|Kingdom Animale | Phylum Arthropoda | Subphylum Crustacea | Class Malacostrata|
Like its terrestrial namesake, mantis shrimps have the front limbs modified into a scissor-like device, the inner margins of which are lined with long spines. These are used to catch fish and other prawns. Unlike the praying mantis however, the scissor-like limbs of the mantis shrimp fold upwards. Young specimens can sometimes be found in tidepools in sandy or muddy areas. Several species also prefer the mangrove habitat. They are eaten in many countries, but are not popular locally. Large species can grow to lengths of 30cm.
These are closely related to the mantis shrimps but are much more brightly coloured. They are found in rocky areas and coral reefs. instead of scissor-like claws, they have their front appendages modified into a fist-like, hammering structure used for smashing the shells of crustaceans and shellfish. The small green species, G. chiragra, is the most common, and grows to lengths of 6 to 7cm.
From A Guide to Seashore Life by Dr Leo W H Tan and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP
@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre