raptorial exercises!


New member
i have read that a mantis will lose a raptorial appendage if it doesnt use them enough and that it takes about 3 molt or so before they come back, so i wanna avoid this no smasher situation if possible.
i dont have any hermits or snails for him to have a crack at because i cant find any in any lfs anywhere!
my question is:
how much do they have to use them so that the dont lose them?
does anyone have a raptorial exercise program that they use?
will a couple of smacks a day to his feeding stick be enough raptorial exercise to keep his little smashers goin?
My mantis bang away at random objects (rocks, empty shells, tank wall) at least a couple of times a day that I am aware of.

If you are really concerned you could throw in some empty shells or try feeding live feeder fish and/or crawdads from time to time.
im not sure if you guys know what airsoft is but ,its sorta like paintball but with better guns. anyway... crusher loves to whack the hell outta the 3 airsoft bb's{6mm palstic balls) that are in my tank. i think he thinks there's something in there hehehe. he also likes to attack fingers that tap on the glass. oh yea ... he REALLY hates my snake and will go ballistic if he sees him outside his plastic walls. so with that smackin and a bashin and the crab and gold fish killings...he gets a pretty good exercise regiment
my mantis lives very high (almost at the top) of a very high lr pile so anything he gets (food) is what im passing to him with my feeding stick.
he only comes out to take food and he isnt bashing anything (rock, glass)

there is nowhere to leave anything for him to smash as his cave is a clean drop off to the substrate below.(he lives on a lr overhang cave above the sand)

i might have to go live shrimp hunting and not feed him for a few days and drop a live shrimp in front of his cave and see if he will have a crack while it floats by?

hopefully i will be able to get some snails soon and maybe this will get him actively smashing?


What I do with Sashi is feed him lots of live foods...snails, red claw crabs, fiddler crabs, crawdads (when I can find them...anybody know of a cheap source??) and so on, he gets his whacks out of that. Also I have a ridged piece of airline tubing I use to show off how strong Sashi can whack things....I wiggle it in front of his burrow and he attacks it...you can really feel the hit with that, really entertains the company. :D

I think the live food does alot to keep his colors bright.

I keep my tank stocked with snails, blue-eyed crabs and hermits. Rarely do mine take a hermit, but they have. Mostly the small snails and the blue-eyed crabs with a carapace of less then 2". I also hear mine smashing away through the rock as well. The cilicated in my 20g has built quite the elaborate burrow under, through and around one piece of rock.

Walmart has crawdads in their fresh water fish section from time to time for $.09. I see them occasionally at Petco for about $1. I stopped at a bait shop a couple months ago to get some because I couldn't find any and the gentleman there told me crawdads are seasonal. I don't know if that's true or not, but I do have a hard time finding them around here.
Only the best for my Mantis. I feed him shrimp and squid from the super market. I also plan to try mussle and several other foods for mine.

what are crawdads?
ive never seen or heard of them over here in australia!

hey alex.
you should try buying your mantis food from a local fishing bait shop.
i pay about $2.50 for shrimp, mussels, sand worms, squid and white bait fish. they are all huge packs that last for months.
it might save you a little cash.
maybe enough for another mantis tank?
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Crawdads also called crayfish are like small freshwater lobsters, very common in many US lakes and streams. I could catch them like crazy in the Mississippi, about five blocks from my house, but wouldn't feed anything out that polluted river to my fish or mantis.
im getting some snails tommorow, so hopefully the fists will fly?
i think it will happen very quickly as the mantis ive got is so aggresive!
when i fed him today he came charging out of the cave, saw the clown fish going for his prawn, threatend the clownfish with a lunge, grabbed the prawn, dropped it, then went charging out under the lr to get his food. it happened so quickly.
ive never seen a mantis do that before.
I went to Petco yesterday looking for crayfish and they had a whole tank of them, but they were $3 each instead of $1.


I'm going to be buying another mantis from Fidel (cilliated mantis) and get a bunch of snails and crabs for Sashi...he should be happy. :D

I'm definately going to look into the bait store idea, thanks for the tip! Petco/Wal-marts around here usually don't carry crawdads, and if they do it's an anr and a leg and a kidney for them...expensive dinner for Sashi....

(setting up the new tank for the second mantis today! :D Hooray!)
my second mantis tank will be going up tommorow when i get my new stand!
im not looking forward to moving my established tank and pull up the carpet at the same time! damn!