mantis shrimps text index | photo index
Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Stomatopoda
Spearer mantis shrimp
Harpiosquilla sp.
Family Squillidae
updated Oct 2016
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, Jul 05

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

Broad tail with spiky edges and a pair of
paddle-shaped appendages.
Changi, Jul 05

Spearer mantis shrimps on Singapore shores

Photos of Spearer mantis for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Chek Jawa, Feb 06

All kinds of scary predatory
claws on the underside.

Changi, Jul 07

This one caught a little fish!

Changi, Jul 05

Deadly pincers

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

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

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

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

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.

Changa, Apr 09

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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