Stomatopods (mantis shrimps) are predatory crustaceans that live in the shallow waters of tropical and subtropical seas. They use specialized raptorial appendages to capture and subdue prey by either "spearing" the animals or "smashing" them with heavily calcified clubs. The force of the strike of a large Californian species approaches that of a 22 caliber bullet, and is capable of breaking double layered safety glass. They are, weight for weight, probably the most formidable animals alive.

I have been interested in mantis shrimps since I first read about them in early 1998, and I hope this site will give you a very good idea why mantis shrimps are one of the most remarkable and fascinating animals on earth.

Introduction to Website * Last Updated: 2020-12-23. What's New?

Introduction to Stomatopods
Introduction to mantis shrimps, including a description of What is a Stomatopod?, a list of Why Stomatopods are Special, and a new F.A.Q. Sheet!
© O. Braun

© G. Worth
Stomatopod Biology
Survey articles based on the scientific literature by the site author and other contributors. Find out how a stomatopod is like a wheel!

Stomatopod Gallery
Stomatopod images and multimedia from various sources. Witness a pensive Hemisquilla ensigera as it surveys its surroundings, and other beautiful pics.
© S. Norvich

© D. Fleetham
Stomatopod Logs
Informal notes and letters from various sources. A forum for people to contribute to our knowledge of these fascinating creatures!

In Film and Arts
Can mantis shrimps stem the onslaught of ceramic-armored killer robots and save a world? Find out more in the fiction section and film archive.
© R. Caldwell

In the News

  • Fluorescing mantis shrimp discovered! (Nov 2003)

    In May of 2002 a research team led by Charlie Mazel discovered and videotaped fluorescence in a mantis shrimp in the Bahamas. The discovery led to collaborative research into the contribution of the fluorescence to the color pattern of the animal, and a paper on that subject has just been published on-line by the journal Science. Click here for the stomatopod pic "Shining Through".

  • Orange Lysiosquilloid from Indonesia officially named (July 10, 2003)

    The large beautiful orange spearers that have captivated divers in Indonesia are named: Lysiosquilloides mapia

    Click here, and here, and here to view pics.

  • Fisherman attacked by giant shrimp! Old news clipping from Dr. Roy Caldwell:

    killer shrimp attacks.

    Click on the thumbnail pic above to get a larger image.

  • News Archive!

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Site Honors/ Notable Mentions

Web Site Author: A. Sunjian
Site Created February 3, 1998
Site Dedication

Introduction | Biology | Taxonomy | References | Researchers | Care & Rearing | Pest Control | Stomatopod Logs | Stomatopod Pics | Stomatopods in Film | Stomatopods in Fiction | External Links