Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Some Interesting Facts)

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is a large, bright-colored sea creature, mostly found in the Indo-Pacific region. Its scientific name is Odontodactylus scyllarus.

People also call it the Harlequin Mantis Shrimp, Painted Mantis Shrimp, Clown Mantis Shrimp, or Rainbow Mantis Shrimp.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp is known for its green color, orange legs, and spots that look like a leopard’s spots.

A Peacock Mantis Shrimp is quite big, growing from 1.2 inches to 7.1 inches long.

Where Does the Peacock Mantis Shrimp Live?

The Peacock Mantis Shrimp lives at the bottom of the sea, from Guam to East Africa, and as far South as Northern KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp likes to dig U-shaped holes near the base of coral reefs. It can be found in waters that range from 9.8 feet to 131.2 feet deep.

What Is Peacock Mantis Shrimp’s Role in The Marine Aquarium Trade?

Some people love to have the Peacock Mantis Shrimp in their saltwater aquariums. They find it very attractive because of its bright colors. However, others think of it as a dangerous pest.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp can break the glass of an aquarium and eat other sea creatures in the tank.

What Is the Dactyl Club and How Does It Function?

The dactyl club is a part of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp’s body. It’s the most electron-dense region of its skeleton.

There are three regions in the club: the impact region, the periodic region, and the striated region. Each region has different minerals.

The impact region has a step-like decrease in calcium concentration toward the periodic region, and the phosphate concentration decreases gradually.

On the other hand, the carbon and magnesium concentrations increase, indicating that this region is mostly made up of calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate.

It’s also found that the impact region is mainly composed of hydroxyapatite, a mineral that is more crystallized than that found in cow bones.

What Is the Prey of The Peacock Mantis Shrimp and How Does It Hunt?

The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is a predator that likes to eat shellfish like snails, crabs, and clams.

It kills its prey by hitting it with its club-shaped raptorial appendages, which can move as fast as a bullet fired from a handgun. This is the fastest recorded punch of any living animal.

When the Peacock Mantis Shrimp strikes its prey, it creates bubbles that pop and release a large amount of heat. This heat weakens the armor of the prey.

After that, the Peacock Mantis Shrimp can easily get to the soft tissue inside the prey and eat it.

What Are Some Special Features of Peacock Mantis Shrimp’s Raptorial Appendages?

The surface of the Peacock Mantis Shrimp’s hammer-claw, a part of its raptorial appendages, is made up of very dense hydroxyapatite.

It’s laid out in a way that makes it highly resistant to fracturing. This material is so strong that it can break ordinary glass tanks.

Researchers are studying its composition for potential use in material engineering.

What Are the Challenges of Keeping a Peacock Mantis Shrimp in An Aquarium?

Keeping a Peacock Mantis Shrimp in an aquarium is not easy. It can break the glass tank with its powerful punch. It also likes to dig in live rocks, which can cause damage.

Once it’s inside a tank, Peacock Mantis Shrimp may eat other fish and sea creatures. It can be tough to catch once it’s in a well-stocked tank.

There are even stories of Peacock Mantis Shrimp breaking glass tanks and damaging coral when they want to make a home within it.

What Is the Role of Live Rock in A Marine Aquarium with Peacock Mantis Shrimp?

Live rock with mantis shrimp burrows is thought to be helpful by some marine aquarists.

It’s not uncommon for a live Peacock Mantis Shrimp to be brought into an aquarium with a piece of live rock.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp Characteristics

Reef Safe?With caution
Care Level:Easy

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Odontodactylus scyllarus
Also Known As:Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Harlequin Mantis Shrimp, Painted Mantis Shrimp, Clown Mantis Shrimp, Rainbow Mantis Shrimp
Conservation Status:Unknown

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