Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium
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Species: Pseudosquilla ciliata

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P. ciliata 1
P. ciliata 2
P. ciliata 3
P. ciliata 4
P. ciliata 5
P. ciliata 6
P. ciliata 7
P. ciliata 8
Click on any image to see an enlargement. All photos © 2005 Roy Caldwell.

Common name: False Mantis, Rainbow Mantis

Functional type: Spearer

Range: Tropical and sub-tropical waters except for the west coast of the Americas

Habitat: Sandy bottoms, often near reefs, on reef flats or in grass beds

Depth: Low intertidal to at least 50 m; more common in shallow waters

Home: Digs shallow u-shaped burrows; juveniles live in cavities in live rock

Diet: Generalist; small crustaceans, particularly shrimp, worms, small fish

Size: 20–95 mm

Color: Variable; green, yellow, brown, black, cream. Can be one solid color, have a stripe running down the back, or a mottled appearance. Color and pattern often matches color of habitat. Will change color in the aquarium across molts depending on lighting and habitat color.

Distinguishing Characters: Checkerboard pattern on eyes

Activity: Diurnal, closes burrow at night. Actively forages away from burrow

Aquarium Requirements:

Temperature: 21–28° C

Salinity: 33–36 PSU

Cohabitants: Will prey on small fish and shrimp; generally safe with gastropods and large crabs

Aquarium size (adult): 80 l

Aquarium substrate: Sand bottom, pvc pipe for burrow or can dig under rock

Suitability for Aquarium: Excellent, hardy and active; will shift sand that can bury corals

Availability: Occasionally available from Florida, Hawaii and Indo-Pacific, particularly from reef flat collectors

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