Don’t judge a book by its cover!!

Looking at Squilla mantis it may seem like it is harmless. BUT think again! It is one of the most voracious predators and could be one of the quickest as well. This item is an imageOn this page you’ll get to see how these amazing organisms acquire their food, their predatory habits, and also how all these traits and behaviors help these organisms to adapt to the lifestyle that they live.

There are two classifications of mantis shrimp: smashers or spearers. Luckily for you Squilla mantis are considered to be spearers. These organisms are extraordinary. They have raptorial-like limbs just like the praying mantis (reason why it is called “mantis shrimp” it resembles the praying mantis). Can you see it in the two figures? These spearers hide out during the day mostly and come out at night to prey. This behavior is reinforced by their well-developed compound eyes.  The cornea of the species is bilobed and is in the shape of a cylinder. One eye contains up to 4,000 ommatidia, with rows of around 80. They are modified to help them judge depth and seeing at night to hunt for prey. There was actually a study done to break down the components of Squilla mantis compound eye. To read about this, check here!

Now let us talk about how they prey. The way  Squilla mantis hunts is amazing. They usually stay in their burrow and wait until prey comes along. Then they will spring out of the burrow with lighting speed and grabs on to the prey and bring them back in to the burrow to enjoy the freshly captured prey.  It is amazing how fast they spring out of the burrow with the force generated by their body.

Another body structure that helps Squilla mantis to survive is their exoskeleton. These skeletons are made out of chitin. It can take some damaging hits from other organisms that are its own size.  On the exoskeleton of Squilla mantis has two spots right on its tail. Squilla mantis also goes through molting to acquire new exoskeleton.

 Read more about the Squilla mantis feeding habits!