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FAQs about Marine Shrimp Identification

Related FAQs: Marine Shrimps 1, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating Shrimp, and More FAQs on Marine Shrimp, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Related Articles: Shrimp, A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium by James W. Fatherree,

I believe in miracles.... where you from? You sexy shrimp!

Curious Shrimp; ID      11/23/17
Hey Bob and Crew!
Happy Holidays to everyone!
Wondering if you can help:
Do you know what this is? Came in a bag of ghost shrimp bought for my Banggai about a month or two ago, was about ~2inches...but has grown and now morphed into 2 BIG shrimp, about 3 1/2" each.. lol.. trying to find out
what kind they are , they hide all day, come out at night, and sift thru the sand.. they do not bother anything... cannot find an exact match in WWM or Google.. except.. a tiger prawn? Too far fetched? Any curious suggestions are welcome, ��, thanks! (Trying to send video, but not working, hopefully photos come thru ok)
<Mmm; appears to be a Pandalid... my guess is on Pandalus hypsinotus. Get to be much larger: http://www.sealifebase.ca/summary/Pandalus-hypsinotus.html
A beauty! Bob Fenner>

Re: Curious Shrimp     11/23/17
Thank you for looking at it for me Bob, much appreciated! Searching that online now✔. Hmmm 8inches maturity?,
<Yes! But likely only 5-6" here>
bet they will be an awesome sight to see at full maturity in the reef tank.
Besides size.... is there anything in your experience that suggests they need to be removed?
<Nothing. Pandalids are fave human-food aquaculture species, and on display in public aquariums worldwide>
Currently they are in a 55g reef... which will be transferred to my 180g once we move in a few months.
Am I safe to consider them to be (reef safe)?
<Mmm; "Pandalid shrimp are opportunistic bottom feeders that will eat a wide variety of items such as worms, diatoms, detritus (dead organic matter), algae, and various (sic) invertebrates.">
Not really seeing any aquarium related articles yet... still browsing the web....
Thank you, now they have an identity ��
<Don't think they'll eat Cnidarians/corals. Bob Fenner>
Re: Curious Shrimp     11/23/17

Great to hear, thank you again!
Keeping them where they are, very cool lil weirdos, lol!
<Neat! B>

Shrimp ID     2/8/17
Hi crew
<Hey Cathy>
Thanks for the great resource
I received this shrimp from lfs instead of emperor shrimp I ordered. I speculate possibly a marbled Saron?
<Yes; and very nice pix!?

What do you think ?? Is it possible to tell if male or female from photo, I know I'm pushing?
<Is possible. Here's my spiel from WWM Re: "Saron marmoratus Olivier 1811), Marble or Saron Shrimp. Found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. Usually collected out of Hawai'i for the U.S., the Red Sea for European markets.
Usually found in pairs in the wild. Will fight to the death if same sex individuals are placed together. Males with much longer first pair of walking/fighting legs. Get along fine with fishes, other crustaceans.
Female shown. Eat all types of food, reclusive, nocturnal." This is a female>
Tried to give you idea of size. Is this reef safe as I have sexy shrimp and mandarin fish which I don't want it to decide is food. Putting it in QT tank for the moment.
<IF there's room, and this shrimp doesn't get hungry... Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID     2/8/17
Hi crew
Further to email just sent about ID'ing this shrimp sent to me by mistake
Managed to get photo from above as well hope this all helps
<Ah yes; same response! BobF>

Correct shrimp ID before placement       12/25/16
Hi and Merry Christmas Happy Holidays!
I have been trying for months to identify this shrimp, every time I think I have it nailed down something changes or further research seems to disqualify what I thought and I second guess myself. First a little background, we are in a marina in Ft Pierce FL at the junction of the intercoastal and the FT Pierce inlet. About 4-5 months ago I was checking
the water ,incoming tide, for little fishes when I saw what first appeared to be a small 1/2" piece of solid green sea grass or weed, as straight as and about half the width of a toothpick, it was "floating" differently than the other pieces of plant debris around it. On closer inspection I determined it to be a shrimp. I thought it was acting like it was injured or weak. As I hadn't seen one before (or since). I took it to ID and have been amazed at its continuing growth and changes, which has hindered the identifying of it. I started him in my smallest tank 3 gal and he has now reached the point my bigger 20 gal tank is getting too small. The Manatee center is very interested in it but I would want to provide a correct ID.
He now is about 4 1/2" long excluding the antenna, the antenna are approx 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch longer than the shrimp. The antenna are very fine with wide bands matching the green and tan(ish) body colors. There are no larger
pincers on the first set of legs, but each leg ends in uniformly sized smaller pincers and are banded like the antenna . Where the swimmerets meet the abdomen there are beautiful blue with yellow spots. He has a nicely shaped fan tail with 4 fins carrying the same color scheme with the same type banding on the very edges of the two outer most fins. He seems to enjoy both algae wafers, shrimp meat and fish meat (which my anemone enjoys also). As I stated earlier he started out very straight and solid bright green, sometimes dark green others a brighter green, then about a month in
he got more of a bent stick shape and I was positive he was a Tozeuma,
<Mmm; no... this genus is found in the trop. W. Atlantic; but this isn't a member>
but again changed my opinion as he grew, into the shrimp in the attached photos. When with a fish almost as big as he, it looked at times like he was trying to caress the fish with his antenna, perhaps like a cleaner would.
<More likely testing it as a food item>
He is a majestic beast and I would love to see him in a forever tank where he could help educate youngsters, that is why I am eager to do a correct ID on this fellow.
As always you, the whole wet web media team, are an awesome group of folk!
Thank you in advance
Kittie Schwebel
<My best guess, gauging from body morphology, growth/size... is that this is a Penaeid; likely Penaeus monodon... the Asian Tiger Shrimp... a contaminant (non-local) sometimes found in the Gulf... Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID      6/20/14
Hey Guys,
Just looking to get an ID on these guys. Picked them up from my local collector who isn't sure what they are either.
<Local... where in the world? A useful clue>
They're currently playing nice and hanging out with my blood shrimp pair

Any ideas?
<Nothing I've seen, nor see in my home ref. works. Am sending on to LynnZ for her go over. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID: 6/21/14
Hey Guys,
<Hey Sam, Lynn here today>
Just looking to get an ID on these guys. Picked them up from my local collector who isn’t sure what they are either.
<Unfortunately, I can’t give you a concrete answer. I’ve not seen these shrimps before and don’t have access to my research materials at the moment. The best I can do is offer a link so you can pursue the ID on your own, if desired. The process will require a crash course in shrimp anatomy and an eye-opening experience into just how detailed and seemingly minuscule some of the identifying factors can be for ID to even the family level, much less genus and species. The good news is that since you have the specimens on hand, you can see all those little details that don’t show up in the photos. For example, which legs (if any) are “chelate”, that is, have claws/pincers on them? Another factor that’s very important, is the shape and length of the rostrum (the beak-like extension of the carapace, between the eyes). All in all, if you can succeed in identifying to the family level, you’ve done a great job! If you can get it to genus level – wow, now that’s bonus points! Please see the following link to get started (*big* pdf file, so it may take time to download):
FAO Guide to Shrimps and Prawns (this covers the W. Central Pacific, but it discusses some basic family-level traits): ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/w7192e/w7192e13.pdf  
If you really want to dig in, go to the following site, click “Full Description (from SIRIS)”, and peruse the links/families provided. Just be prepared – you may not surface again for several days! http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Zoology/sc_RecordSingle.cfm?filename=SCTZ-0587 >
They're currently playing nice and hanging out with my blood shrimp pair.
<Yay – who needs a name anyway! Just keep an eye on them (and the rest of the livestock) and feed as you would your other shrimps.>
Any ideas?
<See above – good luck!>
<Take care, Lynn Z>
<<Yeeikes! Thank you Lynn. BobF>>

Shrimp ID    12/12/13
Hello all,
<Kyle awhile>
So I have found four of these guys in a shipment of live rock we got at work. I'm not too terribly familiar with most shrimp and was hoping someone there could shed some light.
What I Know:
Came from the coast of Florida (Gulf side)

<Mmm, don't see in Humann & DeLoach>
Largest found was around 2"
Seem to be terrified of everything
Mostly clear with orange speckling/bands
Dark, almost black eyes
My first guess was some sort of anemone shrimp, though none were found associated with anemones. They aren't inquisitive like cleaner shrimp and bolt away from everything, including their own reflection. They aren't pistol shrimp, unless these just happen to be pacifists that left the pistols behind. The closest ID I could come up with is Brachycarpus biunguiculatus, the Florida Two Claw Shrimp. Unfortunately those pictures seem to show a striped eye (which these don't have) and far more color...
Any thoughts?
<Might be Brachycarpus biunguiculatus; just juvenile, or regional variation>
I know ID is tough without a good rostrum picture, but if they are a glass or anemone shrimp, what are the chances its reef safe?
<... the long rostrum; serrated above and below... other char.s. My guess is some species of Palaemonid...>
PS: Sorry if the picture isn't great - all I have at work is my cell.
Kyle Thaman
<Not likely "very problematical" in terms of chewing/eating other desirable reef livestock. Bob Fenner>

Mysterious Creature ID - 11/17/12
Hi Crew,
<Hi Ashley>
I found a strange looking creature in some macro algae that I got and wanted to know if you can identify it and let me know if it is harmful or not. I hope the pics are clear enough for you to get an idea.
<Pictures appear to be a Caprella sp. Commonly called Skeleton shrimp,
harmless.--- http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=101361 
 It looks like a cross between a stick bug, praying mantis and an inch worm. It  has 2 antennae like things on it's head, 2 arm like features
, hence the praying mantis part, and several suction like feet that attach to whatever it is on, like caterpillar feet,
< Pereopods, used for grasping.>
 and it moves like an inch worm. It mostly stands upright in the water on the Chaeto, holding on with it's feet. The tank it is in just has pods, a feeder shrimp or 2, 2 red Mithrax crabs, 2 tiny hermits and macro algae.
Would it be safe for me to put my Mandarin Goby in this tank with this "thing"?
<Mandarin may try to eat it. Good eye spotting the little guy!>
Thanks for your time and endless knowledge!
<Quite welcome.>

Re: Mysterious Creature ID 11/17/12
Thanks for the quick reply. That is exactly the creature I have!
 Thanks for the website link too. I tried to figure it out by searching images online but didn't know if it was a worm or what, to know how to search for it.
<That can make it difficult.>
 I knew one of the crew would know :)
<Here to help>

Shrimp ID 11/7/11
We have an established marine tank and have recently noticed this shrimp in the tank.
<Mmm, where?>
It is sort of hairy, all we have ever put in the tank were peppermint shrimps, but that was way back, never seen them.
Any ideas?
<I can't make out what you're referring to in your pic... Maybe tempt it out w/ food to get a better image>
Regards Phil
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID 11/7/11
Got him right in the light
Looks like something from pre historic days!!
<Ahh! Looks to be a Saron sp. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/saronshrimp.htm
and the linked FAQs file above. BobF>
Regards Phil

Re: Shrimp ID 11/7/11
Many thanks!!!
Phil H
<As many welcomes. Neat animals. B>

shrimp id 6/7/11
Trying to identify this shrimp caught on East coast of Georgia...I caught three off my dock and have never seen before.
Michael Burdette
<Mmm, this looks like one of the three species of Penaeid shrimp that occur off the US E. coast. White shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum) and brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus). Likely this is the first. Do you have other photo/s of the head region? Bob Fenner>

Re: shrimp id 6/7/11
No but will go out this evening and try to catch another. All three had eggs and I threw them back. We have a Lg population of brown and white although the whites were hit hard by cold. Just never saw with pinchers before in 48 yrs on Georgia coast.
<Interesting... am given to suggest this might be Macrobrachium... from where though?>
Will try to get better pics tonight.
<Thank you, BobF>
Re: shrimp id
Caught in predominately brackish water river. Ogeechee River. About 10 miles upstream from intercoastal.
<Gosh; am reliving (sans former LSD exposure) "Apocalypse Now" footage re... Do see the various species of Macrobrachium's pix on the Net... B>
Re: shrimp id
Macrobrachium dux looks very close
<Mmm, a recruit... Ala an unfavoured Pteroine off your coast at times/places. B>
Re: shrimp id 6/7/11
Have looked at pics I see known exact...although could be im-mature compared to pics. I will try to catch more and take pics with camera other than phone for more details.
<Real good. B>

Snapping Shrimp ID? Nope, Thalassinidean - 8/26/10
Hello all!
<Hello Donna, Lynn here today!>
I own a saltwater reef store in Las Vegas
..and can't count how many times you guys have helped me silently.
<That's great, I'm glad we've been able to help.>
I was sent an "assorted snapping shrimp" and before selling it I would like to ID it if possible.
<Good for you! The more you know, the better chance that little shrimp has of ending up in a system that suits its needs.>
It is without a doubt one of the coolest ones I've ever seen.
<It is, indeed.>
It does look to be Alpheus Sp. judging by the claws but I can't find anything that even remotely resembles it on the web.
<Yep, although the claws do look similar, and are unequal in size, this is another creature entirely. It appears to be a Decapod crustacean in the infraorder Thalassinidea, aka 'Ghost', 'Mud' or 'Sponge' shrimps. This group is typically comprised of deposit/detritus-feeders and filter-feeders. I believe your individual belongs in one of two families: Callianassidae ("Ghost shrimps": big-time burrowers, combination deposit and filter-feeders), or something in the family Callianidaeidae, (shrimps associated with reef/rubble habitats that tend to burrow or hang out under rocks/within rockwork). I wish I could narrow it to one family or the other, but I can't quite see enough detail to make that determination. At any rate, I'm leaning towards the latter family, namely those species in the genus Callianidea. If your individual came from the Indo-Pacific region, it could easily be Callianidea typa as it seems to be a fairly common, widespread specie. As far as diet, I couldn't find any specific information, but it's likely another deposit/detritus-feeder that would do best in a mature system with a deep sand bed, rockwork, and rubble. As with any potential burrower, there's always the possibility of undermined rockwork and rearranged aquascapes, so that should be kept in mind for anyone wishing to take this little fellow home. Please see the following links for examples of Callianidea typa:
Family Callianassidae, genus Calianassa: http://www.marinelifephotography.com/marine/arthropods/shrimps/callianassa-1.htm
Good basic information link re: Thalassinidean shrimps: http://museumvictoria.com.au/crust/thalbiol.html >
Thanks in advance for your help.
<You're very welcome.>
<Take care, Lynn Z>

Query - I need help ID'ing something please 7/5/10
Dear all,
My family and are just starting to set up our first Marine tank. Your site has been really useful so far helping me ID some hitch hiking starfish that came with our live rock.
We put the rock in 2 days ago and as I say we had about 5 Asterina on it, but last night we noticed the guy in the picture attached. We're really new to all this so please excuse me if I get the terminology wrong. He looks like a shrimp (to my untrained eye) and is just under an inch long has pincers on his front legs and is greenish in color. To be honest he looks like he may have been hurt on the way from where-ever he came from.
He was eating off the rocks last night though.
I just want to check to see if you had any ideas what he could be?
<Looks like it could be a species of Tozeuma... a Hippolytid shrimp:
at the bottom, and click on the link to the genus there>
We haven't got any inverts or fish in the tank at the moment as we are setting up and I want to make sure he isn't going to eat anything else that we do eventually put in there, so if you could advise about this I'd really appreciate it.
Thanks in advance for your time and I hope that you can help. If you need any more info please let me know.
<Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID: Likely Family: Palaemonidae -- 5/3/10
<Hello, Lynn here today.>
Found this shrimp is a tide pool of the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa. Looks to be some type of coral or anemone shrimp it is female with eggs and it also has two pincer-like arms kind of like a coral banded shrimp. Any ideas?
<It looks like something in the family Palaemonidae, a huge group of shrimps that includes many transparent and near-transparent species. Unfortunately, I'd need detailed photos showing the rostrum (the beak-like projection at the head), as well as the legs and various antennae/antennules in order to confirm the ID even to family level. Identifying to genus level would require even more detail. Please see the following links for more information and photos for comparison:
Grass shrimp in general: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/cwcs/pdf/grassshrimp.pdf
Palaemonetes vulgaris (commonly sold as "Common Shore Shrimp" to marine hobbyists): http://www.mariculturetechnology.com/images/SWShrimp.jpg
Palaemonetes pugio females with eggs: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~rtb6933/shrimp/Phero.html
Family Palaemonidae: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/palemonidae.htm
Take care, Lynn Z>

Strange Creature In Reef Tank...What Is It? 1/21/10
I found a weird creature in my fish tank last night when I was feeding the fish and corals. This thing measures about 1' long, it is like a transparent dark brown/green color similar to a bait shrimp, the head is like in a flat arrow shape, it has claws that was using to move the crushed seashells from under the rock, it has pretty long antennas for his size, I'll say about 1cm, it moves very fast, it will start crawling out very slow to try to reach some food pellets but I never got to see the full body out, I saw most of it but never got completely out of the rock. I used to have an Engineer Goby that dies and I thought it was a baby but now, this has a mixed look like a lobster+shrimp+cockroach <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I managed to take some pictures (attached) but they came a little blurry and I was only able to get the head , I circled in the image the creature so you can see it. It moves very fast when goes back inside the rocks so it took me about 10 minutes to take the picture.
What is this thing?
<Well, as you say, the pictures aren't resolved enough for an accurate ID, but by your description, I'm guessing you likely have a shrimp of some type, possibly a Pistol Shrimp or Mantis Shrimp. Are you hearing any clicking/snapping sounds?>
Thank you.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

an Alpheid
Re Strange Creature In Reef Tank...What Is It? 1/21/10
Yes, I do hear some clicking sounds sometimes
<Then you likely have a Pistol Shrimp of some type, but not to rule out a Mantis Shrimp.
You may want to trap and photograph, and send a couple of pics to us or ID yourself by Googling. Traps for this purpose are rather inexpensive and can be had on-line. If it is a Mantis Shrimp, trouble lies down the road as it grows. For more info on both, read here.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Gulf Coast Shrimp ID 7/2/09
<Super Lynn>
Just wanted to let you know that the shrimp query in my folder may take a couple of days before it's answered. The little fellows in question were caught in Port Aransas, TX, which is one of my old stomping grounds.
<Neat... nothin' like a home-grown dirty shreemp dish>
Luckily, UT has a Marine Science Institute there, so I've emailed one of the faculty members to see if he could help.
The shrimp looks like a Hippolytid of some sort to me (akin to what people call a Candycane shrimp - Parhippolyte sp?) but I can't see enough detail to commit with any degree of certainty and I'm not even sure if that genus' range includes the Texas gulf coast. Anyway, if all goes well, we'll have an answer in the next day or two, but with the holidays (and probably a busy academic life!) who knows? If I haven't heard anything by Friday night, I'll go ahead and respond. If I hear anything afterwards, we can always add a follow-up. Sound okay?
More than anything, I'm just curious as to what those little guys are! I never saw them growing up or when I was there last year - and you know I looked!
Take care,
<Will do. B>

Shrimp ID 7/2/09
We have a dilemma trying to ID a shrimp we caught at the jetties where we will be collecting. Lynn from WWM has joined our forums trying to help us with the ID. I have included an attached picture of the shrimp. Here is a link to our forums, if you care to join in our discussions. Please register with a Username and when you do, we would like to offer you a Complimentary Charter Membership.
<Thank you Steve... The closest thing I can find to fit the animals in this image is Lysmata seticaudata... How did it get to the Gulf of Mexico from... the Mediterranean? Got me! BobF>
Link: http://maast.org/forums/showthread.php?t=52235
MAAST President
TMAC 2010...in the works

Gulf Coast Shrimp ID -- 7/4/09
<Hello there, Lynn here today>
Can you ID these shrimp caught off the gulf coast at the Port Aransas jetties?
<They look like some sort of Hippolytid (Family Hippolytidae - cleaner, peppermint, etc. shrimps,). The closest in color/general appearance that I've found so far are several species listed as belonging in the genus Parhippolyte, such as P. misticia, but appearances can be deceiving. When it comes to ID's, details are everything. You'd need to be able to get in close and compare various features, for instance rostrum length/shape, and compare them to either a good diagnostic/identification key or known species within the various Hippolytid genera. Luckily, I've got a link to a terrific key covering various shrimps, including those in the family Hippolytidae. Start on page 59 for a key to the various genera: http://www.sil.si.edu/smithsoniancontributions/Zoology/pdf_hi/SCTZ-0587.pdf
I've also contacted a faculty member at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute there in Port A to see if he could lend us a hand. I received a message from him stating that he was going to look into the matter for us and I very much appreciate it! I will certainly keep you informed regarding any results or developments that come my way. By the way, here's a link with a photo of Parhippolyte misticia: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/reefs/guamimg/crustacea/caridea/Pages/Image17.html
More re: family Hippolytidae - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hippolytidae.htm >
<You're very welcome! Take care, LynnZ>

Hi Bob and Steve...(see message below in <<... >>)
<Thank you Lynn! BobF>
<<Always a pleasure, Bob! - Lynn>
Re: Shrimp ID
We have a dilemma trying to ID a shrimp we caught at the jetties where we will be collecting. Lynn from WWM has joined our forums trying to help us with the ID. I have included an attached picture of the shrimp. Here is a link to our forums, if you care to join in our discussions. Please register with a Username and when you do, we would like to offer you a Complimentary Charter Membership.
<Thank you Steve... The closest thing I can find to fit the animals in this image is Lysmata seticaudata... How did it get to the Gulf of Mexico from... the Mediterranean? Got me! BobF>
Link: http://maast.org/forums/showthread.php?t=52235
<<Yep, the closest I've gotten is Parhippolyte misticia. Unfortunately, I haven't found any info regarding their range include the Texas coast. Here's a link w/photo: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/reefs/guamimg/crustacea/caridea/Pages/Image17.html
The good news is that I did hear from Dr. Munguia yesterday morning. He's going to look into the matter for us - Yay! Until then...y'all take care and have a great fourth! Lynn>>

Live Rock Exchange and Shrimp ID 12/12/08 Hi Crew, <<Hello unsigned query writer>> I have a 10 gallon that has been successful in 5 out of six years. <<A difficult volume of water to maintain>> Year one was prior to knowing about WWM. <<Ah!>> There was a recent answer to someone to think about replacing older live rock. <<Yes? Bob does suggest this on about an annual basis, for reasons of a fresh injection of bio-mineral content and to refresh biodiversity>> So I guess that would go for me as well? <<Goes for anyone utilizing live rock, yes>> I originally got uncured live sent to me (25 pounds) and it was an interesting experience. <<Indeed?>> My LFS always has rock curing but I was wondering if I will still get the biodiversity that I would like from that rock versus curing my own. <<Depends on their curing method and how long the rock has been sitting around I think. But it is my belief that receiving fresh rock directly from a collector and carefully curing it yourself will result in the highest survival of biota versus having the rock shipped and handled (or mishandled) multiple times. And for swapping a small amount, you may find that curing is not even necessary>> His rock is nice and clean so what are my chances of getting some surprises? <<Pretty good really... Most dealers keep their rock piled in unlit tanks/vats. Placing the rock in a lighted, chemically balanced, and mature system will usually result in the emergence of previously sequestered organisms (and some not always welcome), assuming your livestock (i.e. hermit crabs, shrimp, some fishes) doesn't consume the emergent life before you notice it>> On a different note. As a kid I once bought those dwarf seahorses sold on the back of comics. <<Ah yes, I too remember those. Though my recollection of them was usually as a dried up carcass. Unfortunately the little bit of provided salt added to some tap water in a goldfish bowl was NOT sufficient to keep them alive as many a child/parent was to learn>> So when I saw someone selling them from the Florida Keys I decided to try it again which is how I got into this six years ago. <<I see>> Anyway, included in the stuff I got was supposed to be a peppermint shrimp. <<Mmm? I wouldn't expect any Atlantic species of shrimp or crab to be good tankmates for these seahorses. Too predatory?>> I was too new to the hobby to know if it really was or not but lately I have been wandering what it really was. <<I take it that it didn't survive then?>> Its behavior was very different from other shrimps that I have had since then. It had eyes on a short stalk, and when the lights came on it would hide by burying its body in the sand with only its eyes above the sand. It would stay like that until the lights went out and then it would come out. Any peppermints I have had seem to like to hang upside down in a cave or overhang. <<Indeed? The burying behavior you describe is much like that of some species of what we consider as edible shrimp. Being from the Atlantic (and misidentified as a Peppermint Shrimp), this may have been a Pink Shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum)>> Thanks <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Shrimp ID: Need more information 11/11/08 Hi, <Hi Andy> I have what I think is a shrimp that lives in a hole in the rock. <Neat> It is black with two arms with two thin long fingers which it hangs in the flow to catch food. <Hmmm, do the arms just wave about (maybe they're antennae), or are they actively picking at, or grasping things? Can you see any small claws on the tips? Pistol shrimps have surprisingly long, thin, clawed appendages for grasping food. Have you heard any clicking or popping sounds emanating from the tank?> Its eyes are on swivels looking in different directions looking for food. <Neat. That sounds like a Stomatopod, or Mantis shrimp. They have extraordinary eyesight made even better by the fact that their eyes are on mobile stalks. What's neat about the stalks is that they can move independently of each other which allows for an incredible visual range.> It never comes completely out of the rock as it is growing, and it is slowly making the hole bigger. It has been in the tank for about a year now. It is not growing fast and is about 15 mm long. I have searched the web and cannot find what it is. Can you help? <I sure wish I could. Unfortunately, the best I can do without a photo is to refer you to some sites for comparison so that you can hopefully narrow things down. Please see the following links (as well as the associated links at the top of each WWM page): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/shrimp.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/stomatopods/mantisshrimp.htm The next link has a terrific photo of a Pistol Shrimp's grasping appendage that I mentioned above. Please see the fifth row of photos under the heading Pistol Shrimp, on the far left: http://www.chucksaddiction.com/hitchshrimp.html Andy <Good luck. Take care, Lynn>

Shrimp ID - Lysmata - 08/28/08 Hi! My name's Andrew and I've been an avid reefer for 3 years =) In that time, you guys have helped me tremendously, and I have pointed friends to your site and we were all very pleased with the vast amount of accurate information you have on your site. At my LFS a friend and I came across two shrimp that we've never seen before. The store said they have never had them either and this was the first time they saw them on their suppliers list so they picked two up. I know impulse buying without research is generally not advised, but this is a shrimp and it's going in a nano tank that has very limited inhabitants. The shrimp was labeled as a Striatus Shrimp. However, when I look this up online I find the common name is the Striped Hinge Beak Shrimp, and the pictures don't look like what I have. <The common common name problems.> The striped hinge beak shrimp looks very close to a peppermint shrimp, however my "Striatus" is very different. It is the same size as an adult Skunk Cleaner. However, it does not have the white stripe cleaners have, and instead of being red he is very pink...almost fluorescent or neon like. At night time/early mornings the pink becomes very pale/clear, and a few stripes appear. He also isn't very active like cleaner shrimps, he hangs out in one spot sometimes for hours on end, and looking closely it doesn't seem like he's doing anything. He is always out in the open and doesn't really hide ever. Please set me on the right path to figuring out what I have, there are pictures attached of him at the store, in the early morning, and in my tank during normal hours. Thank you for all the help and please let me know if you need any more info! <Origin (in terms of part of the ocean they came from) of the shrimp would be helpful.> I'm not really sure how to view your response, do you post this online and then email me telling me where to find the reply? Do you just email me the response? <Both. The reply is sent by email and later posted on the site.> Thanks again. Andrew <Welcome. Marco. Wait... you wanted to know the ID of these shrimps. There are two species with this type of coloration. Lysmata galapagensis comes from the Eastern Pacific. Lysmata kuekenthali from the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Therefore, the origin of the shrimps can be a species indicator for you. Also see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpid.htm and search for L. kuekenthali, which I believe is what your shrimp might be.>
Any ideas on what type of sand sifting shrimp this is? 8/12/08<... A Penaeid of some species... see your search tool, images re. Bob Fenner, who misses Lynn...>

Shrimp ID help please - 06/29/08Hello WWM crew. Attached is a picture of a shrimp that I would like some help verifying its ID, please. This shrimp was found by a friend of mine while diving in Panama City, FL (northern Gulf of Mexico). She found it when she picked up a long spine sea urchin to show to a student (she is a dive instructor). She came to me and to a biology teacher for help in identification. The biology teacher thought it to possibly be in the Periclimenes family or possibly the Gnathophyllum family. <The latter... though at first I too thought it was a Palaemonid... faulty memory... more so all the time> I did a lot of Google work and also searched your site but found little info. Based on a few difficult to see photos, I believe it is Gnathophyllum elegans. This seems supported (at least down to the Gnathophyllum family) by the fact that it was found on the bottom of an urchin, and Julian Sprung's book "Invertebrates: A Quick Reference Guide" reports that Gnathophyllum may feed on the feet of urchins and sea stars. <Mmm, nah! Must> The best photos I could find with the full scientific name came from not what I would consider highly reliable sources and most of them were not written in English, but they were the closest matches I could find and did indicate the scientific name of Gnathophyllum elegans. Any help you could give towards a definite ID would be greatly appreciated. Also, what are your opinions as to their aquarium suitability (given that it would almost certainly require a species only biotype). I realize their natural diet would be difficult to replicate and not desirable to replicate in my opinion. Mr. Sprung recommends feeding finely chopped meaty foods and even flake foods; <No... like most of its family, this animal feeds on the tube feet of certain echinoderms found in its range. An interesting remark... it is recorded as a facultative cleaner, removing parasites from fishes, when young> however, I think he is somewhat overly optimistic on some animals' aquarium suitability. Thanks for all your help (past, present and future!). Sincerely, Rob Watson <Am almost sure this is Gnathophyllum panamense... found from the lower Sea of Cortez in Mexico's Baja to Ecuador... Bob Fenner>

Shrimp identification 4/13/08 Hey crew, I was wondering if you could help me to identify this shrimp: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billbyrne/2398803722/in/set-72157601603056666/  http://www.flickr.com/photos/billbyrne/2398804516/in/set-72157601603056666 / Cheers, Bill <I was unable to find a quick ID in my in-print ref.s, or the Net under Rhynchocinetids of the Philippines... but do agree that this appears to be a hinge-backed shrimp. It may be an unidentified species. You might look for and send your images to taxonomic experts of the group. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

SW Aquarium ID if possible 3/20/08 Hi WWM Crew! Recently I've housed all my fish in QT due to Ich and Brooklynellosis outbreaks. But my question has to do with thousands of tiny things, almost unseen to the naked eye, in my main tank. At first we though they were part of the Ich parasite's life cycle, but upon closer inspection they appear to be baby fish. <Mmm, nope> One of my yellowtail blue damsels has had a bulging belly lately but we never saw her lay any eggs and she's quite small (not even an inch in length). I've tried searching the web but no luck. So I've attached a photo...are these guys baby damsels or something else? Thanks for your time! Tracy
<Something else... larval... shrimp! Neat-o! BobF>

Shrimp ID: Possibly Tozeuma - 3/7/08 Dear Sirs: <Heeee! In this case, Madam, but please call me Lynn instead!> Please check on the photograph I have in my multiply: http://pinneng.multiply.com/photos/album/15/Manado-Bunaken-Lembeh_Part_1#10 <Nice photo of a neat little shrimp! It took me a minute to realize that it wasn't so much hair-like as it was transparent mid body, with white along the top/dorsal and underneath/ventral areas. Many commensal shrimps are like this, as far as being close to transparent and rather difficult to see. This sort of cryptic patterning/coloration breaks up the appearance of the body shape, making it more difficult for potential predators to recognize, or perceive them, as prey.> I took this in Bunaken, North Sulawesi. <Beautiful area!> It was as thin as a hair. With the length of about 1cm. Can you please identify the shrimp? <I believe it's a shrimp in the family Hippolytidae, genus Tozeuma, similar to this: http://www.poppe-images.com/images/image_info.php?picid=946703 http://www.poppe-images.com/images/image_info.php?picid=946704 > Thanks! <You're very welcome, and thank you for sharing such a nice photo! Take care, -Lynn>

Unidentified Shrimp... Perhaps a Ghost Shrimp 9/11/07 This is Paul again. <Hola Paul, Mich aqui> I just wanted to send you a picture of one of the shrimp in my tank. I have another just like it. I am currently living in Brazil (Curitiba) and this was a shrimp offered at the aquarium store (www.aquabetta.com.br) I thought you guys might like to look at it. <Always nice.> Maybe you haven't seen one like it before. If you have, can you tell me what its name is? <I could be wrong, but it looks like a pretty glass or ghost shrimp to me. Ghost shrimp are often used as feeders More here: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= http://www.fishlore.com/Pictures/Profiles/ghost_shrimp_2.jpg&imgrefurl=
http://www.fishlore.com/profile-ghostshrimp.htm&h=150&w=250&sz=6&hl=en&start=16&um=1&tbnid=mn4UJo7N5z_ kqM:&tbnh=67&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dglass%2Bshrimp% 26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26sa%3DG > Thanks a lot. <De nada! Mich>

Re: Unidentified Shrimp... A Ghost Shrimp 9/12/07 Buenos Dias Paul, Mich here again.> I thought ghost shrimp were freshwater. <Can be fresh... can also be salt... I have collected myself from saltwater in the Belmar NJ inlet.> They have been living in my saltwater tank for 7 months now. <Yes, there are several species. Many can tolerate great ranges in salinity. RMF is in agreement with this ID.> Thank again.

Shrimp?, Yes is a shrimp, type ? 3/14/07 Any idea what this guy is? Good? Bad? <Hmm, really a guess at best, almost looks edible, like a king prawn, but I don't know much about their behavior. Perhaps a type of Saron shrimp, maybe a male, but he's not as bristly as I would expect, but Sarons are predacious and would explain the missing tank mates. RMF your thoughts?> <<Does look like a female Saron sp. of some sort... have Debelius' work out on Crustaceans... looks most closely like S. rectirostris to me. RMF>> Thanks! <Welcome! Mich> <p.s. Check today's FAQ's as RMF may comment there.> Jess Note: forwarded message attached. Hi Penny, Jess again. So in storming my tank I uncovered a strange looking thing, a shrimp of some sort maybe? I don't know. I looked up on the net mantis shrimp ( maybe the culprit for my deaths ) but he doesn't look like one? <Not a mantis shrimp.> Mantis all look to be beautifully colored and the eyes are what are also noticeable. This thing is dull colored and has 2 appendages like things that flank either side of him from his mouth that go back. I have picked him up and handled him and he's not nasty like I heard mantis are. Any idea what the lil bugger is? Good? Bad? If you need other pics let me know and I'll do my best. Thanks

Re: Shrimp?, Yes is a shrimp, type Saron ? rectirostris 3/14/07 So after receiving your reply as what you thought it may be I looked them up on the net but the ones I have found don't look like this guy I have in my tank. <Hmm, did you see Bob's comment on the daily FAQ's? >And I do generally send these to the original querior/s. RMF< <<Does look like a female Saron sp. of some sort... have Debelius' work out on Crustaceans... looks most closely like S. rectirostris to me. RMF>> Some good picture of Saron rectirostris can be seen here: http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic61881-11-1.aspx > His legs are a purplish/blue the underside of his body is a reddish color and the topside is a cream with some brownish spots. He's not to brightly colored. He also has two things that he holds along side of him but they seem to act as a sort of antenna for him. They are also a bit bristly as well as the front 2 ( feet? ) I have watched him closely to monitor his behavior....he does not seem to bother any of the other tank mates at all. He just crawls around the bottom sifting through the top layer of sand. I have not seen him eat anything outside of whatever invisible things he finds in the sand....but he does not touch the Mysis or brine shrimp or anything else that is being fed. So whatever he is he does not seem to be causing any harm. He is about an inch and a half long he's actually pretty big ( or so I think ). Maybe this will help more in identifying him. I will also get some more pictures of him and send them along. He's very easy to handle. He lets me scoop him out of the sand and will stay perched in my hand. Thanks again <Welcome! Check out the link and see what you think. Hope that helps. Mich> Jess

Critter ID: Shrimp 3/1/07 Hello, <Hi there, Mich here.> I have been an avid reader of your website for nearly 2 years now but have never emailed before as I have always found the answers I needed. <Very good to hear!> Today however I noticed a little critter sitting in my mushrooms! It definitely has legs which you cannot see in the photo. <Looks like a shrimp to me. I believe it is an Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes spp.) though the banding pattern also reminds me of a pistol shrimp (Alpheus spp.) though these prefer the sand bed.> It is about half an inch long and it looks like its eyes are on white stalks (don't quote me on that though!) I have attached a pic so if any of you wonderful people can identify what it is and whether it is safe or should I get rid of it? <It should be reef safe.> Sorry if the picture is not good enough but my camera wouldn't focus any closer. Many thanks in advance and keep up the superb work you all do. <We'll try! -Mich> <<Outstanding. RMF>>

Snails Preying on Baby Shrimp? ...Unlikely - 02/09/2007 Hello all, <Hi there Armani! Mich here.> I recently moved some Chaetomorpha from my main tank into my refugium (hang-on-back type). Much to my surprise, it contained many microscopic cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) larvae. <Mmm, more likely you are seeing tiny Mysis shrimp.> I've been feeding the larvae marine snow, phytoplankton, and a few Spirulina flakes. <Mmm, careful not to overfeed, these can be very polluting, and not essential for these shrimp.> Last night I placed some Nassarius snails into the refugium and in the morning, the amount of shrimp has been greatly reduced. <Likely unrelated.> I know this species, like many snails, are scavengers, but wouldn't the shrimp be able to swim away from them? <Yes.> Is it possible they've eating my babies?! <Unlikely.> Great website by the way, keep up the great work. <Thanks, will try.> regards, <And to you. -Mich> Armani

Some Sort of Shrimp ID? Hey guys, I have a 30 gallon tank with about 20lbs LR and 18 lbs Lava base rock. <<Eee.. lava? Must mention its relative propensity to leach minerals.>> I was doing my routine check and saw what look like tiny shrimp. These are about 1 cm long apiece and are about 30-40 of them free swimming in my tank. <<Ok.>> I have had these before. <<Did it itch?>> They appear for only one day and then disappear. I have a skunk cleaner shrimp but have never seen it brood eggs, and these shrimp are there every two to three weeks for one night. They have what looks like an embryo sack that they get there food off until they grow larger. <<Interesting. If you see a yolk sac (what's the white of an egg called?) then I would indeed surmise that you're likely looking at babies. Who is spawning them, I couldn't tell you, but they're not a bad thing.>> Other than that they are tiny and clear to white with black eyes. Can you help me ID these? Thanks- Aaron <<No, I'm afraid I can't. Photo evidence might be helpful, but if we *are* talking embryonic shrimps, that alone may not be enough. Marina>>

What kind of shrimp? I recently discovered that I have lots and lots of what seem to be clear looking shrimp (I think) approx. 2-4mm in length in my tank. What are they and should I get rid of them? I only happened to figure out I had them because I found them (and kept finding them) in my worm trap. (I don't like bristle worms). Thanks for your help. ***Mysis shrimp, and they are harmless. A common dweller in reef tanks. They generally stay hidden during the day in a system with fish. In a system without fish they are out at all hours. Jim*** How can I identify my shrimp larvae? Dear Sirs, << And Maam's, although "Hey Blundell" will work for today. >> Can you help me find a good site to view Lysmata larvae pictures or images? << Nope, but I know who can. >> Last night I had a large spawn of unidentified parents. I currently have 2 banded coral shrimps, 2 Lysmata debelius and 4 scarlet skunk shrimps in a 90 gal tank. I must have over 200 infants with a size of 3mm to 4mm. Around 100 are already in a separate tank. My biggest concern is that the offspring might be mantis shrimp. I currently have three in my aquarium. << That would be great, they are worth more money. >> Thanks in advance. << You need the Lysmata expert to help you here. Email Andy Rhyne at arhyne@fit.edu and tell him Blundell gave you his email address. He is the king of raising shrimp. >> David Erard Caracas, Venezuela << Blundell, jealous he isn't in Venezuela. >>

An Aussie shrimp by any other name is still... 7/6/04 (common names vs. scientific names) G'day Anthony, <cheers mate> Mate I was just kicking back reading my MARINE ATLAS vol 1, when I came across the picture of a BANDED BOXING SHRIMP, it looks exactly like the CORAL BANDED SHRIMP, the atlas does not have a picture of the C.B.Shrimp. Are these two the same species or what? <yes... there are many common names for many animals (tens of common names for some) given by regional people around the world. This is one reason why is it best for us to learn the scientific names of our species to use - at least with the common names if not instead of them. Thus, when someone says Stenopus hispidus, you'll know exactly which shrimp they are talking about :)> Thanks Mate Chris (Oz) P.S. YOUR X.X.X.X. IS GETTING WARM (OZ BEER) <after the rough month I just had/am having, my friend... nothing would suit me finer then zipping off to Australia and sipping (occasionally gulping) tasty beer with new friends. Thanks kindly for the offer/reminder. Kindly, Anthony>

Those Sexy Little Shrimp! A friend of mine got 2 of these shrimp at his LFS under the dubious name "Sexy Shrimp". They walk up and down the tentacles of the anemone in the picture. Can't find them on your website or in CMA book. What are they? Good, bad, depends? Thanks! :-)Tracy Creek <Well, Tracy, it looks to me like you're the owner of some sexy Thor amboinensis. They are perfectly harmless, and stay pretty small, too! They are almost always found in association with anemones, and can eat a variety of small foods, such as Mysis and other finely chopped seafoods. Pretty cool little shrimp, IMO! Hope this helps! Regards, Scott >

Lysmata sp? Hello Bob; I have a quick question I hope can help with. I have recently begun raising a species of shrimp I am tentatively labeling as Lysmata kukenthali, as my resources are a bit limiting. I was curious if you could recommend an expert in the family Hippolytidae to better identify the species. Cheers, Matt Wittenrich <Mmm, the only person off the top of my head to ask in turn is Helmut Debelius. Send your query and pix along and I'll cc him re... and if he is unable to assist we'll try elsewhere. Bob Fenner> Peppermint Shrimp by any other names 4/4/04 Hey there staff!!! You're the best, I appreciate all of your advice in the past and the advice that's to come in the future. <were looking forward to in in kind> We all know that there is always some confusion with the true peppermint shrimp......whether it be from the suppliers not ID'ing the specimens properly.....or the LFS's purchasing what they THINK are peppermint shrimp... and so on and so forth. I know there are mainly two species of shrimp which get tied up in a knot with each other, one being the true peppermint.....and the other being the false. <OK... I believe this to be true for your part of the world (varies elsewhere by region/merchant)> My question is this... I have both species, Lysmata wurdemanni and L. rathbunae> may I ask which is the "true" peppermint....as they are way too comfortably interchanged!!!!! <L. wurdemanni is the true Peppermint shrimp, essentially> and would it be the true of the false peppermints...........that bother worms and the likes??? Or am I wrong, as in both may do harm depending on the individual specimen??? <the entire genus Lysmata is categorically risky in reef aquaria and all have been known to nip corals and other desirable reef inverts at times> I appreciate your time.........thank you again. <best regards, Anthony>

What's in a name? A lot :) 2/14/04 Hi I was just researching the scarlet lady shrimp and I was wondering if you could tell me if the scarlet lady also has the same habits as the white strip cleaner shrimp, (such as cleaning a fish). I gave also been wondering if you could keep several scarlet lady shrimp in the same tank with several white spotted cleaner shrimp. The tank size is a 120 gal deep. and I am going to have coral so I would like to know if the scarlet lady would be alright with coral. Thanks a million Jonathan!!!!!!! <I really am not sure what species of shrimp you are referring to my friend. I'm guessing you mean Lysmata debelius. Common names vary in different regions of the country and world... its important to use scientific names whenever possible. In this case, there are several different genera known as "cleaner shrimp" although your use of the word "scarlet" tells me these are probably Lysmata species. Use the above name I have given you to do a keyword search on our website and others to gather information. best regards, Anthony>

Mystery Critter--Are These Bad Ones? (12/21/03) hi i am 14 and have my own marine aquarium but i have one problem, i have tiny little prawn like creatures in it, I believe that they are manta shrimp there is about 30 of them around 1cm long they are frustrating me and don't no if they are good or bad for my aquarium, and if they will nip the fins of my fish and kill them (that's what I have heard). I want to get rid of them any suggestions, can u please help ????????????? <Welcome to the marine aquarist community. I wish I had one when I was your age 30 years ago. A couple of questions about your tank: How big? How long has it been set up? Does it have live rock? From where? What else have you put in? With the little information I have to go one, I doubt that what you have are Mantis Shrimp. Getting one or two in a tank happens sometimes, but not thirty. By the size, I'd guess they are large copepods. These are not bad things to have and are not dangerous. Many fish love to eat them. Search WWM and elsewhere for descriptions & photos. Steve Allen> please reply ASAP, thank you <You're welcome; hope this helps!>

Mystery Critter--Are These Bad Ones? Ian's go. (12/21/03) hi i am 14 and have my own marine aquarium but i have one problem, i have tiny little prawn like creatures in it, I believe that they are manta shrimp there is about 30 of them around 1cm long <Do you have any pictures?. I have never heard of Live rock containing more than 30 mantis shrimp...I am not saying it can't happen. but we should both know what kind of creatures these are. send me pics if at all possible> they are frustrating me and don't no if they are good or bad for my aquarium, and if they will nip the fins of my fish and kill them (that's what I have heard).<If they are truly mantis shrimp...and they are only around 1cm in length...they are not capable of doing any harm to any of your fish. when they get bigger its a different story though :) > I want to get rid of them any suggestions, can u please help ?????????????<good luck, IanB> please reply ASAP
thank you

Xeniid shrimp id AntBuboine, can you id this Palaemonid for me? You had said someone sent you a pic recently... Boub

Hippolyte commensalis (Xeniid shrimp) Holy cow, Bob! How did you see this little bugger?!?!? <Found by the dive guide... I would gladly 'fess up otherwise 'twere it so> You are the man... seriously: Hippolyte commensalis <We're da fishmen!> a gorgeous critter on a gorgeous coral <G>. I should not be surprised to admit it... and it took me long enough (thanks mostly to your tireless efforts)... but, I'm a dreaming and a hankerin to do some serious (but safe <G>) reef diving. <Omigosh!> Still got tons to work out at home... as you know, my grandparents were/are everything to me. These years are precious. We took my gram to the docs today too for more tests... there are some sobering concerns re: leukemia now. Will be taking her for second tests next week :( And then to Cape May, NJ for a quaint retreat for a few days thee following week (Di knows/likes Cape May Point?... 'tis my speed :) <Okay> At any rate... the dive vacation that I promised myself after we finished NMARI... I will take after NMA RF <VBG>. Time and funds allowing :) Maybe Fiji. <Let me know when, and let's go> I thank you sincerely for your inspiration in so many ways to me, my friend. Antoine <The feeling's mutual compadre. Bob F>

Shrimp ID - 8/31/03 Can you Identify this type of shrimp please. He looks like a banded but with out the bands. Comes from Florida waters this I know. He was a live rock hitch hiker. <looks like Brachycarpus biunguiculatus - the Two Claw Shrimp. Anthony>

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