Stomatopods, or mantis shrimps, are malacostracan crustaceans. Known as “lean, mean, killing machines” (Watling et al., 2000, p. 1), modern stomatopods are obligate carnivores, feeding exclusively on live prey (Schram, 1986). Characteristically, their second thoracic appendages are enlarged to form powerful, raptorial claws. Modern stomatopods are divided into two broad functional groups based on the shape and usage of their raptorial claws: ‘spearing’ and ‘smashing’ stomatopods (Caldwell and Dingle, 1976).

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Spearing stomatopods are found in each of the seven stomatopod superfamilies (see Ahyong and Harling, 2000; Ahyong, 2001) and spear their prey,...

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