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MANTIS SHRIMP (Gonodactylus species)
Biodiversity > Marine Life > Crustaceans > Crabs, Prawns, Shrimps and Lobsters

Mantis shrimp

Ferocious predators of shrimp are the mantis shrimps - so called because they possess an enlarged pair of claws that fold underneath the body, giving them the appearance of praying mantis insects. Most species grow to some eight cm in length, but some species can grow to twenty cm. They may be divided into two groups depending on the structure and function of the two front claws, which are modified hunting weapons. In one group the claws are club-like, and in the other group they are spear-like. Both types can use their armament with extraordinary speed to attack prey. They are fast swimmers, and hunt around coral and rocky reefs. The “spearers” prey on soft- bodied fish or prawns, impaling their victims with the barbed spear-like claw. The “clubbers” batter their victims - often snails and crabs - which are literally broken apart by repeated blows. Gonodactylus is one species of “clubber” shrimp found at LHI.


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