Stomatopod Images

Lysiosquillina maculata. Lysiosquillina maculata.

Photographs by Stuart Hutchison

Dogging a spearer: Lysiosquillina maculata

The photographer says:

Both photos are of the same specimen on the same dive in Milne bay, PNG. He was around 25 cm long and just swam around (at night) quite uninterested in me until I got really close. Then he proceeded into deeper water (about 8m) to try to throw me off before returning to the shallows where his nest was. It was a rare opportunity to photograph a spearer out in the open.

This species is the largest of all stomatopods, with some specimens reaching nearly half a meter. It is also monogamous, an admirable trait (at least in humans). Dr Caldwell's site states that the male and female live in the same burrow, but have different “jobs”—the female takes care of the eggs and the male hunts for food for both of them. Thus, the males can be distinguished by their larger eyes and larger raptorial appendages.

This widespread species ranges from Hawaii to East Africa, and it lives in extremely long burrows in the sand and mud (with some burrows being up to 10 meters long), from the low intertidal zone to 20 meters in depth.

Visit Stuart's site for some other mantis shrimp pics.

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