Common name: Caribbean Rock Mantis Shrimp, split thumb
Functional type: Smasher
Range: Northern Caribbean to North Carolina and Bermuda
Habitat: Reef and grass flats, mangrove, reefs and rubbly bottoms
Depth: Low intertidal to 30 m
Home: Cavities in coralline algae, coral rubble, LR, gastropod shells, urchin tests
Diet: Generalist; gastropods, hermits, small crabs
Size: 780 mm
Color: Variable, often solid green but brown, brick red or cream, sometimes mottled; like many gonodactyloids, this species changes color depending on habitat color and depth. Animals from below 10 m are often red; shallow animals green or cream. In the aquarium under bright, broad spectrum light, red animals usually turn green after one or two molts; meral spot white.
Distinguishing Characters: Submedian teeth prominent, intermediate teeth reduced (see N. bredini); white meral spot; it is very difficult to tell N. wennerae from N. bredini morphologically although there are genetic differences. N. wennerae is a northern Caribbean species found subtidally, N. bredini tends to occur in the southern Caribbean and is often found in the intertidal.
Activity: Diurnal, closes at night
Suitability for Aquarium: Excellent; hardy and active
Availability: Common; frequently found hitchhiking in LR from Florida; available commercially from collectors and LR suppliers in Florida; easily collected on exposed reef flats in the Florida Keys