14 days
Interval: ~ 2 – 3 weeks
Amount: –

Incubation and hatch
Duration: –
Temperatures like animals (see above), rel. humidity over 50% (with good ventilation)
Nymph quantity: –
Size freshly hatched (L1): ~ 4 mm
Appearance in L2: red body with black legs, from L3 species-like

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

More

Theopropus elegans has like Creobroter and Pseudocreobrotra a special wing decoration, which looks even more phantastic when displaying.

As males are much smaller than females, males should be kept at lower temperatures and fed lesser so keep them from getting adults to early.

At night eyes get dark violet, the same with Hymenopus.

Sources

  • www.mantisonline.de (October 2017)