Squillidae and Lysiosquillidae - Mantis Shrimps

Mantis shrimps are not shrimps. They get their name from their appearance which looks like cross between a praying mantis and a shrimp. Their bodies are elongate, more lobster-like than shrimp-like. Many have spines on their carapace. Their claws are more like folded spears with several teeth or spiny projections. These powerful claws are used to spear, stun or dismember their prey. Most are nocturnal, being more active at night. They spend most of their time in intricate burrows or in rock formations, leaving only to feed. They are very aggressive and will actually chase or hunt their live prey. When caught, they flip their abdomen and heads in order to hurt or maim their captor. Fishermen who catch them in their nets refer to them as "thumb splitters".