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A Production of

Odontodactylus scyllarus, Peacock Mantis Shrimp
Dr. Sheila Patek - University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Adam Summers
Odontodactylus scyllarus
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Image processing: Dr. Amy Balanoff
Publication Date: 18 Nov 2005

whole body | head only


Odontodactylus scyllarus, the peacock mantis shrimp, is beautifully colored with the greens, blues and pinks of a peacock. It lives in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific and builds U-shaped burrows in gravel substrates. Odontodactylus scyllarus belongs to the Order Stomatopoda, which is a large and diverse clade of marine crustaceans. All stomatopods have specialized appendages for spearing or hammering prey.

Odontodactylus scyllarus

Peacock mantis shrimps use the rounded heel of their raptorial appendages to hammer prey, generating extraordinary forces. Recent studies have shown that they can produce forces that are thousands of times their body weight. In addition, their appendage moves through the water so quickly that the water vaporizes in a process called cavitation. The implosive collapse of these cavitation bubbles generates substantial forces that follow each hammer-strike.

Additional Anatomical Information

Click on the thumbnails below for labeled images of the specimen in standard anatomical views.

Dorsal view

Lateral view

Ventral view

About the Species

This specimen, a female, was made available to the University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. Adam Summers of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California at Irvine. Funding for image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative grant to Dr. Timothy Rowe.

Lateral view of head

Dorsal view of specimen

Ventral view of specimen

About this Specimen

The head of this specimen was scanned by Matthew Colbert and Richard Ketcham on 24 March 2004 along the coronal axis for a total of 1230 1024x1024 pixel slices. Each slice is 0.0587 mm thick, with an interslice spacing of 0.0587 mm and a field of reconstruction of 50 mm.

About the

Ahyong, S. T. 1997. Phylogenetic analysis of the Stomatopoda (Malacostraca). Journal of Crustacean Biology 17:695-715.

Ahyong, S. T. and C. Harling. 2000. The phylogeny of the stomatopod crustacea. Australian Journal of Zoology 48:607-642.

Barber, P. H. and M. V. Erdmann. 2000. Molecular systematics of the Gonodactylidae (Stomatopoda) using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase C (subunite 1) DNA sequence data. Journal of Crustacean Biology 20:20-36.

Burrows, M. 1969. The mechanics and neural control of the prey capture strike in the mantid shrimps Squilla and Hemisquilla. Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Physiologie 62:361-381.

Patek, S. N. and R. L. Caldwell. 2005. Extreme impact and cavitation forces of a biological hammer: strike forces of the peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus). Journal of Experimental Biology 208:3655-3664.

Patek, S. N., Korff, W. L., and R. L. Caldwell. 2004. Deadly strike mechanism of a mantis shrimp. Nature 428:819-820.


Information and pictures of stomatopods on Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium (University of California Museum of Paleontology)

& Links

Front page image.

Odontodactylus scyllarus

To cite this page: Dr. Sheila Patek, Dr. Adam Summers, 2005, "Odontodactylus scyllarus" (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed July 12, 2024 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Odontodactylus_scyllarus/head/.

©2002-20019 - UTCT/DigiMorph Funding by NSF