The Elusive Mantis Shrimp II

Here We Go Again...

3 years after our first sighting of the Mantis Shrimp, once again we found ourselves on the 80 minute shore dive in Mexico to find the him again. Last year, we caught a glimpse of him in our Elusive Mantis Shrimp video. This little guy will come out and feed for a little while, maybe start a fight or two with a neighbor, and hide as soon as the camera comes out. This year, we found him on a twilight dive - crawling through the rocky bottom in heavy surge.  He took shelter among the floating Sargassum that seems to wash in every winter.  He let us watch him for a while, and then decided to quickly take cover in a nearby hole. The quest continued and we found two more under a rock.  These two fought with one another and one ran off as the other remained behind an Arrow Crab.  We got a little bit of him on film as well in this years' video. We've identified our "Elusive Mantis Shrimp" as an elusive "Caribbean Dark Mantis Shrimp". This troublesome creature is ironically, not in the shrimp family, but a Stomatopod. He can crush shells and explode things underwater. He's still awesome and the quest will continue in hopes to catch the shell-crushing action live and on film.  When the day comes, we'll be sure to share it with you!

Mantis Shrimp Facts

  • Is actually not a "shrimp"
  • Belongs to the Stomatapod family
  • Grows up to around 4" in length
  • Sees in "trinocular vision"
  • Can explode the shell of crabs (and aquarium glass) with a direct blow from hinged arms
  • The speed of the mantis shrimp's death jab is too fast to be caught on many cameras