who am I??


Premium Member
I came across this little mantis hitch hiker over a year ago, supposedly came in on some mushrooms, but I have no idea where the mushrooms came from. I *think* somewhere from the pacific.

It's almost impossible to get a good picture of him, b/c its very small, and NEVER comes out that I know of. He hides in a rock that he has excavated out, I imagine the rock is either completely hallow, or has a series of caves. I can hear him smashing away every now and then.

Over a year ago, it was prob only 3/4", and was mainly a dark brown/red color. Here you can see the merel spot. Dark maroon/red with a white ring around it.

The tank he was in, was just a little 7g mini bow with some cheato, a tiny rock with some xenia, and a tiny rock with some mushrooms and oysters. I thought it had crashed over the winter, as I forgot to shut a window and the temp dropped to like 60, and the xenia and chaeto all died. I didn't see the mantis for about a month, so figured he was dead and I just turned the HOB filter off, and the light off, and let the tank sit stagnant for 3 months with no light/heat/filtration/water circulation, and no food.

I then moved the tank to another room, and cleaned it up in anticipation of creating a new tank for a real, mantis that I would buy (like a wannerae).

Low and behold, after I turned the light on I saw a lime green mantis running around the tank checking stuff out. So I fixed the tank up now that I know he's alive.

Now he's a tiny bit over 1inch, but is VERY shy, will only poke his head out of his rock occasionaly, I used to sorta have him trained to poke his head out when I tapped on the glass. He isn't interested in any snails, hermits, oysters, or anything in the tank, wont even eat any frozen food anymore (used to like to knock around some ghost shrimp from his cave entrance if they came close enough). I can only assume he survived of tiny pods hiding in the hair algae/chaeto algae.

I am positive his merel spot is a dark orange, maybe maroon or dark red, with a white ring around it, I couldn't get a picture of it after he turned green. The uropods may have a little bit of a pinkish tint to them, so hard to tell though, as he's so small they are basically transparent. There may also be some white dots up and down the dorsal part of the body.

These are the best pictures I've gotten of him EVER. Just randomly saw him out and about searching through his ball of chaeto after the lights came on, so I took all the rocks and algae out of the tank so I could get these pics without him hiding.








I've tried to match him up on Roy's ID list. But can't come up with anything that resembles that sort of merel spot, with a lime green mantis.

Any ideas? Can I expect him to get any bigger? Or is this prob his adult size?

Thanks for any help/suggestions. :)


Premium Member
Well, this is one of the most unusual stomatopods I have seen come into the trade. The animal shown in the first image is Gonodactylellus rubriguttatous, It is the only Indo-Pacific species I know of that has a red meral spot. It typically lives deep - 30 m - and occurs in the northern Austraila and Indonesia. I have never seen one larger than about 30 mm.



Premium Member
Indo-Pacific sounds right to me. I think that is where the mushroom rock came in from if I heard correctly from the LFS. Either that, or your typical tonga or fiji.

So besides the merel spot, what makes this guy so unusual? he's got these real pointy eyes which seem different, and the fact that he's small of course.

any idea why he was once red? and now green?

the 7g minibow only has a 32w 50/50 PC bulb, so its not really that bright. just enough to keep some xenia, mushrooms, and macro algae alive.

to tell ya the truth, i'd much rather have a interactive mantis that was a little larger, like a smithii or wennerae. i'm no collector or officianado that needs a rare/unusual one really.

are they any other links/pictures or other info I can look up on this guy to serve my curiosity?

btw, to get a better idea of size, you can see the sand grains in the pics, and you can see that flat worm on the glass :rolleyes: