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JakeC415
JakeC415,
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 57
Experience:  Expert
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I’m not sure if my L6 giant Asian Mantis is dead or about to

Customer Question

Hello, I’m not sure if my L6 giant Asian Mantis is dead or about to moult.
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. What type of animal are we talking about?
Customer: He last moulted on April 12, lost an arm, I’m always hand feeding him mealworms
JA: The Expert will know how to help with the molting. When was the animal last seen by a vet?
Customer: he hasn’t been to a vet. I didn’t know there were one for Mantises until now
JA: Null What's the animal's name and age?
Customer: name: Scyther. I think he’s about 4months
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Scyther?
Customer: A few hours ago I thought he was dead, until I saw a small twitch from his head and one leg (maybe it was body nerves). His not sticky at the moment so couldn’t put him hanging upside incase he is about to moult so I put a very small bit of tape on the tip of two of his legs to keep him hanging upside that’s all the information. Just need to know if he is dead or about to moult to L7
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 9 days ago.

Hi there, you are through to Dr. Jake. Im a UK based vet. thank you for your enquiry regarding your mantid, Scyther.

If he is classically hanging from the roof of the enclosure then he may well be moulting, they usually do this by themselves and if he wasnt hanging then he may not be moulting- if you are accurate with his life stage then this will be his last moult. He may have stopped feeding the past 3-4 days in preparation to moult

It is important that you dont disturb him while he is moulting as this is a stressful period and make sure the humidity is appropriate as so he can fully remove his skin. You will see small twitches and some abdominal pulses and he should progress to remove the old skin

It would be hard for me to say if he is alive or dead without examination im afraid, though if his moulting hasnt progressed overnight and you dont see any movement then he may have passed away though from personal experience when mantids die they usually curl their legs up under themselves on the floor of the container and their abdomen shrinks.

I hope all this information helps

Kind regards

Dr. Jake

Expert:  JakeC415 replied 9 days ago.

If you upload a photo into the conversation i may be able to have a better idea of his current status.

thanks

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Jake, here’s a photo. He was hanging on his own until I disturbed him, thinking he was dead. I thought maybe he was just moulting, couldn’t put him hanging up again so, I had to use a piece of tape at the edge of his leg in order to hang him
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Here’s another from open roof. I’ve just took these pictures
Expert:  JakeC415 replied 9 days ago.

thanks for the photos, if you found him in a similar position i would expect that he is trying to moult though if he started yesterday i would have expected him to have finished now. some insects can attempt whats called a post ultimate moult though this often results in them becoming trapped in their moult and they pass away.

His abdomen doesnt look shrunken from the photo, which happens when they have passed away

I would carefully watch him today to see if you see any signs of movement - if so then he still may be wanting to moult but struggling to. Insects can get trapped in moults- some vets will attempted manual removal though this is risky and the ones i have performed personally havent survived very well afterwards.

If you see no movement and no progression of moulting today then unfortunately i think he may have passed away. Im very sorry if this is the case.

Kind regards

Dr. Jake

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Dr. Jake, sorry I did not say thank you. Here’s an update picture of him. He appears to not have lost any weight but the back end of his abdomen has turned light black and I’m thinking this means death?Will send another picture
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Picture 2