FAQs about Mantis Shrimp
Related Articles: Mantis
Related FAQs: Mantis
1, Mantis 2, Mantis Identification, Mantis Behavior, Mantis Compatibility/Control, Mantis Systems, Mantis Feeding, Mantis Disease, Mantis Reproduction, Crustaceans,
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<Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium>
Pet trade impact on O. scyllarus populations
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".
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.
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
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
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.
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 décor, 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.
<Not likely of either type to break glass tanks of the size, shape
you're considering. I give you very good odds here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 410-455-1634; Fax:
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
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>