Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus)
Phylum: Arthropoda, Class: Crustacea
Range: Indo-Pacific Region
Size: 6 in. Space:: 20+ gal. Diet: Crustaceans, gastropods, fish
Reef Safe: No Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Aggressive
Natural History: The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is found on reefs in cracks, caves, and recesses. They are often referred to by divers as 'thumb-splitters' because of their ability to inflict considerable damage on an unsuspecting hand. Mantis Shrimp are in a unique group and not really crabs or shrimp. They have an appendage they can use to smash prey, equivalent to the force generated at the muzzle of a 22 caliber weapon. They seldom leave their lair except for hunting and mating. The mantis shrimp are likely the most intelligent members of the Arthropoda.
Husbandry: The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is best housed in an acrylic aquarium which is resistant to cracking from its hammerblows. It is not safe with corals, small fish, or crustaceans. It should likely be housed on its own in a small aquarium. It should be provided a cave or recess but it will likely relandscape the tank in which it is housed. It should be handled with care because its claw can break a finger or inflict significant damage to a hand. In rare cases this species has cracked aquarium glass. The mantis shrimps in general are intelligent to recognize their keeper and respond accordingly.
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