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Spearing Mantis Shrimp

(Lysiosquillidae )

Smashing Mantis Shrimp Palaemonid Shrimps

Unlike the smashing mantis shrimp, spearing mantis shrimp have barbed â??spring-loaded' front limbs used to stab and capture soft-bodied prey, such as fish and worms.

Building their burrows in soft sediments close to the reef edge, spearing mantis shrimp are usually found at the dive sites around Koh Lanta in their 4 - 6 cm diameter burrow holes.

These shy creatures can often be lured to the surface by gently tapping two pieces of metal together close to the burrow entrance. (e.g. knife and weight block)

1 species found on this page.

Tiger Mantis Shrimp

Lysiosquillina maculata

Tiger Mantis Shrimp (Lysiosquillina maculata) @ Koh Haa

Lysiosquillina maculata @ Koh Haa

The Tiger Mantis Shrimp, or Zebra Mantis Shrimp is the largest Stomatopod, growing to a massive 40 cm, but normally observed much smaller than this. This species digs long burrows in the sand close to the reef edge and is rarely seen outside it's burrow.

The eyes are oval and bi-lobed (two lobes) in shape and covered in small white spots. The antennae are speckled, and the tail segments are alternately coloured dark and light, giving the 'tiger' or 'zebra' stripe effect.

Tiger Mantis Shrimp (Lysiosquillina maculata) @ Koh Haa

Tiger Mantis Shrimp @ Koh Haa

The Tiger Mantis Shrimp is a Spearing Mantis shrimp and hunts from the entrance to the burrow.

Like other Spearing Mantis, this species has a spring and latch system at the base of their raptorial appendages which creates a spring-loaded striking weapon to catch prey.

Find Out More: Marine Life References and Further Information

Diving with Spearing Mantis Shrimp

Spot Spearing Mantis Shrimp around Koh Lanta on one of our high season dive and snorkel trips.

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