Gonodactylus chiragra (Gonodactyloidea)

In contrast to the pretty and placid G. playtsoma, today I have a photo and video of one of the meanest mantis shrimps I have encountered. Gonodactylus chiragra occurs in the same intertidal reef flats as G. playtsoma, but its temperament is the polar opposite. It hits hard and often.

You lookin' at me?

Its coloration is a mottled brownish-yellow-green on creme; except for bright orange and yellow accents on the antennae, mouthparts, and walking legs.

Here is a quick video of G. chiragra, whalloping the wall of its aquarium; attempting to hammer my finger (off-screen). It plays at regular speed and then at one-tenth speed (the slow-mo is much more impressive and/or comical, in my opinion).


If you want to know more about the astounding stomatopod strike, check out my previous article: Why Stomatopods are Awesome, I: Super Strength.

This was my first attempt at editing together a video, and I will hopefully have more content like this in the future.


  1. Mike Lisieski July 9, 2010 9:58 pm

    She is a mean-looking thing (it’s the yellow – for some reason it just doesn’t look as friendly and the more polychromatic species.) Also, the video doesn’t show up for me – I don’t know where the problem is, just thought I’d let you know.


  2. Mike Bok July 9, 2010 10:08 pm

    Hmm, thats funny. What browser are you using? As far as I can tell it works in Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

    Anyone else unable to see it?


  3. Ted C. MacRae July 10, 2010 1:57 am

    I see it fine in Google Chrome – great job on editing the video.