Creature Feature – Peacock Mantis Shrimp

This week’s featured creature is the Peacock Mantis Shrimp. 

There are over 450 species of mantis shrimp, all a variety of different colours, with peacock mantis shrimp one of the largest and most colorful species. Did you know? Eyes of mantis shrimp are located on the long stalks that can move independently!

Mantis Shrimp


Scientific Name: Odontodactylus scyllarus

Phylum: Arthropoda

Order: Stomatopoda

Family: Odontodactylidae

Genus: Odontodactylus

© Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Mantis Shrimp Fact File

? Size: Individuals can measure up to 20cm long, and weigh up to 90g

? Distribution: This species can be found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans between East Africa and Hawaii

? Diet: Using their ability to ‘punch’ they prey upon snails and other mollusks as well as other crustaceans, e.g., crabs

? Behaviour: While they are relatively common, they are not particularly well understood species as they are solitary and territorial. However, they are known for the fast punching motion that they do with their front appendages to kill and break apart their prey. This punch is one of the fastest movements in the animal kingdom and is strong enough to break through a glass wall!

? IUCN Status: Least Concern. Scientists do not have sufficient data to determine this species’ population trends, but as residents on coral reefs, human induced changes to this vulnerable ecosystem may threaten the peacock mantis shrimp