Stomatopods on Film

Australia's Reef Warriors *

The segment on Reef Warriors had what appeared to be a Peacock Mantis in his burrow. It did not have the bright coloration of some pictures I've seen but did have the same structure, eyes, antennae and spots on the carapace. This could have been due to the depth distorting the color or a varian.

The mantis was first shown cleaning out his burrow and then came out and attacked a crab similar to a rock crab, smashing it into submission, then dragging it back to the burrow and eating it. The crab in Reef Warriors was very dark...looked like one I got out of my reef awhile back. It looked like a typical rock crab or swimming crab...very dark brown, almost black and not hairy.

The mantis appeared briefly in the next clip of a Conus snail spearing a Goby but was not involved between the Goby and the Conus.

This show has some of the best close-up photography of a broad range of reef creatures that I've seen.

Dick Vance

* Note: This show is showing on the Discovery Channel (Feb 27 2001 in U.S.A.)

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