Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock Mantis Shrimp Ontodactylus scyllarus

Type of Animal:
Mantis Shrimp

Shallow ocean areas, epipelagic seabeds, coral reefs, sand flats associated w/ coral reefs, burrows, benthic areas, shallow reefs, areas between tidemarks, cracks/breaks in coral/rocks on sandy/shelly ocean bottoms, rock formations around seabeds, coastal reefs


Large colorful mantis shrimp species, green w/ orange legs, leopard-like spots on anterior shell, males have greens & blues, females have more red coloring & some brown, large eyes around bluish face, mostly red underside, hammerlike claws, club-like front legs

Gastropods, crabs, bivalves, shrimp (including each other), lobsters, fish

Status in Wild:


Additional Info:

Young: Larva/Parva
Group: Solitary

0.4-3.1 oz

40-60 days

Life Span:
4-20 years

Body Length:
2-7 in

Main predators are large fish, sharks, rays, & flamboyant cuttlefish.

These animals use club-like forelimbs to kill prey as well as defend themselves & territory. 

These animals will readily kill other species that dare try to take over their burrows/territories. They’ll even attack animals much larger than themselves, including humans & potential predators. They’ll also fight to the death among themselves.

These animals have been on this earth longer than dinosaurs.

Dactyl clubs (things used for punching) consist of hard crystalline calcium-phosphate ceramic material & layers of elastic chitin acting as shock absorbers.

These animals breed all-year round w/ females carrying eggs on front appendages. Females guard eggs until hatching.

Maturity reached at a little over a month old.

Before reaching maturity, they go through several larval stages.

Fun Fact(s):
These animals have some of the most complex eyes in animal kingdom-they can even see the polarization of light.

They can rotate their eyes independently.

THESE ANIMALS PACK QUITE A PUNCH-LITERALLY. In fact, they have one of the strongest punches in the animal kingdom w/ a force 100 times their own weight. Punch speed is 50 times faster than the blink of an eye & even faster than a speeding bullet.

Punching qualities used in research in uses in aircraft panels & military body armor, among other things.

These animals can cause deep wounds if handled. Many fishers & divers have been injured because they came into contact with one. Even sharks & large predatory fish sometimes sustain injuries from trying to catch these animals. These & other mantis shrimp species sometimes called “Thumb-Splitter Shrimp.”

Due to strength, they have to be kept in very specialized aquariums since they can smash glass.

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