You are what you eat (Interactions/Nutrition)

Pseudosquilla ciliata are generalists; they are able to prey on a wide variety of nutrients (Caldwell, 1988).  Because this species is larger than most mantis shrimp and they obtain a powerful feeding appendage, they can eat almost any aquatic species including small fish, shrimp, crabs, annelids, and they are even able to prey on other species of mantis shrimp (deVries, 2010). Living in a wide range of different aquatic habitats, allows P. ciliata to be able to have the opportunity to benefit from many different prey (Caldwell, 1988).


The following information in this paragraph is from an article by Patek, Korff, and Caldwell in 2004.  Organisms who spear their food usually spear it and hold it by the spine.  The organisms these stomadopods spear are soft-bodied organisms like small fish and shrimp, because they have soft tissues. Smashers, as their name states use their strong appendages to make lethal blows and attack organisms with harder outer shells such as crabs, clams and snails. Because these stomadopods do have different diets, it has been proven that many different species of stomadopods can easily live in the same habitats together. Both smashers and spearers can and sometimes do attack those of their own species. Pseudosquilla ciliata fall under the category of those who spear their prey. This means they are more likely to east soft-bodied organisms such as fish and shrimp.


In the video below, you can see a P. ciliata capture a shrimp.



P.ciliata use thier spearing appendage to impale the bodies of their prey. P. ciliata have eyes on stalk, these structures enabling them to peak out from within their burrows to size up their prey; their eyesight is more precise than humans (Stacey et all, 2002). To put in perspective how well of eyesight this species have P.ciliata has eight variations of cells working towards vision, while humans have only three (Stacey et al, 2002).


P. ciliata are able to signal and communicate with other stomotopods while hunting (Stacey et al, 2002).  They use their colors to warn their mutualistic partners of predators (Stacey et al, 2002). If necessary, stomatopods can remain out of sight and blend into their surroundings (Stacey et al, 2002). Also through signaling, these crustaceans can attract their prey to them, reducing the risk of being eaten by other predators (Stacey et al, 2002). This mechanism doesn’t use up as much energy as it would if they scavenged for their prey (Stacey et al, 2002).


Lastly, we retrieved all of the information in this paragraph from an

article from 1971Roy Caldwell © 2005 written by Hazlett.  Pseudosquilla

ciliata to be most successful in capturing their prey to stay alive. To be successful in capturing their prey, this species must wait for the water to be in low tide before going out to hunt. Because Pseudosquilla ciliata are prey to larger fish, waiting to hunt when it is low tide gives the Pseudosquilla ciliata a much better chance of surviving. Pseudosquilla ciliata wait in their burrows until it is low tide and then they go out and spear organisms which they are then able to ingest and then digest. If the prey is too big for them to quickly eat in the open, captured prey may be brought back to the burrow where it is further cut up and eaten.


Pseudosquilla ciliata are one of the most predatory mantis shrimp known to human, but they are still among the most aquarium dominant organisms (Campell, 2012).  Stomatopods are not commonly eaten today; but because of their bright colors and attractiveness to the eye, people love to have them in their homes (Campbell, 2012).



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