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Mantis Shrimps: Stomatopoda

Peacock Mantis Shrimp (odontodactylus Scyllarus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The body of a peacock mantis shrimp reaches a length of 6.7 inches (170 millimeters). Males and females are distinctively colored. Mature males are bright green with crimson and blue appendages; females are more olive or brown. Young individuals are bright yellow.

Geographic range: This species is found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii.

Habitat: They live on coral reefs.

Diet: The peacock mantis shrimp is a smasher that hunts hard-shelled animals like clams, snails, and crabs.

Behavior and reproduction: This species is usually diurnal, but may hunt at night during a full moon. They line their burrows with pieces of coral, rock, and shell.

The peacock mantis shrimp is a smasher that hunts hard-shelled animals like clams, snails, and crabs. (© Tony Wu/www.silent-symphony.com. Reproduced by permission.)

Males actively search for females and engage in mating displays in front of their burrows. After mating, the male will guard the female until the larvae swim out to sea, and then he leaves.

Peacock mantis shrimps and people: This brightly colored species is popular with hobbyists who keep saltwater aquariums.

Conservation status: The peacock mantis shrimp is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎



Caldwell, R. L., and H. Dingle. "Stomatopods." Scientific American 234 (1975): 80-89.

"Earth Almanac: Eyes and Claws of a Killer Shrimp." National Geographic 190, no. 3 (September 1996).

Patek, S. N., W. L. Korff, and R. L. Caldwell. "Biomechanics: Deadly Strike Mechanism of a Mantis Shrimp." Nature 428 (2004): 819-820.

Web sites:

Lurker's Guide to Stomatopods. http://www.blueboard.com/mantis/ (accessed on February 14, 2005).

Secrets of the Stomatopod. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/aquarius/ (accessed on February 14, 2005).

Stomatopoda: Families. http://www.crustacea.net/crustace/stomatopoda/index.htm (accessed on February 14, 2005).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMollusks, Crustaceans, and Related SpeciesMantis Shrimps: Stomatopoda - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Mantis Shrimps And People, No Common Name (nannosquilla Decemspinosa): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS