Mantis shrimp are not that bad.


Premium Member
Twenty-five years ago I wrote an article on mantis shrimp for Scientific American in which I describe an Odontodactylus scyllarus breaking an aquarium in my office. That story about a very large stomatopod breaking a glass tank has become a legend. Yes, even a small 5 cm gonodactylid can chip the edge of a glass aquaium and cause a leak, but they almost never do. I have over 50 aquarium up and running in my lab, most made out of simple window glass, and we haven't had a smashed tank in several years. If the animals have a good burrow in which to hide, they almost never break glass (unless you have seen "Fastest Claw in the West" which I helped film). So if you want a mantis shrimp and have a decent glass tank, don't worry about it. The chances are you won't ruin the floor! I have had problems, however, with glass heaters. O. scyllarus will attchk and break them either when they see the light come on or when they touch the hot glass. Hope this clears up some misconceptions.

welcome to the mantis forum dr roy!
hopefully you can check us out from time to time and help us out?
seeing as you have probably kept mantis longer than anyone, i think you are going to be swamped with questions very soon?
Welcome Dr. Roy Caldwell! It's definately a positive development to have your presence here. Perhaps you can help us sort out the difference between myth and information from time to time.
Welcome Dr. Roy Caldwell! I am glad you came here and mostly appreciate for answering my question about MANTIZILLA. Thanks again.
What would you consider a reasonable "spartan" burrow? I'm setting up a tank for temporary purposes and don't want to put LR or LS in the tank. Can I get away with multiple pieces of PVC for cover?

Also, what's the best way to catch the sucker when I'm ready to remove him? ;)
welcome aboard Dr. Caldwell!

welcome aboard Dr. Caldwell!

Glad to see you joining us. happy to hear about the situation with glass tanks and all, that'll save me a lot of money on setup. :)
hi gregt

you can use black tubing for a "spartan burrow" if you like.
when it comes time to move him just remove whats in the tank and pick up the tube he has settled in and move it where you want it.
i found that they will usually freeze on the spot when you lift the tubing which made it very easy for me to move it.
this has worked for 2 of my mantis so hopefully it will work for you.

if not, use a net!
What part of Australia are you from? I was fortunate enough to visit Townsville in 1999 and have wanted to go bak ever since. I was going to drop an email but couldn't through the board. If you get a chance shoot one over to me.