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FAQs about Mantis Shrimp Stocking/Selection

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<Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium>

Pet trade impact on O. scyllarus populations   6/14/16
Dr. Caldwell,
A friend (you may know him: Bob Fenner?) posed a question about availability of O. scyllarus in the pet trade. I remember (?) you saying some years ago on an online forum that wild populations of this animal are being depleted for the pet trade but was unable to locate any references about this. Can you comment?
Thanks, Dan Gehlhaar
Dr. Roy Caldwell
Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-3140
Re Pet trade impact on O. scyllarus populations   6/14/16

Thanks much for the referral Dan. Dr. C, can you cite a reference for the mentioned allegation? Am an olde timey content provider to both the ornamental aquatics interest as well as dive/travel-adventure, and have neither seen much collecting of stomatopods for the petfish trade, nor seen them often offered on wholesale lists. Bob Fenner
Re: Pet trade impact on O. scyllarus populations   6/14/16

Dan and Robert,
I know of no study reporting on the population effects of collecting O. scyllarus for the aquarium trade. In fact, there is very little published on this species except for laboratory studies on its biomechanics and visual system. The comments I made several years ago were based on my own experience talking to collectors and importers plus a reduced supply of large males in the trade. When I first started buying animals from some of the few marine invertebrate importers around (1972), most of the O. scyllarus that came in were large, emerald green males. Twenty-five years later it was difficult to find a male over 16 cm. That is not to say that other pressures were not involved. I remember going to small seafood restaurant in Thailand and being served a platter of about a dozen large O. scyllarus for less than a dollar.
<Ah, thank you for your valuable insights, recollections. Might I post/share this correspondence on WetWebMedia.com? Again, I rarely encounter this species or really any Stomatopod sold at the collector to wholesaler level in the trade. Most retailed animals are contaminants from live rock imports. I too have seen numerous Mantis proffered as food organisms in the far east. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Pet trade impact on O. scyllarus populations   6/14/16

I assume that just about anything I say on the web is open, so feel free to share my comments.
<Ah yes; and thank you>
While I am a bit concerned that collecting may impact local populations of O. scyllarus, the species is so wide spread and occurs over a wide depth range that I doubt that it would ever qualify as "threatened".
<I concur>
There is one species of stomatopod that is collected that concerns me. Gonodactylaceus ternatensis is a moderate sized stomatopod that is beautifully colored and sexually color dimorphic. It is often sold as a small peacock. Unfortunately, G. ternatensis is highly specialized in its habitat use occurring only in live branching corals such as Pocillopora. In some areas that I have worked almost every coral head has a resident G. ternatensis. Collecting them involves nothing more than smashing the coral head.
<This is the case w/ the Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus); same genus of Scler....>
In fact, that is about the only way to get them out. I've seen collectors destroy live corals to collect the resident stomatopods. For this reason, I recommend that people not purchase this species.
<I share this concern, value. BobF>

New mantis tank; stkg., sel.       1/24/15
<Hi Aaron>
I have a 30 gallon marine tank with live sand, and a small piece of dry rock for several weeks now (salinity, temp , nitrates, etc. all in order).
I wanted an easy tank that is also not pricey so I decided to go with a species tank for a mantis shrimp (chiragra, already found a local supplier).
<G. chiragras are hardy but they are also very reclusive and not interactive. Incredibly interesting in their own right but do not expect G. smithii levels of interaction.>
I already have spent time on how to care for it but I am wondering what I can use to fill the tank. I don't want to have to buy a ton of live rock, and I'm okay with some dry.
<Ample rock should be provided but PVC pipe can be used in place. It is paramount that the G. chiragra is able to completely seal itself off during molts and at night to a lesser extent. Rubble needs to be provided to seal off pipe ends.>
My main issue is that I don't want the tank to look dull, instead of expensive coral, is there any easy to grow coral or macro algae, that will be hardy and easy to reproduce.
<Plenty of soft corals will meet your requirements and subdued lighting required for the mantis. Capnella sp, Sinularia sp, and Xenia sp would work. Halymenia sp are a more colorful species of non-invasive macro that are readily available.>
This is my first saltwater tank and I don't want to sink a lot of money in it.
<Easier said than done.>
Open to all suggestions, thanks
<I'd look into a more active and/or interactive species of stomatopod if you're not dead set on a G. chiragra.>

Mantis shrimp; sys. & stkg./sel.       8/28/14
Over the last year I had watched the Video true facts about the Mantis shrimp the ones shown in that were up to a foot long.
<A few are, but most are much smaller>
Upon recent internet searches I learned about a much smaller species (Pseudosquilla ciliate) and
I was hooked. I found a local store that caries them occasionally and I would like to pursue getting them. I have two near empty tanks both 30 gallons (a freshwater rectangular one, and a brackish octagonal one). I am prepared to drain, clean, and purchase new d├ęcor, but I have one concern,
they are both glass. The common mantis shrimp only get s about 5 inches long, yet the still can punch (a foot long ones punch is equivalent to a .22 caliber bullet, If you don't believe me look it up). What are the odds of them (on purpose or accident) punching through the glass. If not can the spearing variety do the same? Or would they be less likely to do so? Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks, Aaron
<Not likely of either type to break glass tanks of the size, shape you're considering. I give you very good odds here.
Bob Fenner>

Stomatopods on the Barbie?   9/21/06 Are the mantis shrimp for human consumption ? <Oh yes... in many countries they are sold, cooked for consumption. RMF>

Purchasing a mantis tried many places. my clown mantis died molting had him for 3 yrs. cant find another one.  do you know who carries it? thanks Phil <I found several ecommerce sites using a Google search. You might see if a local store can special order one. Happy hunting, Don>

They Make Great Pets! (Sing it Like Porno for Pyros) Mantis Shrimps? Thanks Jim, I was just concerned reading so much about the rapid changes in water quality etc in a nano, that I didn't consider the 'simple' answer. Thanks again and hope that one day, one or some of you guys/gals can get over to Shanghai, I'd be glad to show you around. Dave Hanney >>>No problem Dave, happy to help and good luck! Mantis shrimp make GREAT pets! ;) Jim<<< Mantis shrimp Hey there- I'm looking for a supply of particular mantis shrimp to include in scientific experiments on color vision and color signaling. Specifically, I'm looking for stomatopods of the species Odontodactylus scyllarus and Gonodactylus smithii. Since you obviously know a fair bit about the creatures, I was wondering if you knew of reliable suppliers where I could obtain about 30 or so. Thanks very much for your time and effort. Alex <Do know of these animals. Will refer your request to these companies. Make it known if I may be of further service. Bob Fenner> Alexander G. Cheroske Dept. of Biological Sciences/Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore, MD 21250 cheroske@umbc.edu Phone: 410-455-1634; Fax: 410-455-3875

Live Rock and Mantis Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I am expecting a delivery of 60 lbs of Florida aquacultured live rock for my 75 g fish only tank. <you will hold it separately at first to make sure that it is fully cured, correct? Never place air shipped rock directly in a display... plus it helps to bait and screen for pests and predators> My question is, is this rock more prone to Mantis shrimp than say Pacific rock. <nope... mantis are circumtropical... if anything, one of the more common species seen in aquaria is a little green fellow that never grows to even 2" and is completely harmless...even cute> Either way, what is the best method of getting rid of these critters before placing the rock in the aquarium. <suspend the rock on egg crate and bait nightly with meat food tied in a nylon stocking with a fishing line...many other ways too> I have heard of various methods ( hi salinity dip, fresh water dip) but I'm concerned about all the good life on the rock. <it will destroy far more good than bad... you are correct> I look forward to your response and thank you in advance. Rocco <kind regards, Anthony>

Someone Wanting to Get a Mantis Shrimp I was wondering if you could tell me where I could purchase a Mantis Shrimp for my aquarium? A spearer is preferred. <I would talk to your LFS. They get these a lot as hitchhikers on liverock and if you are nice, you may get one for free or at least real cheap.> Thank you for your time and help. -Casey <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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