Photo by Israel Saari
Neogonodactylus wennerae: Curved Weapons
Israel Saari's stomatopod certainly isn't the shy type, and here he shows off his deadly dagger-like hammers. Dr. Roy Caldwell also notes that you can sex the flamboyant critter in the pic by noting the presence of the pair of gonopods (penises) that lie on the inside base of the last pair of walking legs.
I purchased him a year ago at my LFS. Dr. Caldwell had this to say based on the photo:
"Looking at the color, meral spots and first maxillipeds, I would say it is probably either Neogonodactylus bredini or N. wennerae. The two are extremely difficult to tell apart. N. bredini is from the southern and western Caribbean and N. wennerae tends to occur in the north and east - Florida, the Bahamas, etc. This is overlap, however. N. wennerae often show up in live rock from Florida, so I'm guessing that this is the origin of your animal. It probably came from fairly shallow water since it is green - or has been in broad spectrum light for awhile, is about 4 years old, may live another two years and reach a maximum size of 6 cm."
The 1/2 gallon tank that contains him is also currently home to a large Catseye orange snail, several mushroom coral, button polyps and a rock crab. Both the snail and rock crab are too large for him to inflict any damage and he seems to accept this, for now. Occasionally he'll take some shots at the crab, but after a few pops, he moves on to roaming around the tank. He's very active during daylight hours, frequently moving around the rock and sometimes resting on top of the small pump. I feed him a vitamin enriched krill about every three days.
Because I'm next to him all day long (office tank) he isn't the least bit shy and I often catch him at the glass watching me. Always curious, he rushes to the front of the tank whenever I put my finger to the glass and studies it with those googley eyes mantis owners love.
Web Site Author: A. San Juan
Site Created February 3, 1998