Zebra Mantis Shrimp / Striped Mantis Shrimp

Lysiosquillina Maculata



Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Malacostraca

Order: Stomatopoda

Family: Lysiosquillidae

Genus: Lysiosquillina

Species: Lysiosquillina Maculata



Out of over 350 species of Mantis Shrimp the Zebra or Striped Mantis Shrimp is the largest of them all topping out at around 15 inches long. It appears to get its name from its rather large forelimbs and bulging, oscillating eyes that greatly resemble equivalent characteristics of the praying mantis insect. The Zebra Mantis generally contains a combination of brown, tan, and cream coloration that make up the stripes that cross its body. This particular Mantis can be distinguished particularly by the large quantity of “teeth” on the end of its forearm unlike many other mantis that instead possess club-like appendages. The most unique attribute about the Mantis Shrimp would be the incredible aspects of their sight beginning with the advantage of above average depth perception and binocular vision. They are also said to have 10 times the range of color distinguishability than humans, seeing up to 100,000 colors. According to the Western Australian Museum’s MuseumMarine blog “Mantis shrimp eyes also have the unique ability to perceive circular polarized light (a form of light which no other animal can see)”.



The Striped Mantis is found around the oceans spanning from East Africa into the Hawaiian Islands. They are primarily a bottom dweller with a predatory nature and generally hunt around night time. They prefer to live along the sandy ocean floors, in cracks of rocks, or among rubble, and make burrows for hunting fish, crabs, and other small crustaceans.



The most noted behavior related to the Zebra mantis would be that they are found in monogamous pairs, unlike most of the Stomatopods who live in a more solitary life style. The males of this species typically do the food gathering by using their burrows in the sand as bunkers to surprise attack any passing prey which they will puncture with their needle-like protrusions at the ends of their forearms. Mantis shrimp also seem to show interesting behavior such as using their body for signaling and fighting and also show recognition from friends and foes by visuals or scent




The mantis shrimp is an extremely skilled predator with the help of incredible eyesight and lightning fast speed. Their diet is more centered around the teeth on their front appendages and consists of softer prey such as assorted fish species and shrimp unlike their relatives who instead contain club-like arms and feed more on harder shelled animals.


Mantis Shrimp are one of the species that choose a single mate and retain that relationship for life staying together for even up to 20 years. These pairs usually breed around 20 or more times and once the eggs are laid they either keep them in a burrow dug in the substrate or the female will keep them underneath her tail. Both the male and female usually share the responsibility of taking care of the eggs although in some breeds of Mantis the female will remain with the young while the male hunts until they hatch and the time comes for them to go out on their own.

Works Cited

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