mantis shrimps text index | photo index
Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Stomatopoda
Spearer mantis shrimp
Harpiosquilla sp.
Family Squillidae
updated Sep 2019
Where seen? This energetic shrimp-like animal is often seen on our Northern shores, especially among seagrasses. It is more active at night.

Features: 6-10cm long. Body broad and long, colour plain grey or beige with fine dark bars and lines. Broad tail that have spiky edges and a pair of paddle-shaped appendages. Some have colourfully marked tails.

The huge front pincers resemble those of the Praying mantis insect or the blade of a pocket knife that folds into the handle. Armed with sharp spines, the pincers extend and retract much faster than an eye blink and the sharp spines impale soft, fast-moving prey like fish and prawns.

Status and threats: Our mantis shrimps are not listed as endangered. However, like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution.

Changi, Jun 10

This is all that is usually seen
of a mantis shrimp in its burrow.
Changi, Jul 04

All kinds of scary predatory
claws on the underside.

Chek Jawa, Feb 06

This one caught a little fish!
Changi, Jul 07


Deadly pincers
Changi, Jul 05


Spearer mantis shrimps on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Pulau Sekudu, May 10
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

Beting Bronok, Jul 19
Shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook..

Pasir Ris, May 09
Shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Berlayar Creek, Oct 17
Photo shared by Abel Yeo on facebook.

Tuas, Mar 09
Shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.


Terumbu Bemban, Jun 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.


Sisters Island, May 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Chek Jawa, Apr 02


Sisters Island, May 12
Photos shared by Geraldine Lee 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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