Cape Mantis Shrimp

Introduction: The Cape mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) are the only members of the Order Stomatopoda found along the Namibian coastline. They are easily recognised by their huge predatoral second thoracic limbs, which bears a striking resemblance to those of praying mantids. Other features such as large and stalked eyes, a compressed abdomen equipped with powerful, paddle-looking swimming appendages and enormous rear uropods aid in their quest for food and survival.

Distribution: Mantis shrimps live in rock crevices and burrows, defending their territories vigorously, along the Namibian coast from the Orange River mouth north to Luderitz, Sandwich Harbour, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

Diet: Food includes shrimps, crabs, molluscs and fish. As they congregate in large swarms and are up to 200mm in size, their pale pink bodies and metallic eyes make them easy prey for Cape fur seals, hake and other fish.

Marine life of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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