This stomatopod made some fancy renovations

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I was just checking on my stomatopods today and noticed this guy had added some decorations to his refuge. The red tape is his ID number and usually the floats around the tank. However it seems as though he’s attached it to one end of his refuge.  A lot of the shrimp seem to like having one end blocked off, presumably so it’s easier to defend their refuge from other organisms.  Usually they just add rocks to one end but this shrimp has gone fancy!

I have new pods! And they are cute.

greenpod smallsize

I got 27 new stomatopods delivered on Tuesday! It’s so exciting when I get the email from the front office telling me I have a package. I quickly rush them to The Pod (yes, I that is what I call the lab) and check that they are all alive. Then I slowly acclimate them to lab conditions throughout the rest of the day. These photos are of the stomatopods still in the bags they arrive in, slowly acclimating to temperature and water conditions.

sandypod small size

This photo of a sandy coloured female is one of my favourites. You can just see the purple meral spot poking out. The photo really shows that this colourful patch is pretty well hidden most of the time. But it does get shown to competitors (or sometimes me!) during threat displays. It seems that the colour of the spot is used as a signal during these fights (but more on that in another blog post!).

 

Stomatopod egg

I had to copy this tweet from the Lund Vision Group because the photo is so amazing! It’s a mantis shrimp developing in an egg. You can see the compound eye developing (the browny part over the yellow yolk). Getting a better understanding of the development of the stomatopod eye would be fascinating since their vision is so complex. If you don’t already know, stomatopods have up to 20 photoreceptors and can detect UV, visible, linearly polarised and circularly polarised light.

If you’re interested in more amazing mantis shrimp photos, check out Dr Michael Bok’s webpage.