University of Tasmania, Australia

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Calman 1904


Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Subclass Hoplocarida
Order Stomatopoda (mantis shrimps)

Distinguishing characteristics

  • Distinctive, as the 2nd thoracic segment is armed with relatively massive inward folding claws. This feature gives them their common name, mantis shrimps.
  • Possess a thin carapace that covers most of the thorax but is only attached to it in the anterior region


  • Benthic as adults but their larval stages can be seasonally abundant in the plankton.
  • Larval phase in these animals is long and complex.
  • Eggs are laid either in a burrow or are carried by the female.
  • Newly hatched larvae are at first bottom-dwelling, but after a few moults they begin a planktonic existence as the alima stage. This stage spends several months at sea before metamorphosing into the adult and adopting a benthic burrowing life.