Mantis article


Well-known member
Thank you for a very informative article, James. I've never taken the time to learn about Mantis shrimp before, but a number of guys in our club always request any be donated to them.

Did your finger heal up yet? :D
I guess I was surprised to see the author of the article posting his first post on RC today!
Oh Yeah - didn't think about that...

New ID. Lost my password for the old one and figured I'd just make a new one. Been over here for a while now...what the heck.

BTW - for anyone bored - check out:

Japan is pretty cool, but there are NO reef stores anywhere near where I live. I'm heading to Osaka in about three weeks and will try to visit a HUGE store that's there, though. I'll put the pics up somewhere if the trip is succesful.

Take it easy,


THe only thing I saw in your article that wasn't correct was a reference to some stomatopod females carrying eggs "under their tail". Almost all stomatopods form their egg masses into sheets or balls and carry them in their maxillipeds. (There are a few nannosquillids that appear to glue individual eggs to the inside of their burrow.) The egg masses are often put down in the burrow or cavity, but they are never attached to the pleopods since these appendages are the gills. As for the striking speed and force, the original calculations were "in the ballpark". Recent measurements show that the strike is even faster and more powerful than we originally thought.

Thanks for the input Dr. Caldwell!

As far as the egg thing goes - I'm almost positive that I got that from Ruppert and Barnes, 1994, Invertebrate Zoology. I don't have my copy with me (I'm away from home so to speak) so I can't give a page number, but I did find a couple of things by typing "mantis shrimp egg" into

"...And the eggs can be laid and kept in a burrow, or carried around under the females' tale until they hatch..." "(Ruppert and Barnes, 1994)"

found this too, although there is no reference:

ââ"šÂ¬Ã…"œÃƒÂ¢Ã¢"šÂ¬Ã‚¦pleopods not only serve a swimming function. They are also used for burrowing, oxygen uptake and - in the female - to carry eggsââ"šÂ¬Ã‚

You're the expert though, so I have no reservation in taking your word as fact.

Thanks again,

Barnes has had it wrong since the first edition when I was a graduate student. I think he got it from a drawing by the French carcinologist, Serene, who figured a female in a burrow with eggs. He probably drew them in where convenient.

Lots of people try to make stomaotpods into decapods - and if shrimp and lobsters carry their eggs attached to their body, so should stomatopods.

Another possible explanation for some confusion is that their is an ectoparasitic snail that specializes on stomatopods, The female sits between the 8th thoracopods, the male the 6th. Periodically, the female moves back and attaches her egg capsules to the pleopods where they take weeks to hatch. I've seen stomatopods with the pleopods absolutely covered with large egg capsules. I suppose it would be possible to mistake these for stomatopod eggs.

Thanks for the really interesting (& funny) article on mantis. I can really relate to some of your experiences as I am in the process of trying to capture a very smart one from my tank. It was a good reminder for me that they are cool critters even if they aren't so welcome in my tank. :)
I liked your article as well! It was very interesting. How painful was it? Worse than a bee sting? Some kind of reference like that so I can understand.
I am looking for an answer about 'my' critter. I have posted a few questions on rc about what may be a mantis although I hear no clicking. I have lost snails but do not see smashed shells. The hole where the critter lives is getting bigger with no rock rubble on the outside so I am assuming it is dropping inside the rock. That rock is the only rock left in my 20g. With the hole in the rock getting bigger does that necessarily mean it is a mantis?