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Here is a bit of 101 on our mantis freinds?!?

The long narrow body of a mantis shrimp comprises a carapace covering the head and half the thorax, and several exposed segments of the thorax and abdomen. The second pair of legs is the largest and is armed with a row of spines or a massive club. The third to fifth pairs are rather paddle-shaped while the remaining three pairs of thoracic legs and the five pairs of swimmerets are simpler. The telson at the end of the abdomen and the paired uropods alongside are spiny. The animal is often brightly coloured. Some species, especially from the tropical seas, grow to 55 cm long

Stomatopods are predatory crustaceans that live in the shallow waters of tropical and subtropical seas. They are not closely related to shrimps or the other decapod crustaceans, although they are commonly known as "mantis shrimps" due to the raptorial appendages that they use to efficiently capture and subdue prey. These animals range in size from 1-2 cm to more than 30 cm in some Lysiosquilla sp., and are one of the most aggressive and pugnacious of all creatures.

The larger stomatopods, in particular, are capable of tackling much larger animals in defence of themselves or during prey capture.

The group can be divided functionally into two groups: the spearers, who use forelimbs with numerous spines to capture mainly soft-bodied prey like fishes and shrimps, and the smashers, who possess clublike appendages to crush hard-shelled animals such as crabs, clams, and snails. The spearers are in general larger in size and less aggressive than the smashers, and they tend to construct their burrows in soft substrates like mud and sand. The strike of one of these is considered to be one of the fastest movements known in the animal kingdom, with velocities on the order of 10 meters per second, and even rapidly swimming fish are easily seized, pierced, and immobilized by the spined appendages.

not to mention the eye sight of them is one of the most unigue in the sea world.
a pictures of various Mantis shrimp.

a short video of the striking of a mantis.

i have this as a PDF file if anyone would like it. it was a bit too big to post..

<CENTER>Effects of Refuges and Recruitment on Gonodactylid Stomatopods, a Guild of Mobile Prey

Postlarval recruitment and features of the habitat, especially the availability of spatial refuges, were examined for their effect on the abundance of gonodactylid stomatopods along the Caribbean coast of Panama. Gonodactylus bredini, Gonodactylus oerstedii and Gonodactylus austrinus occupied and aggressively defended cavities in coral rubble as refuges from predators throughout an intertidal bed of turtlegrass, Thalassia testudinum. Although water height, Thalassia density, and rubble density all varied significantly within the habitat, variation in the local density of gonodactylids was related only to the density of coral rubble. Manipulation of rubble showed that any change in the abundance of rubble, either positive or negative, altered local densities of gonodactylids in the same manner. Cavities within the rubble, however, provided the true, potentially limiting microenvironment. Comparisons between gonodactylid densities and cavity densities showed that the number of cavities limited the local densities of individuals. However, noncontinuous and variable postlarval recruitment created temporal variation in the abundances of smaller gonodactylids and sometimes limited their densities below the capacity of their cavities. The impact of cavities, therefore, depended on the size of the individual and the recent history of postlarval recruitment. Nonuniform resource utilization and nonuniform resource abundance allowed both the shortage of necessary resource and the restricted time when the population's rate of increase was positive to limit the number of individuals simultaneously. Although the spatial distribution of cavities affected the availability of cavities and lowered the effective supply of refuges, its effect on gonodactylid densities was unclear. The inaccessibility of cavities most likely affects gonoacytlids qualitatively by contributing to the maintenance of aggression in these populations.

29 Posts
OK - what is the "meral spot" ?

I thought it is the eye but then I found a scientific paper on the color changes of the meral spot (eye) based on location, gender, mood, etc

if the meral spot is used for identification on Dr. Roy's page above, how is that possible, if the color is variable?

then somewhere else "meral spot" was referred to as being synonymous with the "antennal scale" (<= see diagram below)


thx in adv
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