Gonodactyloidea Erythrosquilloidea Lysiosquilloidea Squilloidea
Indosquillidae Alainosquillidae Hemisquillidae Gonodactylidae Odontodactylidae Protosquillidae Pseudosquillidae Takuidae Erythrosquillidae Coronididae Lysiosquillidae Nannosquillidae Tetrasquillidae Squillidae Eurysquillidae Parasquillidae
|Conservation Status |
Mantis shrimp or stomatopods are marine crustaceans, the members of the order Stomatopoda. Most species can grow to around 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in length, though a few species reach up to 38 cm (15 in). The largest ever caught has a length of 46 cm (18 in) in the Indian River near Fort Pierce, Floridaof USA. The carapace of mantis shrimp covers only the rear part of the head and the first four segments of the thorax. There are more than 450 species of Mantis shrimp. Varieties range from shades of brown to vivid colours, and are among the most important predators in many shallow, tropical and sub-tropical marinehabitats. Despite being common, they are poorly understood as many species spend most of their life tucked away in burrows and holes.
Called "sea locusts" by ancient Assyrians, "prawn killers" in Australia and now sometimes referred to as "thumb splitters" – because of the animal's ability to inflict painful gashes if handled incautiously – mantis shrimps sport powerful claws that they use to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning, or dismemberment. In captivity, some larger species are capable of breaking through aquarium glass with a single strike.