Peacock Mantis Shrimp – Description| Diet | Ecology | Habitat

peacock mantis shrimp

Peacock mantis shrimp, scientific name Odontodactylus scyllarus, also called harlequin mantis shrimp, painted mantis shrimp, clown mantis shrimp, or rainbow mantis shrimp, is a big stomatopod native to the epipelagic seabed throughout the Indo-Pacific, starting from Guam to East Africa

In the marine aquarium commerce, it’s each prized for its attractiveness and thought of by others to be a harmful pest.

Geographic Range

Peacock mantis shrimp are discovered within the Indo-Pacific Ocean, south of Japan, north of Australia, and between eastern Africa and Guam.


Peacock mantis shrimp will be discovered at depths of 3-40 m, although they’re most sometimes discovered at depths of 10-30 m. They choose water temperatures of 22-28°C.

These mantis shrimp are mostly discovered of their U-shaped burrows, typically constructed close to the bases of coral reefs on sandy and gravelly areas.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock mantis shrimp Physical Description

Peacock mantis shrimp are crustaceans, most carefully resembling lobsters. They are very brightly colored, with a base body color of olive or green, brightly lined orange antennae scales, red raptorial appendages (used to smash prey), red setae on their uropods, and leopard-like spots overlaying the lateral sides of the lower carapace. Their compound eyes are blue in color.

Odontodactylus scyllarus is among the bigger, more colorful mantis shrimps generally seen, ranging in size from 3 to 18 cm (1.2 to 7.1 in). They are primarily green with orange legs and leopard-like spots on the anterior carapace.

Body coloration is sexually dimorphic, with males being more brightly colored. The carapace is barely raised, overlaying solely the lower half of the top, leaving the portion with the eyes uncovered.

These mantis shrimp average 3-18 cm in size. They have long, slim bodies, and along with their raptorial appendages, a pair of maxillopods, three pairs of legs used for holding prey, three pairs of strolling legs, and 5 pairs of swimmerets, before the body terminates within the telson and paired uropods.

Their capacity to see circularly polarised light has led to research to find out if the mechanisms by which their eyes function will be replicated to be used in studying CDs and comparable optical storage units.

Peacock mantis shrimp Ecology

Odontodactylus scyllarus is a burrower, setting up U-shaped holes within the free substrate close to the bases of coral reefs in water starting from 3 to 40 meters (9.8 to 131.2 ft) deep.

Odontodactylus scyllarus is a smasher, with club-shaped raptorial appendages. An agile and energetic intertidal and sub-intertidal predator, prefers gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves, and can repeatedly ship blunt power to the exoskeleton of its prey till it could possibly acquire entry to the underlying comfortable tissue for consumption.

It is reported to have a “punch” of over 50 miles per hour (80 km/h), the quickest recorded punch of any residing animal. The acceleration is much like that in a .22 LR bullet fired from a handgun (accelerations of over 100,000 m/s2 or 330,000 ft/s2, and speeds of over 20 m/s or 66 ft/s), with every strike packing 1,500 N (340 lbf) of power.

The pace of a raptorial appendage’s strike causes cavitation bubbles to kind. When these bubbles pop they launch a considerable amount of warmth, quickly elevating temperatures to close these on the floor of the sun and additional weakening the armor of their prey.

In addition, the floor of its hammer-claw is made up of extraordinarily dense hydroxyapatite, laminated in a way that’s extremely immune to fracturing and may break strange glass tanks. Its composition is being investigated for potential bionic use in materials engineering.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock mantis shrimp Biology

Intertidal to subtidal. Lives in current burrows in shallow and tough backside habitats, typically on or close to coral reefs (Ref. 92), and on reef flats at a depth of 36 m.

Feeds on scyllarids; energetic throughout the day; use its buttressed raptorial claws to smash hard-bodied prey. Largest ‘smasher’. Some members of the order Stomatopoda pair for all times and a few come collectively solely to mate.

Males produce sperm ducts reasonably than spermatophores; females can brood a maximum of fifty,000 eggs. Life cycle: Eggs hatch to a planktonic zoea which lasts for 3 months.

Life cycle and mating behavior

Some members of the order Stomatopoda pair for all times and a few come collectively solely to mate. Males produce sperm ducts reasonably than spermatophores; females can brood most of fifty,000 eggs. Life cycle: Eggs hatch to a planktonic zoea which lasts for 3 months.

Peacock mantis shrimp Food Habits

Peacock mantis shrimp are carnivorous; prey gadgets embrace gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves. In the wild, they’re identified to eat scallops comparable to Annachlamys flabellata, though crabs are their most well-liked prey.

Peacock mantis shrimp are “smashers,” utilizing their raptorial appendages as described above to interrupt open their prey’s shell. In captivity, these mantis shrimp have been identified to assault and eat fishes as effectively.

Peacock mantis shrimp Behavior

Peacock mantis shrimp are very aggressive hunters and are energetic each throughout the day and at night. They are sometimes solitary outdoors of mating.

When peacock mantis shrimp are resting, they’ll often be discovered within the U-shaped burrows that they create on the bases of coral. 

mantis shrimp are identified to be territorial, with people utilizing their highly effective smashers to strike every others’ tail areas; because of this, the telson is essentially the most closely armored part of their bodies.

The highly effective strikes of peacock mantis shrimp are powered by elastic forces, meaning that the farther back they pull their raptorial appendages, the stronger the strike; speeds of as much as 20 m/s have been recorded for a strike.

Each strike truly generates two blows, one from the impression of the limb itself (400-1501 Newtons) and one from the explosion of a cavitation bubble created from the preliminary impression (as much as 504 Newtons). When saved in aquaria, these mantis shrimp have been identified to crack the glass of their tanks.

Home Range

There isn’t any information at present accessible relating to house range or territory size for this species; nevertheless, they have an inclination to stay in or near their small burrows.

Peacock mantis shrimp Communication

Peacock mantis shrimp understand their environment visually via their stalked compound eyes. They are able to process ultraviolet and polarized light, in addition to color; their visible capabilities are extraordinarily necessary to their success as hunters.

Mantis shrimp additionally talk via vibrations, created by contractions of posterior muscle mass and often called stomatopod rumbles.

These vibrations are used for territorial and defensive functions; people might create vibrations whereas of their burrows, warning potential predators or different conspecifics to maintain their distance. They are additionally in a position to detect smells within the water.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock mantis shrimp Reproduction

Mantis shrimp mate, spawn, brood, and hatch the eggs of their burrows, making particulars relating to these processes troublesome to look at. Peacock mantis shrimp are often monogamous; nevertheless, people have been seen mating with completely different companions occasionally.

Females are oviparous, and males have an exterior copulatory organ; sperm is launched by the male, held briefly by the feminine, after which launched alongside along with her eggs, the place fertilization happens.

Fertilized eggs are part collectively in a mass, held along with adhesive produced by the feminine. She carries the egg mass on her front thoracic appendages and broods them in her burrow, caring for, cleansing, and aerating them. She doesn’t eat throughout this time.

Maternal funding in mantis shrimp is way higher than paternal funding. Females often keep of their burrows when brooding eggs, hardly ever leaving the burrow previous to hatching. Females use their maxillipeds (appendages on the top usually used for feeding), to scrub and aerate the eggs; they don’t sometimes eat whereas brooding eggs. Male peacock mantis shrimp should not be known to exhibit parental funding, though it’s possible that they guard their mates’ burrows as do their shut family, split-thumb mantis shrimp.


Peacock mantis shrimp can live 4-6 years.

Peacock mantis shrimp in Aquariam

Some saltwater aquarists hold peacock mantis shrimp in captivity. The peacock mantis is particularly colorful and desired within the trade.

While some aquarists worth peacock shrimp, others think about them as dangerous pests as a result of they are voracious predators that may eat different fascinating inhabitants within the tank.

Some of the most important specimens can break aquarium glass by hanging it and may do additional injury by burrowing in live rock. Live rock with mantis shrimp burrows is taken into account helpful by some within the marine aquarium commerce and is commonly collected.

It is just not unusual for a bit of live rock to convey a live mantis shrimp in an aquarium. Once contained in the tank, they could feed on fish, shrimps, and different inhabitants.

They are notoriously troublesome to re-catch as soon as established in a well-stocked tank, and there are accounts of them breaking glass tanks and damaging coral after they want to make a house inside it.


Peacock mantis shrimp haven’t been evaluated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, but should not be considered endangered or threatened by any company.

More Interesting Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *