Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium
Previous species Previous

Species: Neogonodactylus wennerae

Next species
N. wennerae 1
N. wennerae 2
Click on any image to see an enlargement. All photos © 2005 Roy Caldwell.

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: 7–80 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

Aquarium Requirements:

Temperature: 21–29° C

Salinity: 33–36 PSU

Cohabitants: Will eat small crustaceans and gastropods

Aquarium size (adult): 20 l

Aquarium substrate: Sand and gravel, coral rubble, LR, cavity

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

Back to the Species Directory
External Anatomy and Explanatory Notes