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Smashing Mantis Shrimps (Lysiosquillidae)


Subject: Smashing Mantis Shrimps (Lysiosquillidae) have excellent and advanced eyesight. Despite their name these animals are not real shrimp but Stomatapods (shrimp have 5 pairs of walking legs, Stomatapods have only 3 pairs). They make a u-shaped burrow in the sand that can be up to 5 meters (15ft) long and 12cm (5inch) in diameter. The large amount of mucus used to built their hideaways, as well as the remains and leftovers of their prey, attracts smaller cleaners and scavengers like Squat Shrimps as shown here in this footage.

Technique: These big critters are seldom seen outside of their burrows. Because they are not moving around, they are easy to film. However, when suddenly overwhelmed by the appearance of a diver, a camera and video lights they can retreat themselves in their hideaway for quite a long time. It can be a real waiting game to film these beautiful crustaceans. Patience is key in underwater videography.

All images Copyright 2020 Olivier Van den Broeck and Greet Meulepas for Beyond scuba. All rights reserved.