mantis shrimps text index | photo index
Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Stomatopoda
Smasher mantis shrimp
Gonodactylellus viridis
Family Gonodactylidae
updated Mar 2020
Where seen? This shrimp-like animal is sometimes seen on our Southern shores, near reefs and among seagrasses. More active at night, it zooms around rapidly and is hard to photograph. Elsewhere it is found in shallow waters, in upper intertidal zone in reef flats under rocks and boulder, or inside coral and rock crevices. It moves actively between coral heads hunting for prey. It was previously known as Gonodactylus chiragra.

Features: 5-7cm long, up to 10.5cm long. Body long, cylindrical, plain with lines of white spots on the narrow tail.
Males are dark green while females are whitish green. The huge front pincers are modified into clubs. These are used to bludgeon shelled prey. While snails and clams are simply dragged back to the burrow, crabs are often first immobilised by blows to the claws and legs. In the safety of the burrow, the victim's shell is further cracked. The blows of smasher mantis shrimp are so powerful that they have been known to break aquarium glass!

Pulau Semakau, Feb 09

Hiding next to a seagrass blade.
Pulau Semakau, Aug 07

Pincers modified into smashing clubs.
Sisters Island, Jun 07

Smasher mantis shrimp (Gonodactylus chiragra)

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Spearer mantis shrimps on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Lazarus, Feb 19

Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook

Cyrene, Aug 17

Photo shared by Abel Yeo on facebook


Terumbu Raya, May 10
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

Terumbu Raya, Sep 19

Photo shared by Kelvin Yong on facebook



Beting Bemban Besar, Mar 17

Photo shared by Richard Kuah on facebook


Pulau Semakau East, Jan 16
Photo shared by Lisa Lim on facebook.

Pulau Semakau North, Apr 17
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.



Pulau Semakau North, Apr 17
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.

Links References
  • Lim, S., P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology, the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.
  • Jones Diana S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.
  • Debelius, Helmut, 2001. Crustacea Guide of the World: Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 321 pp.
  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp.
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