Mantis Molting Question

BasicBitz

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Hello! I'm sorry if this has been discussed - I wasn't able to find what I was looking for... I recently purchased a small (~3.5inch) mantis shrimp a few weeks ago. She (I don't know if she's really a she, but we named her Marilyn Mantis) has been doing great since day one and has always taken krill from some super long tweezers I have up until about a week ago. Now, I've had a peacock mantis before when I lived across the country (he was named Old Gregg) and I recall he'd stop eating and board himself up to molt... here is the kicker though... Marilyn did in fact board herself up, but she's been boarded up now for nearly 4 days and I'm starting to grow worried. :(

I don't see any spike in ammonia... but I also don't hear any of her clicking or notice any kind of life from around her burrow. I was planning a water change until I saw her closing up her walls of her burrow and have held off so as to not disturb any parameters while she's doing work.

Should I be concerned yet? What is the longest you've seen a mantis hole itself up for when molting?
 
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Shabalaba

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Hey mate, I don't think you have too much to worry about just yet. While it generally only takes a day for a mantis to shed its old exoskeleton, they will usually prepare for the event by isolating themselves in their burrow a day or two before it actually takes place. Also keep in mind that it takes a significant amount of time for its new shell to completely harden. It is not uncommon for a mantis to stay isolated after it sheds, until it feels that its new shell is sufficiently hardened so that it can protect itself. This is especially true for a mantis that has recently been introduced into a system.

I have kept several different species, and the longest I have ever personally experienced a mantis isolate was for a week and a half. It was a large chiragra that molted shortly after I got him. However, the peacock that I've been keeping for several years now doesn't even bother blocking itself in, and I see it out the day after it sheds.

I hope this helps ease your fears, cheers!
 
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BasicBitz

BasicBitz

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Hey mate, I don't think you have too much to worry about just yet. While it generally only takes a day for a mantis to shed its old exoskeleton, they will usually prepare for the event by isolating themselves in their burrow a day or two before it actually takes place. Also keep in mind that it takes a significant amount of time for its new shell to completely harden. It is not uncommon for a mantis to stay isolated after it sheds, until it feels that its new shell is sufficiently hardened so that it can protect itself. This is especially true for a mantis that has recently been introduced into a system.

I have kept several different species, and the longest I have ever personally experienced a mantis isolate was for a week and a half. It was a large chiragra that molted shortly after I got him. However, the peacock that I've been keeping for several years now doesn't even bother blocking itself in, and I see it out the day after it sheds.

I hope this helps ease your fears, cheers!

Ah! That makes me feel so much better, thank you so much! I'll keep an eye on the parameters and will just give her time and space then. :)

Will report back once I am 100% sure all is well. :D
 
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BasicBitz

BasicBitz

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So... I managed to see her peeking out of her burrow for about 5 seconds. Attempted to feed her thinking her molt was done, and she blocked herself back into the burrow. I haven't seen her now for over a day again. I am thinking she is still waiting for her shell to harden before coming out fully. :)
 

AlexG

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I agree with @Shabalaba this is normal behavior during a molt. In some cases the mantis will consume their molt as food until they are ready to emerge. My spearing mantis will sometimes disappear for a week or more when molting. If the the mantis does not come out for food though I just give the big green serpent star an extra treat.
 

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