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Old 04/06/2010, 06:18 PM   #8
The Hardy Mongolian Pony
Koshmar's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 1,372
One of the things I've been working on lately has been a new mantis trap to help out those who seek the capture of this allusive animal from their tank. I still have a few other sketches and ideas which I may work on later but at the moment I have finished and tested my current creation. As most of you know, the bottle trap, while being good at catching crabs and certain fish, has its short commings when used to capture a mantis. It doesn't work all the time and usually catches the clean up crew more often than not. Also you must be there to pull the trap up, you can't just let it sit for too long or the mantis will eventually find its way out. Suprisingly there is another simple yet effective trap which you can create out of common items which you probably have already. It utilizes two things that are pretty certain in this hobby, gravity and the stomatopod appeitite. It's basically a box with a falling gate that traps a mantis shrimp in a plastic cage. All you have to do is bait the trap, set the gate and let the stomatopod do the rest. No watching required, the animal won't escape while you're away. So let's get started:


1. Razor blade
(Be careful kids! Get your parent's permission before using sharp instruments. Seriously, I've almost cut myself several times making these things)

2. Fishing line

3. A simple tupperware container
(I've found longer is better but mainly make sure the container will fit in your tank.)

4. A thumb-tac

5. Breeder box top
(Ok so you might not have this yet but I found the top of a breeder box lying around and found it to work perfectly. If you don't have one, you can craft your own gate. A good idea would be to get some thick plastic, cut slits in it, and weigh it down with something at the top (use that fishing line to wrap a few rubble pieces around the top). Also make sure that gate is slightly less wide than your tupperware box width, you'll see why soon).

Making the trap

1. Take your tupperware top off and cut a hole/rectangle in a side with the smaller width using your razor. (Be careful! Razors are sharp!)

2. Cut a slit wide enough to let your gate fall through in the top. This is an important step because you want the slit to be wide enough to allow no friction to impede the falling of the gate but small enough to prevent the gate from wobbling. Luckly I solved that little wobble issue with another step later on but still be careful with the size.

3. Punch to one hole on each side of your entry way using the thumb-tac but slightly elevated above the opening. Make sure these holes are equal in height as well.

4. Cut a length of fishing line (longer is better at this point, about three times the length of the container should be enough).

5. Make a knot in the middle of the line.

6. Punch many holes in the top of the container. (This will help with the buoyancy issue, more on this later).

7. Cut two slits in the sides of the box behind where the gate will come down and cut some plastic pieces to fit into the slits. You can use a thin piece of plastic from another tupperware container or what you made your gate out of. Or pretty much anything that will fit through the slits. (See picture)

8. Time to set your trap! (You'll need a piece of meaty seafood for this part, krill worked wonderfully for me but just make sure you can tie that fish line around it) You know that knot you tied in the fishing line? Put the piece of meat in the knot and tie the meat to the line. The knot should still be in the middle. Now double knot it and make sure the meat is really secure but not so much that it's cut in half.

All Day I Dream About Stomatopods

Last edited by Koshmar; 04/06/2010 at 06:51 PM.
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