Zebra Mantis Shrimp: Top Facts

zebra mantis shrimp


King: Animalia

Phy: Arthropoda

Cl: Malacostraca

Ord: Stomatopoda

Fam: Lysiosquillidae

Gen: Lysiosquillina

Sp: Lysiosquillina Maculata


The Striped or Zebra Mantis Shrimp is the biggest of the more than 350 kinds of Mantis Shrimp. It can grow up to 15 inches long. Furthermore, its name seems to come from how much it looks like a praying mantis, with its big front legs and bulging, moving eyes. Moreover, the stripes on a mantis are usually a mix of brown, tan, and white.

This mantis is easy to find because its forearm has a lot of “teeth.” This is different from a lot of other mantids, which have clubs instead of “teeth.” Besides, the most interesting thing about Mantis Shrimp is how amazing their eyes are. For example, they can see in-depth and with both eyes better than average.

People say that they can see up to 100,000 colours, which is ten times more than we can. Furthermore, the zebra mantis shrimp eyes can also see the polarised light in a circle. Contrary to this, humans can only see this kind of light.


The Striped Mantis live in the ocean from East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands. Most of the time, they live on the bottom, hunt at night, and like to eat other animals. They like to live on the sand on the bottom of the ocean, in cracks in rocks, or in trash piles. They dig holes to catch fish, crabs, and other small crustaceans.


The most interesting thing about the Zebra mantis is that it stays with the same partner for its whole life. Stomatopods usually live alone, so this is not normal for them. Moreover, the males of this species spend most of their time looking for food. They do this by hiding in their holes in the sand and using their needle-like arms to attack any prey that walks by. Zebra mantis shrimp also seem to do some interesting things, like using their bodies to talk and fight and see or smell to know who is a friend and who is an enemy.


Because it can move quickly and see well, the zebra mantis shrimp is a very good hunter. The teeth determine the diet on their front legs. They eat fish and shrimp. On the other hand, their relatives have arms that look like clubs and eat more hard-shelled animals.

Life partner

Mantis shrimp are one kind of animal that chooses one partner for life and stays with that person for up to 20 years. After laying eggs, the female usually hides them under her tail or in a hole she dug in the ground. Most of the time, these pairs have 20 or more babies. The male and female usually take care of the eggs together. But in some Mantis breeds, the female stays with the eggs while the male goes hunting until the eggs hatch and the young are ready to go out on their own.

Facts about zebra mantis shrimp

zebra mantis shrimp

1. The longest zebra mantis shrimp is 15 inches long.

You could say it’s the biggest shrimp in the world, but there’s one small thing that does that wrong. Zebra mantis shrimp are not really shrimp; they are stomatopods, just like peanuts are not really nuts; they are legumes.

2. The zebra mantis shrimp can see infrared, ultraviolet, and other kinds of light with its eyes.

Only other mantis shrimp eyes can see the light that comes from their bodies when they mate. This is contrary to the human eyes, which are unable to perceive these colours. This is important for their reproduction as well as survival.

3. Zebra mantises have front legs that look like those of a praying mantis.

They can cut like razors and attack like switchblade knives. A mantis shrimp punch is very powerful at the same time. However, the punch of a peacock mantis shrimp is not stronger to harm humans.

4. A zebra mantis spends most of its life in its underwater burrow.

So it’s likely you’ve never seen one. They do this to protect themselves from the predators around them. Moreover, these animals have a lot of natural predators. So, it better is to save yourself by hiding in the burrows.

5. Zebra mantises only have one partner.

These animals are monogamous meaning that they have one partner only. They occupy the same hole along with their partner. Many researchers are studying their behaviour to know why they do so. There are already numerous studies available on the topic.

6. Every female lays more than 100,000 eggs.

They lay a large number of eggs at one time. This is because the chances of survival for young ones are very low. Thus, they release a large number of eggs so that many of them still survive.

7. Larval zebra mantis shrimp are transparent.

Another amazing fact about peacock shrimp is that they have a transparent body. Their bodies are crystal clear. You can even see through their bodies.

8. A newly hatched giant mantis shrimp egg floats between its father’s eyes.

The egg of a giant mantis shrimp floats between its father’s eyes. This may be for greater protection. However, scientists are still analysing the same thing.

9. The 15-inch, 1.35-pound zebra mantis shrimp is the biggest one ever caught in Hawaii.

In 2003, it was caught by a worker who was cleaning the Ala Wai Canal. After that, the crew member boiled the mantis shrimp and ate them. He said it tasted like lobster.

We hope this article was informative. If you have any kind of questions, you can ask us.


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