mantis shrimp

any stomatopod crustacean having a pair of appendages modified for grasping prey and resembling those of a mantis. Also called mantis crab.

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 any member of the marine crustacean order Stomatopoda, especially members of the genus Squilla. Mantis shrimps are so called because the second pair of limbs are greatly enlarged and shaped like the large grasping forelimbs of the praying mantid, or mantis, an insect. They use these appendages to smash through the shells of bivalved mollusks and other hard-shelled prey and to stab fish and other soft-bodied animals.

      The mantis shrimp are a widely distributed group consisting of more than 350 species; they vary in size from 1 to 30 centimetres (0.4 to 12 inches). They occur in coastal waters but are sometimes found as deep as 1,300 metres (about 4,300 feet). Many species live in burrows. Both adults and larvae are excellent swimmers.

      Squilla mantis, which grows to 20 centimetres (about 8 inches), is common in the Mediterranean Sea and in nearby regions of the Atlantic Ocean. It lives on muddy bottoms and among organic debris. S. empusa, which grows to 20 centimetres, is the commonest species on the Atlantic coast of North America. Oratosquilla oratoria, which also grows to 20 centimetres, is taken commercially in waters off the coast of Japan for human consumption.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mantis shrimp — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum …   Wikipedia

  • Mantis shrimp — Mantis Man tis, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? a prophet.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of voracious orthopterous insects of the genus {Mantis}, and allied genera. They are predacious long bodied large eyed insects of warm regions, are remarkable… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mantis shrimp — n. STOMATOPOD …   English World dictionary

  • mantis shrimp — Squilla Squil la (skw[i^]l l[.a]), n.; pl. E. {Squillas} ( l[.a]z), L. {Squill[ae]} ( l[=e]). [L., a sea onion, also, a prawn or shrimp. See {Squill}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous stomapod crustaceans of the genus {Squilla} and allied genera.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mantis shrimp — man′tis shrimp n. ivt any of numerous shrimplike crustaceans of the order Stomatopoda having a greatly enlarged second pair of grasping forelimbs somewhat resembling those of a mantis • Etymology: 1870–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • mantis shrimp — noun tropical marine burrowing crustaceans with large grasping appendages • Syn: ↑mantis crab • Hypernyms: ↑stomatopod, ↑stomatopod crustacean • Hyponyms: ↑squilla, ↑mantis prawn …   Useful english dictionary

  • mantis shrimp — noun Date: 1871 stomatopod …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Peacock mantis shrimp — Odontodactylus scyllarus Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum …   Wikipedia

  • Mantis (disambiguation) — Mantis is the common name of any insect in the order Mantodea, also commonly known as praying mantises. The word itself means prophet in Latin and Greek. This may also refer to: In biology: Mantis shrimp, also known as stomatopods, predatory… …   Wikipedia

  • Shrimp (disambiguation) — Shrimp can refer to:* Shrimp, a crustacean of order Decapoda within class Malacostraca, and widespread foodstuff * Mantis shrimp, a crustacean of order Stomatopoda within class Malacostraca * Opossum shrimp, crustaceans comprising orders… …   Wikipedia

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