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Old 11/16/2001, 12:01 PM   #1
Fcamdog
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Dr. Caldwell, question on habitat

I was looking for strombus snails the other day in bunches of the red macro algae, Laurencia nidifica, and ran across a very big 4" philippine mantis. I guess he was hunting, but he scared the sh*t out of me when he punched out of the macro I was holding. I tried researching this macro and found nothing out besides that it is eaten by humans occasionally. Have any clue what this guy was doing in 5-8 feet of water? I have never seen them that far out from the reef flat. I normally catch them in 6"-36" of water. I was just curious.


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Old 11/17/2001, 07:18 PM   #2
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Old 11/18/2001, 11:21 AM   #3
Gonodactylus
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G. mutatus typically occurs in very shallow water, but occasionally it gets down to 10-20 feet. A lot of it has to do with where the larvae settle and if there is suitable habitat. A nice piece of coral rubble covered with algae in a fairly open habitat is ideal for G. m. When I collect them in Kaneohe Bay, I always look for grapefruit sized pieces of coral rubble covered with algae. If there is a cavity, there will be mantis living in it.

By the way, if you collect in 6-10 feet of water around the edge of reef flats, you may come up with a second species of gonodactylid that is native to Hawaii and that was not introduced - Gonodactyllelus hendersoni. It is small, never larger than an inch and a half. It is usually light and mottled and does not have the yellow meral spot of G. mutatus.

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