Help with mantis


New member
Okay, had my mantis for a while now and he had been doing fine. He was a reddish color when I got him and now he is an emerald green. For the past month or so now, he has been on his back and kicking around. I thought at first it was something in the water, so I did a 25% water change, that didn't change anything so... I figured maybe it was a bad molt..well, let it go for a while and nothing, still on his back. I added a little iodine (less than 1 cc) and still nothing. He is in a 5 gallon bowfront with live rock and sand and some chaetomorpha, prolifera and cup types of caulerpa. There's probably about six clams (hitchikers) a rock anemone, a fighting conch and three blue leg hermit crabs in there with him and they are all doing fine. What gives? I don't know what to do about the poor guy...
btw I'm pretty sure that he is a N. he was a hitchhiker on some live rock at my lfs and seems to fit the description....
When you prode the animal, is it able to right itself and swim or walk away. If not, at this point I would consign it to the freezer.

One possibility is that the animal can't see. Stomatopods do not have gravity receptors. They generally tell which way is up by responding to overhead light. (THis is why in a dark cavity they often rest on their back or side. Also, if you take an animal at night and put it in a clear container and shine a flashlight from below, it will usually turn over on its back. If for some reason the eyes are damaged and an animal can't see, they cannot orient and often lie on their backs or sides.

There are obviously lots of other reasons animals cant exhibit a dorsal light response, but most them do not have a good prognosis.