Fun Peacock Mantis Shrimp Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Peacock Mantis Shrimp Facts For Kids

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A peacock mantis shrimp, also known as Odontodactylus scyllarus, harlequin mantis shrimp, clown mantis shrimp, and painted mantis shrimp, is a rainbow-colored crustacean, found on the ocean floor and is a member of the species of mantis shrimp. A peacock mantis shrimp's classification falls under the genus Odontodactylus. They are one of the most colorful and largest species of mantis shrimp and resemble lobsters. Peacock mantis shrimps are extremely bright and have a multi-color body base of green and olive, red raptorial attached to smash their prey, orange antennae scales, red hair-like structure on their uropods, and spots covering the sides of their carapace. There are almost 480 species of mantis shrimps, and peacock mantis shrimps are considered to be the largest among them. They use their specialized forelimb (raptorial appendages) to move.

This species of mantis shrimps is an aggressive and violent predator. They can smash open the carapace of a crab, and a peacock mantis shrimp punch has the force of a gunshot.

A typical peacock mantis shrimp size is considered to be the largest compared to other species. They are a valuable crustacean in the marine aquarium trade for their appearance.

If you liked these true facts about peacock mantis shrimp, then you'll enjoy these articles about king crab and green crab too!

Fun Peacock Mantis Shrimp Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Mollusks and crabs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.4-3.17 oz (12–90 g)

How long are they?

1.2-7.1 in (3-8 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Multicolor: green, blue, red, and orange

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Yellowfin Tuna, And Other Large Fish

What is their conservation status?

Not Extinct

Where you'll find them?

Coral Bases


Indian And Pacific Oceans









Peacock Mantis Shrimp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a peacock mantis shrimp?

Peacock mantis shrimps are members of the Stomatopada order and group of Crustacea. They are hard-shelled crustaceans similar to lobsters, crabs, krills, and crayfish.

What class of animal does a peacock mantis shrimp belong to?

Peacock mantis shrimps belong to the class of Malacostraca which means 'softshell' in Latin, and they are the largest among the species of shrimps, with more than 40,000 living species divided into 16 orders.

How many peacock mantis shrimp are there in the world?

Unfortunately, there is no data determining the population of this species.

Where does a peacock mantis shrimp live?

Peacock mantis shrimps dig up U-shaped burrows near coral bases which they use as shelters to keep away predators. These species create new burrows and move from one burrow to another, creating new habitat for other species.

What is a peacock mantis shrimp's habitat?

Peacock mantis shrimps are mostly found living in the shallow regions of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean between Hawaii and eastern Africa. A peacock mantis shrimp habitat is usually in the depths of oceans as it prefers water temperatures of 68-82 F (22-28 C).

Who do peacock mantis shrimps live with?

Usually, peacock mantis shrimps are territorial and solitary creatures. They hide under rocks and burrows of the sea bed. Some species of shrimps are found to be monogamous and spend their life with a single partner. Rainbow mantis shrimps are active during both the day and night and some species are completely nocturnal.

How long does a peacock mantis shrimp live?

A peacock mantis shrimp lifespan ranges from three to six years on average, but with proper care and diet, these species tend to live for longer in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Peacock mantis shrimps reach sexual maturity between 40 to 80 days and they mate multiple times throughout the year. Males have external breeding organs and they release sperm which a female holds for some time, and release them along with the eggs.

Females lay eggs that are accumulated in mass with the help of an adhesive produced by them. Females lay a mass of eggs on their front appendage and hatch them in their burrows. During this period, females do not leave the eggs and males will bring them food.

What is their conservation status?

Unfortunately, there is no sufficient data determining the population of these species. These species are residents of coral reefs, and with constant changes occurring in the ecosystem, their habitat is threatened. With peacock mantis shrimps' predators like sharks, large fish, and rays, and other smaller animals found in abundance, their population might suffer.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp Fun Facts

What do peacock mantis shrimp look like?

Peacock mantis shrimps (Odontodactylus scyllarus) belong to the group of crustaceans and are a close duplicate of lobsters. These species are multi-colored and their base body is either olive or green in color, with orange antennae scales, red hair-like structure on their uropods, red raptorial attached to smash the prey, and spots covering the sides of their carapace.

These species have unique blue eyes which stick out of their body and move independently allowing them to see two different directions at the same time. Males are brighter than females and the carapace only covers the lower part of the body leaving the head exposed. These species can grow up to 1.2-7.1 in (3-8 cm) in length. Peacock mantis shrimps have a narrow and long body, five pairs of legs, three sets of pairs for walking, and a pair of maxillopods.

Facts about peacock mantis shrimp adaptations are interesting!

How cute are they?

In the entire animal kingdom, these species are one of the only few to have such vibrant color features and their eyes popping out of their body makes their appearance more interesting. Shrimps are usually a part of a human's diet but this rainbow-colored mantis shrimp's appearance makes them adorable and hard to kill.

How do they communicate?

Rainbow mantis shrimps can recognize smells in water and they communicate through vibrations. Mantis shrimps create vibrations by flexing their dorsal muscles known as 'stomatopod rumbles', to defend their territory from potential predators. Peacock mantis shrimps have complex eyes which pop up out of their body, allowing them to able to see in two directions at the same time. These species can process polarized and ultraviolet lights which helps them while hunting.

How big is a peacock mantis shrimp?

Peacock mantis shrimps can grow up to 1.2-7.1 in (3-8 cm) in length. These species are one of the most colorful and largest species among the shrimp species which makes them more desirable in the private aquarium industry.

How fast can a peacock mantis shrimp swim?

Peacock mantis shrimps are considered the fastest swimmers in the sea as they can reach up to a speed of 30 body lengths per second while escaping from predators or while hunting.

How much does a peacock mantis shrimp weigh?

A fully grown peacock mantis shrimp weighs up to 0.4-3.17 oz (12–90 g). These species are considered to be the largest mantis shrimps.

What are their male and female names of the species?

At present, no particular names have been assigned to the specific gender of the species.

What would you call a baby peacock mantis shrimp?

Unfortunately, a baby rainbow mantis shrimp has not been given a specific name.

What do they eat?

Peacock mantis shrimps are muscular and violent predators who spend their time searching for hard-shelled invertebrates such as crabs and mollusks to feed on. Mantis shrimps enter into full-on boxing mode with their club-like claws to smash their preys' hard shells. They pack a punch so fast and strong that it can even break thick glass and the carapace of their prey.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, a peacock mantis shrimp can be dangerous if not handled properly. This species of shrimps tend to be problematic in an aquarium as they are proficient enough to break the glass with their punch.

Would they make a good pet?

Peacock mantis shrimp are considered to be the most colorful and largest shrimps which makes them extremely desirable in the aquarium industry.

If a peacock mantis shrimp pet is kept in an aquarium tank, it tends to kill other species present in the ecosystem for food or because of a territory dispute.

Peacock mantis shrimp care is important, so you will need a strong aquarium as they can break the glass while trying to make their way out by punching the glass. It is sometimes seen that these shrimps will attack their own reflections. A peacock mantis shrimp tank size should be at least 24 gallons (109 l) and should not have any other fish that might prey on them.

Did you know...

A rainbow mantis shrimp punch is very strong and it can break through thick glass.  Though it packs a powerful punch and can hurt us, there have been no records of people getting killed by them. A strike from a peacock mantis shrimp club-like hands is enough to cause painful gashes if handled roughly due to the sheer force behind it.

Rainbow mantis shrimps build a U-shaped burrow to protect themselves from predatory animals like fish and rays, and they hover at the opening and strike intruders who come too close.

Peacock mantis' are older than dinosaurs! These crustaceans evolved nearly 400 million years ago which is 170 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared! Scientists have nicknamed them 'shrimp from Mars' due to their isolated, evolutionary lineage.

Some peacock mantis shrimp are monogamous in nature and will live with the same partner for over 20 years.

If you are brave enough to keep these as a pet, make sure you don't keep any other fish with them as the other fish might want to prey on them, causing the shrimps to destroy your tank.

Peacock mantis shrimps are intelligent creatures and exhibit social behavior which shows that they can recognize other mantis shrimps.

How powerful is a peacock mantis shrimp's punch?

All peacock mantis shrimps, based on the types of their claws, are divided into two groups 'smashers' and 'spearers'. Peacock mantis shrimps belong to the group of smashers as these species can punch with a force of a .22 caliber rifle gunshot which is strong enough to break the shell of its prey. As a mantis shrimp punches its prey or predator, a hydrodynamic bubble forms and creates the second impact of its punch and generates a temperature of 7952 F (4,400 C)  in the water. They are one of the fastest species in the entire animal kingdom.

How good is a peacock mantis shrimp's vision?

A peacock mantis shrimp's eyes are of blue color and they pop out of their body, helping them to see in two different directions. Their eyes can process infrared, polarized, and ultraviolet lights which a human eye can not.

These animals have great vision and can see a large number of light wavelengths since they have 12 photoreceptors in each eye. For comparison, the human eye has three in each eye, which allow us to see red, green, and blue!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including mantis shrimp, or lobster.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our shrimp coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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