The Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus )

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is a mesmerizing crustacean. The combination of bright colors as well as its fast punch makes it an animal not to take lightly. So what all can be find out about these animals?

Physical Characteristics and Behavior


The base body of the mantis shrimp is green, while the rest of the body can be various shades of vivid reds, greens, blues, and yellows. This color is far more present in males than in females, who are far redder. The purpose of these vivid colors may be due to sexual selection.


Another feature of this shrimp is their eyes. They are large and purple and can pick up on far more colors and waves of light than any mammal can. This helps them to be able to track down prey far easier.


Their claws are also a sight to behold. These fold under the shrimp, and can be used to hit their prey with the speed and force of a bullet. This ability has caused more than one glass aquarium tank to break when in captivity.


These shrimp are carnivores and eat animals like lobster. Their claw might be an adaptation to allow them to break apart the hard shells of these animals so they can eat them.


Habitat and Location

These shrimp can be found in reefs all over the world. This includes Central America, South America, Hawaii, India, Northern Australia, and South East Asia, to name a few. They prefer shallow warm water, and often hide in their burrows so they can wait until it is time to strike.


They generally live about 4 to 6 years, and their wide variety of awesome adaptations might be to thank for that. However, with coral on the decline due to climate change, it will be important to see how the Peacock Mantis Shrimp adapts and survives as a result.


Check out this awesome video about this Mantis Shrimp from National Geographic:


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