Idolomantis diabolica – Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis
|Distribution||Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia|
|Habitat||Grassy areas, finely branched plants|
|Size||Females 11cm Males 10cm|
|Life expectancy||Females up to 1.5 year Males up to 1 year|
|Colors||Black when they are born, from L2 onwards they are brownish. A week after the last molt they will turn bright green/white/red.|
|Difficulty||High (No beginner species!). This species is sensitive to stress. Also they need high temperatures and preferably only flying prey items.|
|Group keeping possible||Yes, in all stadia when provided with enough space.|
-Individual keeping: from 30x30x30cm.
-Smaller nymphs are best kept in smaller enclosures in order to make sure they can catch their food more easily.
-Group keeping for 2-3 adult animals in a 50x50x50 netcage
-Substrate: soil, sand, kitchen towel, coco peat, spagnum moss or a mixture.
-Climbing surfaces: Mesh! Very important for this species. They are poor at climbing surfaces such as plastic or too fine mesh. Even twigs can be a struggle for them sometimes. Mesh cages, or even butterfly cages are best used for this species.
-Ventilation: High, cage is best entirely from mesh.
Day: 28-25C (Heat lamp necessary)
40/50%. When they are subadult some people will spray them with water multiple times a day to help with molting. You also hear stries of people who spray them very lightly only once a day in this stage without problems.
|L1/L2||Big fruitflies (Drosophila hydei)|
|L3 till L5||Greenbottle flies, Bluebottle flies.|
|L6+||Bluebottle flies, moths, small redrunners, crickets|
In general: Praying mantises have segments on their abdomen(=belly). The amount of segments differs for males and females. This is a reliable method to use for sexing nymphs, the bigger they are the easier it is to see the difference.
Specifically for Idolomantis diabolica: Males of this species have thicker, antennae. Especially when they are adult, these antennae are clearly visible and look like a feather. Males also have an extra “spine” on the last segment of their abdomen, 6 in stead of 5.
Females will be adult in L9, Males in L8
Amount of molts can sometimes differ 1 when they are kept under extreme conditions. Both adult sexes will have wings, but especially the males are capable of flying short distances.
Females are sexually mature 3-4 weeks after their final molt, males after around 2 weeks.
Oothecas & incubation
The oothecas of this species are enormous, around the size of a golfball. They are light brown and have a foam-like appearance. It takes around 5 to 8 weeks fort he oothecas to hatch. Oothecas should be sprayed lightly once a day at a daytemperature of 28-35C. From a big ootheca over 50 nymphs can be born. The nymphs are around 1 cm when they are born and entirely black.