Harder foods?


New member
Dr. Caldwell -

I've been rotating my G. mutatus through a diet of pellets and freeze-dried krill since I've received him (keeping scallops in the lab food freezer was outlawed :eek: ) but I'd like to move him to slightly harder foods to help him exercise the raptorial appendages. I'm sure everything else is going fine as the specimen has doubled in size since I've come to house it at the office (it's now at about 4-5 inches long).

I hear the mantis burrowing on and off throughout the week. Usually he'll be modifying burrows or pieces of rock nearby for a few days, give it a rest, and then return to it. While I think it's probably safe to say he's getting some exercise, I'd like to try to offer slightly tougher foods.

When I go off on any vacations/business trips for more than a week, I try to leave some small snails or hermits in the tank, which I'm sure are getting eaten; however, I'm not finding any shell parts. I simply assumed the mantis grabbed the food and pulled it out of the shell.

Should I try the occasional roving shellfish? I know that the mutatus has a taste for shrimp (we watched it hunt and kill two equivalent sized camels and devour them). :p Should I give it another whirl or are there better choices out there for feeding?
not to hijack yet another thread, but is the scallop thing born of a company policy or are they bad for mantis shrimp? cause i just fed mine one 2 days ago...just checking.
I stopped due to minor odor issues.

I had the bag double sealed in two ziplocs, but every time I opened it, you'd get a tiny whiff of fresh seafood. A couple of the guys don't like seafood, so I stopped feeding to keep them quiet. Oddly enough, they don't care about the odor from the freeze-dried krill, which I think is infinitely stronger. :rolleyes:

Ah well.

I was thinking of using small green mussels, but I think those are from temperate waters rather than warmer reef waters, so I wasn't keen on getting them mixed up. I'd contemplated some kind of shellfish as I added IPSF clams to the tank only the have the mantis systematically dig them up and consume them... :p
thanks for the info. didn't want to give her magic scallop poisoning or something. on another note, i bought a green mussel and it's in my tropical salt tank! i hope it's not temperate. or else i'll be out $2.49(plus tax). i've had it for about two weeks and it's still opens up, if that helps you at all? a cheap solution i just found today is free snails from petsmart (if you are located near one) all their tanks are overrun with freshwater snails that come in tiny and overwehlm ever location i've seen, and my mantis just beat holes in one from one of my fresh tank (stuck it in to see if she'd react) and ate it. maybe a freshwater snail is a bad idea but she seemed to relish in the PUNCHING.
Hermits are often pulled out without breaking the shell, but snails usually have to be broken appart. For mutatus, my favorite food is small crabs that I collect locally, but if that isn't an option, small bivalves should work - but the smaller the better.

Dr. Caldwell - I decided I'd try a small experiment and add either a small mithrax or a small sally lightfoot.

Would the mutatus be inclined to go after either of the two?

NB - I recently put in an order for EGTA to start decalcifying the moltskins for EM. I spoke to your other two collaborators, but have yet to get a response from one. If what you've described from your previous EM experiments is the case, I guess that solves one optics puzzle. If you can keep me informed of the other situation (reflectence of circularly polarized light) I'd be more than happy to apply my limited knowledge to try to solve that one. :D
I've seen them take Mitrax, but only if the crab is about a quarter the size of the stomatopod or smaller.

In general, any small crab is vulnerable.

I have a female peacock mantis who's incredibly picky about food. She'll eat some f/t (frozen/thawed) krill, but refuses it if I offer it for several days in a row. I've offered her f/t mussels, and she has never eaten even one, just dragged them onto her trash pile. So, most of her usual food consists of live Pacific mussels and steamer clams purchased from the local fish markets (it's soooo convenient to live next to the ocean!).

My question is, how large of a clam can an adult peacock eat?

The last batch of clams I bought were over 2" across, and steamers have fairly heavy shells. She whacked one a few times, then dragged it to the trash pile. So, now I have 5 "pet" clams living in her tank (most have buried themselves). She even steps on one walking around her tank, then presses her eyeballs against the acrylic and begs for food!

Do I need to only buy ones 1" or less? She's eaten those before, and seemed to really like them. She opened them up in just 3 or 4 hits.

TIA for any advice you can give!