Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium
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Species: Hemisquilla californiensis

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H. californiensis 1
H. californiensis 2
H. californiensis 3
H. californiensis 4
Click on any image to see an enlargement. All photos © 2005 Roy Caldwell.

Common name: None

Functional type: Primitive smasher

Range: Santa Barbara, California to the Bay of Panama

Habitat: Muddy bottoms

Depth: 10–50 m; usually 15–30 m

Home: Blind burrow several body lengths long

Diet: Generalist; annelids, gastropods, bivalves, crustaceans

Size: 3.5–32 cm; the largest of all smashers

Color: Brown with blue walking legs and antennules, yellow raptorial appendages and blue uropods with red setae; adult males have red patches on carapace

Distinguishing Characters: Upright, forward looking eyes; yellow raptorial appendage

Activity: Active early morning and late afternoon, closes burrow at night and mid-day

Aquarium Requirements:

Temperature: 16–18° C

Salinity: 33–35 PSU

Cohabitants: Could eat most crustacean, mollusks, echinoderms

Aquarium size (adult): 200 l

Aquarium substrate: Sand or muddy sand

Suitability for Aquarium: Poor; requires burrow, prone to shell disease, not interactive

Availability: In spring, occasionally taken by trawlers and sold commercially for food

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