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West Atlantic Mantis Shrimp

Squilla empusa

A long mantis shrimp in its tankMax Size: 30 cm (12 inches)
Habitat: Mud flats in low intertidal zones
Diet: Consumes wide range of prey: fish, shrimp, crabs, worms, mollusks and other mantis shrimp





Fun Facts:

  • Western Atlantic Mantis Shrimp use spearing claws to catch their food
  • This species makes burrows with multiple exits that are up to 13 feet deep
  • While this species lacks the complex color vision found in tropical mantis shrimps, it is able to see light in the deep ultraviolet spectrum which helps it find prey in environments like Hudson River Estuary
  • Mantis shrimp eyestalks can move independently of one another, like chameleons! Each eye has a trinocular vision, allowing them to sense depth even if only one eye is looking at something!
  • Spearing mantis shrimp are nicknamed ‘Thumb Splitters’ by fishermen because they often injure fingers when people try to pick them up