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Related FAQs: Shrimps, Marine Shrimps 2, Marine Shrimps 3, Cleaner Shrimps 1, Cleaner Shrimps 2, Coral Banded ShrimpDancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Compatibility 2, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp DiseaseCleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Related Articles:  A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium by James W. Fatherree,  Crustaceans, Cleaner Shrimps, Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimps, Palaemonid Anemone Shrimps, Stenopodid/Boxer Shrimps, Coral Banded Shrimp, P. holthuisi Pix, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Gobies, Freshwater Shrimps,

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

Shrimps, Order Natantia

Bob Fenner

Alpheus species at Steve Pro's

Family Alpheidae, Pistol Shrimp

Seldom seen, often heard... and the results of their "shooting" known far and wide... the Alpheids can be easily identified (if you can find them) by their very short eye stalks and one much larger "pistol" claw.  This specialized appendage is capable of punching holes in all crustacean exoskeletons, even many shellfish! Alpheus and Synalpheus species are the notable symbionts with Shrimp Gobies.

Pistol Shrimp are the predominant crustaceans on the world's reefs... and so you are likely to run into them... they eat most all types of foods... and if kept fed will often leave other crustaceans and mollusks alone. See happily fed specimen above in title bar.

Snapping Shrimps, family Alpheidae. Noted for their noise making capacity, myths re the power of their large claw (a .22 caliber, tank-cracking...) and commensal to mutualistic relationships with fishes (mainly Gobies) and invertebrates. 

Synalpheus stimpsonii (Man 1888). White body with varying dark markings. A crinoid (Comanthina, Oxycomanthus) commensal that often displays contrasting color to its host. East Indo-West Pacific; Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Australia. N. Sulawesi pix. 

Unidentified Alpheid in a crinoid. N. Sulawesi pic. Yes, it really is THIS red!

Family Caprellidae: Skeleton Shrimp, Leach 1814.

Caprella sp. Here living on hydroids where they live; give live birth. To about half an inch in length. Roatan 2019.

Family Gnathophyllidae & Hymenoceridae, Harlequin Shrimp. Four genera.

See: Harlequin Shrimp

Family Hippolytidae, Cleaner Shrimp

Genera: Lysmata, Parhippolyte, Saron, Thor, Tozeuma,  

See: Hippolytids, Cleaner Shrimps

Family Palaemonidae, two subfamilies: Rock Shrimp, Anemone Shrimp

Genera: Periclimenes, Stegopontonia

See: Palaemonids, Cleaner and Rock Shrimps

Family Pandalidae:

Pandalus platyceros A cool water specimen, here at the SIO Birch Aq.

Plesionika grandis. To. 9 cm. West Pacific; S. Japan to PNG. Note very thin legs. PhilS pic in PNG.

Family Penaeidae: Mostly "Eatin' Shrimp"
Penaeus duorarum, here "rescued" from being a bait item, otherwise being sold as an ornamental in an Orlando, FLA LFS.

Family Rhynchocinetidae, Dancing Shrimp. 

Genera: Rhynchocinetes, Cinetorhynchus 

See: Dancing Shrimps

Family Stenopodidae, Boxing Shrimp. 

Genus: Stenopus

See: Stenopodids, Cleaner Shrimps

Bibliography/Further Reading:

Raising Peppermint Shrimp: www.lysmatapublishing.com

Baensch, Hans & Helmut Debelius. 1994. Marine Atlas, v.1. MERGUS, Germany. 1215pp.

Brach, Vince. 1996. Aquarium "gunmen" (Alpheid shrimp). FAMA 8/96.

Brockmann, Dieter. Undated. Keeping Anemone Shrimps in the marine aquarium. Aquarium Digest International #53, p. 13

Bruce, A.J. Undated. Shrimps that live on tropical echinoderms. Underwater Magazine. #17. 

Bruckner, Andrew W. 1993. Tropical Shrimp. Social relationships in the aquarium. FAMA 2/93.

Chlupaty, Peter. 1982. The Harlequin Shrimp- Hymenocera picta. TFH 11/82.

Debelius, Helmut. 1984. Armoured Knights of the Sea. Kernen Verlag, Essen Germany and Quality Marine, Los Angeles, CA. 

Debelius, Helmut. 1999. Crustacea of the World. Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Oceans. IKAN, Germany 321pp.

Delbeek, Charles. 1989. Common Shrimp (Suborder Natantia) for the marine aquarium. Aquarium management, reproduction and behaviour. FAMA 4/89.

Friese, U. Erich. 1984. Crustaceans in the home aquarium. TFH 12/84.

Gosliner, Terrence M, David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. Animal live from Africa to Hawai'i exclusive of the vertebrates. Sea Challengers, Monterey California. 314pp.

Hemdal, Jay. 1984. Shrimp of the Caribbean. FAMA 9/84. 

Hilfrich, Walter. 1972. Shrimps are more than food. Marine Aquarist 3:1.

Hunziker, Ray. 1993. The magic of tropical Shrimps. TFH 7/93. 

Kerstitch, Alex. 1988. Jaws and claws. Most shrimps are scavengers, but some species employ more resourceful and ingenious techniques for capturing prey. FAMA 10/88.

Kraul, Syd and Alan Nelson. 1986. The life cycle of the Harlequin Shrimp. FAMA 9/86.

Sheley, Tom. 1984. Hymenocera picta. FAMA 10/84. 

Wilkens, Peter. 1989. Tropical Shrimps in the Marine Aquarium. TFH 11/89.

To-Be-Identified Shrimp 12/16/12
Hi Bob,
Just saw the gorgeous shrimp from IZOO, listed as “to-be-identified”, on today’s dailies.  It appears to be Alpheus soror, aka the “Bullseye Pistol Shrimp”.
<Ah yes; thank you>
  I’ve seen them available on the ‘net listed as such, but found a listing in Debelius’ Crustacean Guide of The World (2001), page 147.  It lists length up to 3.5cm, distribution as “Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, probably widespread to IWP”.  It also goes on to state that the two photos listed “show an undescribed species, possibly of the Alpheus diadema-group. It has purple walking legs, and a conspicuous large ocellus on the second abdominal segment.”.  Hope that helps! 
 <Indeed it does... And I do have this work... in fact, Helmut is an olde (we're no longer middle age) friend... He and friends met up w/ us some Interzoo ago in Dipelsdorf! >
Take care,
-Lynn Z
<Will do. Now down in Cozumel; sans JoshS unfortunately. His cold/flu is too bad. BobF>
<I'm sorry to hear about Josh, but am glad that you're no doubt having some good times/diving in Cozumel.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays! -Lynn
<<Ah yes. And to you and your husband. BobF>>

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