Does your mantis sleep on it's side?


Premium Member
Ok, my experience with the cute little guys is limited, but I'm trying to be a good mantis mom!

This is the first night I've had this little guy. He's managed to eat 4 live hermit crabs and 2 of the little white silversides. He's laying on his side, undulating his swimmerettes (?) every now and then. When I look at him, he swivels his eyes around to stare right back at me.

Is this normal behavior?
ummm, not good...
do you have any type of hiding spots for him other than "he'll just burrow in the sand" because if you only have sand... then, hes gonna just do that till he dies...
give him some really good hiding spots, so that he can hide.... otherwise the stress will kill him eventually
try to simulate their natural environment, and he'll be much happier, active, ect...

oh yeah, it also kinda sounds like you overfed him, but with that i could be wrong.... hehe
the macroalge just isn't enough cover for them....
if you don't have any lr on hand, go outside and grab a log or something... and get some lr as soon as possible... the log will rot fast, but its cover until you can get something for him!!! he really needs more cover!!!
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mine also sleeps on his side, I have a tube that is burried in live rock rubble, (for darkness), he lives pretty much in his cave. he will drag his food in there and eat as much as he wants and then throw the rest out which I remove from the tank, I feed him every 3rd day, he also has some snails and a small fish in there with him that he could eat at any time. the pic shows the very edge of his cave that he is peeking out of.
ok, but mine sleeps vertically in his 'tube' hole...
so the question i would as is if hes sleppin on his side outside of a hole or inside a hole?
if its inside, ok... if its outside and hes not 'looking happy' then... ya
how is he doing this morn?
oh, he's got tons of LR in there.. some branchy kind and some of the more dense pieces. I threw the macroalgae in there for ambience. He's dug tunnels under the live rock and I think he's happy about his home now because he spent all of last night making tunnels. For his first night at home he seemed to be really well adjusted.. He ate a few hermits and and 1/2 of 1 of those small white silversides. I took out the 1/2 he didn't eat. From other posts here I had read I expected him to go through an adjustment period. Boy, was I WRONG!

When I tap on the glass he comes right out and stares at me like.. 'WHAT?'

He lays on his side in his tunnels. When he's relaxing or sleeping.. any other time he's up and very busy, looking around at stuff and examining everything.

Tonight I fed him a little piece of tiger prawn. I tapped on the glass, he came out and when I put the food in there on the chopsitck, he ripped the prawn piece off and escaped into a tunnel to eat it.

I'm gonna say he's healthy as a horse! Thank you for the reassurance newreefers! I was hoping this was normal behavior.
Kara -

Lilswanwillow was worried (I presume) that the mantis was showing signs of problems, because some mantis will lay on their sides out in the open when they are near death. I think we are all glad that isn't the case.

I wouldn't stress about how your mantis lays in his burrow. They are always looking for a better view of everything, and will scurry around to get it.

And are you surprised that he responds to your call? You feed him like a pig! ;) I'd show up too and be like, thanks for the chow mom!

I wouldn't worry about overfeeding him per se, so long as he is actually eating the food. Mantis will hoard and bury food that the can't eat, and that can rot in your tank. I know it is fun to watch him smash things, but dole him out food a bit slower. I only feed my mantis once or twice a week in the winter.

S !
i was thinking, that yeah, he was out in the open.... heh, but it sounds like hes a happy lil guy...
have fun!!!!!!
whatcha name him/her?
duh... i just keep on editing my posts, but
i feed my guy a peice of frozen shrimp/or squid every other day or three days... and he gets hermit crabs occasionally too
i got some hermits for him to play with on friday, he got one within 5 minutes, the other two have the back half of the shells their in broken, but their fine!!!
and George just throws his leftovers out the back door, where my damsel gets it, so i guess i'm lucky that he doesn't bury it... but i never did see his shed after he shed, wish i did though
Thanks guys!

I'm still mulling over names. I figured I'd wait until his personality asserts itself a bit more. For now I call him 'Slimp' in honor of squidsqueezers old posts. They are actually what brought mantis shrimp to my attention! :)

The guy at the LFS where I got him, didn't know anything about mantis shrimp.. other than they are pests and that he's fished many out of client's tanks. He threw all the ones he caught in the same sump (20 gal long) and mine was the only one left. There was little to no food in there, only the stuff the system's overflow caught and brought to the sump. I think the little guy was starving. I figured I'd feed him every other day. The tiger prawn should last a good long time cause it's a BIG one.

I'm going diving next weekend and I'm going to try to find some little clams, mussels or a crab to give him in between prawn.
You are in Florida... any freshwater streams nearby? Small crayfish are a nice treat for your mantis...

S !
GREAT idea!!!

We live on a canal! I'm a bit worried about the mercury and 'bad' thing levels that are reported. We are strongly advised NOT to eat fish from the canals in many areas because of the high levels of contaminates.

Which is sad.. one for the ecology and two because we have HUGE peacock bass and tilapia we catch behind our house all the time.. ;)