Please Help ID Mantis (Pix Here)


New member
I have a horde (hundreds) of tiny manits in my 40 gallon. I wanted to ID them to see If they were a type small enough to peacefully exist in the tank, then I found an empty hermit crab shell with a "bullet hole" on the tank floor. I just want to know whether they are smashers or spearers (they seem to have 50% of the qualities of each).
I captured 3 alive (about the size of ants). @ are white with browinsh markings and one is white with reddish markings. Here are 3 images of a liviving one suspended in a pool (about the size of a quarter). For give the resolution, all I had was a scanner.
That's a amphipod. They exist in all saltwater tanks. They are a good thing to have, fish feed on them and they help to eat left over food bits.:lol2:
I appreciate your response (and hope against hope that you are correct) but there are a pronounced pair of hooked appendages (like the mantis), and there are slightly larger specimins in the tank. Additionally there are the standard clicking noises that occasionally come from the tank (I know pistols do this too) and moltings as well. Do amphipods leave visable moltings?

All Amphipods/Isopods have appendages similar to Mantis Shrimp. They are harmless, in fact beneficial, to the normal aquarium sized creatures. But they are deadly to creatures that are smaller than they are. I have observed my Amphipods eating small bristle worms on the full moon. The method at which they eat them is very similar to the way that a Mantis Shrimp attacks and immobilizes their prey. Quite fascinating to watch. One second the water is clear and the next it is swarming with life, many of which are small shrimp-like creatures. No need to be alarmed. That means you have a healthy and thriving closed aquarium ecosystem.

The snapping noise you hear may be a Mantis Shrimp, but I have had a Mantis Shrimp in my Reef for over a year, and all I seem to lose are snails. It seems that he/she takes out the ones that are sick or dying anyway. I have seen a snail fall on it's back in the back of my reef where I cannot get it and have literally watched the Mantis "sniff" it and scurry away. It seemed to prefer the ones that have been still for a few days. Even when the snail stood no chance it did not attack it. It seems that they like them a little fermented or something... :lolspin: ...I have seen this time and time again.

I am a proponent of a natural reef, so I try not to take anything out of my reef just because someone says it is bad. The animals will adapt. So far I have only spent a few dollars in replacing the snails. I buy the live periwinkels from the Live Fish Market in Redondo Beach. They do a pretty good job at eating different varieties of alga, and they are really cheap.

They are also great mantis food! I think that my Mantis is a Blessing, not a hindrance.

So I give you an "Attaboy!!!" for having those guys in your tank..... If you don't want them....I'll take them.......


Matt "Reefmonster"