View Full Version : New Peacock Mantis and it came with parasites!

12/19/2016, 06:42 PM
Well I got my very first peacock mantis and while reading much about habitat and diet I am only now finding out about the white sack/eggs hanging on the gills of the tail are some kind of parasite or eggs of a parasite and not its own eggs like I was informed by my LFS.

My peacock is 3-4" long and active and eating well. After seeing a couple pictures of a peacock mantis holding its eggs did I realize that my peacock was infected.

So far this is the only info I have found on the subject.


My mantis is not nearly as inundated with the white eggs like in the thread above. Any one have any newer experience with this? Any Treatments? Should I be worried? Or just feed see what happens?

12/19/2016, 06:56 PM
Also while the LFS had it marked as a peacock it is not. Deferentially a smitthii. Good for my 29 gal bio cube at least.

12/19/2016, 08:41 PM
Lucky you to get a smithii, not so lucky with the parasites... I've never heard of a mantis with parasites, hopefully a more knowledgeable person can help :/

12/19/2016, 09:53 PM
Peacocks are bright - smithii are much duller, even as juveniles that's a pretty strange mixup lol... what color are its hammers?

As far as the eggs/parasites... pictures would help immensely.

12/20/2016, 07:11 PM
Been trying to get a clear picture but have not been successful. my smithhii is settling in well making burrows under all the rocks and building thresh holds to the entrances to her pvc network. it is doing it mostly during the day while I am work.

At first I was sad it was not a peacock, but now I am glad I ended up with this little guy.

12/20/2016, 07:35 PM
Yeah I read that they're very interactive with their owners

12/21/2016, 10:18 AM
The gastropod ectoparasite Caledoniella montrouzieri is common on gonodactylids from the Indo-Pacific. I've seen infection rates as high as 20% on Gonodactylus viridis in Thailand. Gondodactylus smithii is one of the most common hosts. As soon as I saw your post I guessed that you didn't have an Odontodactylus scyllarus. This snail has not been found on Odontodactylus.

Look at the ventral thorax to see if the snails are still present. The larger female usually sits at the base of the last walking leg and the smaller male at the base of first walking leg. Often in shipping infected stomatopods, the snails fall off and all that remains are the egg sacks that the female attaches to the gills (pleopods) of the mantis shrimp.

When it is time for the female snail to lay her eggs she mates with the male and moves back in the gills to attach the egg sacks. The eggs take several weeks to develop and hatch into veliger larvae while still in the sack. One of two things can then happen. The veligers develop into juvenile snails that break out of the egg cases and settle in the stomatopod's cavity or the egg sacks rupture early and the veligers become free swimming and enter the plankton. We have found tiny juvenile snails living under the female snail's shell. It looks like she is brooding the juvenile, but I'm not sure about that. The occupants of gonodactylid cavities turn over frequently so a juvenile remaining in a cavity provides a good chance that an uninfected animal will show up. We don't know how the snails sort out the occurrence of one male and one female per host.

Hosting the snails is usually not fatal for the stomatopod although they may inhibit molting. Most of the infected stomatopods I've had eventually lost the snails and lived normally. I've tried to infect other stomatopods with juvenile snails, but never succeeded.

It also isn't clear how the snails make a living. They sit on a thickened cuticle platform that develops at the base of the walking legs. It is possible that this modified cuticle is porous and allows hemolymth to pass through to the snail or the snails could live off of the crumbs produced when the stomatopod processes prey. This would be a neat question to address.

There are several ectoparasites and parasites of stomatopods known. Some of the most common aside from the snails are clams that grow inside the pleopods. These seem to be more common in squillids


12/21/2016, 01:24 PM
Thank you Dr Roy. The only info I could find on this was from your post. I am hoping that they don't cause much of a problem as you described.

My smithii while active has been a lil shy yet, but its only been a couple days. Will share pics as I get them.

12/22/2016, 01:02 AM
That was very interesting and a little bit of irony that a snail would get payback on a mantis shrimp :-)

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12/22/2016, 09:56 AM
Here is a photo of a G. smithii with egg sacks attached to the gills. The snails are not visible.

12/22/2016, 11:02 AM
definitely looks like that but a lot less egg sacks.

EI Gringo
01/06/2017, 12:47 AM
Honestly never seen that in all the specimens I've observed, very interesting.

01/22/2017, 10:57 AM
My mantis has gone through a molt, but still has yet to be seen much.

For 2 weeks she walled up both ends of her PVC tunnel and no clicks where heard. Then a week of lower activity but one entrance was open. To know both entrances open, tons of smashing going on, and taking krill from feeding stick easily.

I have crabs, snails, and hermits for her to come out and hunt. Yet she stays in her PVC most the time.

Every picture I have seen of G Smithii looks like what I have seen of mine. Hopefully a clear picture soon.

02/10/2017, 07:25 PM
How's he doing?

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02/10/2017, 10:49 PM
he is doing well. Here is my other thread on him. He has gone through a molt, but still has not have not got a better pic or been able to see if all the egg sacks are gone.