View Full Version : O. Havanensis lighting question

Mr. Manty
05/18/2017, 06:50 AM
I just got a new O. Hav yesterday and he fortunately survived the night after my last one died within the first few hours after a proper acclimation.

But now the next morning, he is very reclusive. How active are they usually in the following days after acclimation?

I do have moderately bright white LED lighting on the tank. I know Roy has spoken of them not being very tolerant of bright lighting. Is the lighting an issue and if it is, what are its ill effects? Does the lighting just affect the activity level of the mantis? Stress? Physical harm?

Would just a shorter lighting period be okay? Or should i really think about getting some dimmer lights? I might just put some sort of plastic filter over the lights.

05/18/2017, 09:21 AM
O. havanensis live deeper than 15 m and experience low to moderate intensity blue light. Bright broad spectrum light appears to cause some stress - at least they are less active on the surface. I can't say for sure that high intensity lighting affects their survival in the aquarium, but my gut feeling is that it does.

O havanensis has one of the highest metabolic rates of any stomatopod and can die if dissolved oxygen drops to only moderate levels in an aquarium. I've seen animals die during the night when oxygen drops.

O. havanensis is a great species to keep in an aquarium. They are interactive and come out of their burrows frequently during the day. However, they are hyper little beasts that are easily stressed and requre excellent water quality and good oxygen levels. When collecting them in the field I've actually had them die in my hand presumably from stress.


Mr. Manty
05/18/2017, 01:05 PM
Would you recommend any precautions when it comes to interacting with them? I dont want to stress kill him in the process of hand feeding him or anything.

I will lower the lighting in a few days if I do not see an increase in activity.

I do have chaeto, a skimmer, powerhead, and an HOB all oxygenating the water. So hopefully Oxygen is not something I have to worry about.

And I feel very lucky to be able to pick your brain, Dr. Roy! These creatures are really a passion for me.

05/18/2017, 01:16 PM
No, this sounds fine. Be careful when feeding them. They can jump further out of the water than any stomatopod I know. O. havanensis can reach speeds of over 30 body lengths a second which is faster than squid. Unlike gonodactylids, a five foot fall onto the floor can kill them.

Keep a pair of Polaroid sunglasses around to show off their linear polarized uropods.


Mr. Manty
07/06/2017, 12:54 PM
Just wanted to say that after all this time he is doing great thanks to the knowledge you have shared!

Very active and curious!

you are also the reason i went after this species in the first place!

07/06/2017, 01:19 PM
Glad to hear that it is working out. I currently have 4 O. curacaoensis and they are some of my most active stomatopods. They do particularly well in an aquarium where they can see a lot of activity going on around them. They are also great builders constructing burrows from rubble and shells. For some reason, however, when a molt is approaching, they often will completely tear appart their old burrow. I think this is because in the field they are digging it deeper, reinforcing the walls and adding material on top of the burrow. In the aquarium they usually can't make such extensive modifications and destroy the existing burrow trying to reinforce it.


Mr. Manty
07/06/2017, 02:46 PM
I would love to have one. I just don't see any possibility of getting any other species of odontodactylus other than O. Hav and O. Scyllarus.

I am at the complete mercy of online suppliers! If there is a way other than going diving myself then i would really like to hear it!

07/06/2017, 04:34 PM
My bad. I was thinking about curacaoensis this morning when I wrote that. I meant to say O. havanesis. I also have several N. curacaensis. They are not very robust and are fairly secretive. Pretty, but not good in the aquarium.