Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Giant Mantis Shrimp Caught Off Florida Dock

FORT PIERCE, Florida -- According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), angler Steve Bargeron was fishing from a dock in Fort Pierce, Florida as he watched a fellow fisherman catch what is believed to be a scaly-tailed mantis shrimp. 

Bargeron told FWC that the monster crustacean was about 18 inches long and striking its own tail, so he grabbed it by its back like a lobster.  FWC says that mantis shrimp are actually not related to shrimp, but are a type of crustacean called a stomatopod.

According to the Smithosian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, several species of mantis shrimps inhabit the Indian River Lagoon  and surrounding Florida coastal waters.  Of these, the two likely to be confused with scaly-tailed mantis shrimp are the mantis shrimp, Squilla empusa, and the ciliated false squilla, Pseudosquilla ciliataS. empusa is considered the most common mantis shrimp in local waters but is much smaller in length (reaching only 12 inches) than the scaly-tailed mantis shrimp.  

Photo Credit:  Steve Bargeron via FWC/Facebook