Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Odontodactylus scyllarus

This brightly coloured Mantis Shrimp is an active hunter that seeks and eats other crustaceans, small fish and molluscs. Its powerful claws have a row of sharp spines and a swollen hammer-like knob which it uses to smash shells. The tail area is spiny, and when trapped, the tail is continuously flicked to drive the spines into the predator.

It is found across northern Australia and widespread in the Indo-West Pacific region.

Occurs on reef flats down to about 30 m depth; burrows under coral, rocks and boulders.

Photo courtesy Ian Banks

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