Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Lysmata amboinensis (Pacific Cleaner Shrimp)

Lysmata amboinensis can be easily identified by its yellow-orange color distinguishing with red and white lines along the top of the head and body. It has white and very long four antennae and they can reach a length of 5-6 cm. The first pair of antenna is forked and has red bases. This species naturally lives in caves and ledges of coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea in depth from about 5-40 m (Wong and Michiels, 2011).    L. amboinensis is known as cleaner shrimp because it gets plentiful of its food by eliminating external parasites and old skin from moray eels, groupers, and other fishes.
This species has a very uncommon sexual system. The shrimps develop and reproduce as males at the very beginning then they develop female reproductive organs to become hermaphrodites and function as both males and females throughout the reproductive cycle (Fiedler, 1998). This system called protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism is so far known only from caridean shrimp in the closely related genera Lysmata and Exhippolysmata (Baeza, 2009., Baeza, 2010., Baeza et al., 2009).
L. amboinensis moults every 3-8 weeks, especially after spawning which may occur at 11-15 days in this tropical, non-seasonal species. Males become females after some molts and they carry 200 – 500 greenish eggs in the finlets and breed for 5-7 days. Larvae which are normally the size of the 3-4 mm long are released in reefs exposed to currents. Larvae eat planktons and metamorphose at the size of 2 cm and after 5-6 months.
Lysmata amboinensis is an universally traded ornamental shrimp for marine aquaria (Lucas & Southgate 2012). Most of the commercially sold shrimps are wild-caught, raising concerns about negative ecological impacts on their reef habitats (Calado et al., 2003). Efforts to develop captive breeding programs are underway in order to alleviate the pressures of harvesting in the wild (Calado, 2008).
The optimum pH and temperature ranges for the fine growth of L.amboinensis is respectively 8.1 - 8.4 and 25°C - 28°C. 
cleaner shrimp (Lysmata debelius)

The cleaner shrimp (Lysmata debelius) occurring on Indo-pacific coral reefs is an important 
species in marine ornamental trade industry (Fernando, et al., 2002). It was first described 
by Bruce (1983). Fire shrimp, which also called as scarlet cleaner shrimp and blood red fire shrimp is one of the most popular shrimp in the aquarium hobby. It has a blood-red body with white spots and long white antennae. Antennae are used to signal other fishes with their cleaning services.

It has the white dots just on its carapace or covering its entire body depending on which region of the Indo-Pacific from which it originates. It can grow up to 3 centimeters (1.2 in) in length, with males and females appearing similar. L. debelius prefers to live in caves or overhang habitats. The habitat should be low in light intensity.

Normally they are peaceful with other organisms in the reef habitat unless other organisms 
interrupt on its territory. Fire shrimps make cleaning stations and remove dead tissue and parasites from fishes. It is unable to bear high levels of copper or nitrates in the aquarium. 
They need optimum levels of iodine for proper molting (Fernando, et al., 2002).
The fire shrimp prey on both large polyp stony (LPS) and small polyp stony (SPS) coral polyps. They will eat most meaty type foods that get past the fish. The diet of the Red Fire Shrimp should include freeze-dried, live or frozen foods, and flaked foods. They will come out and be more active when the lights are off looking for bits and pieces of food. They stay near its cave or ledge in the live rock. Fire shrimps prefer pH 8.1 - 8.4 and temperature 25°C - 28°C (Shimek, 2004).
Fire Shrimps are hermaphrodites which means when we allow any two shrimps together, they can form a pair and reproduce. One fire shrimp can do the duty of a male and other shrimp as female at the same time. However it needs to be paired for it to reproduce. They are territorial and defend their hiding place.
Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni)
The Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) is a smaller saltwater invertebrate. It can reach 5 cm (2 inches) in size as adults. They are opaque to creamy-clear in color, with red or maroon colored stripes running along the length of the body. It is sometimes called the Candy Cane shrimp or the Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp but the name Peppermint Shrimp seems to be the most common (Calado, 2008).
The peppermint shrimps, mostly traded as “L. wurdemanni,” have been used for many years to control pest anemones (Aiptasia spp.), which may partially explain the popularity of these shrimps on the aquarium market (Rhyne et al., 2004). They eat aiptasia. Aiptasia is a pest in the saltwater aquarium and it will reproduce rapidly in tanks with high nutrient loads and it can sting corals and fish. Some peppermint shrimps are better in managing aiptasia while some others are not interested. They consume detritus, uneaten food, and decomposing organic materials.
Peppermint Shrimp complex Lysmata wurdemanni has been reclassified in 2006 by Rhyne and Junda based on their morphology and color pattern.
Peppermint Shrimp is sometimes confused with Rhynchocinetes durbanensis. However, that shrimp has a pointed nose and inter-spaced white stripes over its body. In the wild, Peppermint Shrimps are commonly found in the vertical shafts of the reef. Some shrimps take up residence in the core of pipe sponges.
Peppermint Shrimps are very social and peaceful towards most reef inhabitants. Like other invertebrates, the Peppermint Shrimp cannot tolerate copper-based medications or high nitrate levels. It also requires supplemental iodine to encourage proper molting of its carapace. The diet of the Peppermint Shrimp should consist of most types of prepared foods and the occasional pieces of fresh fish. 
Scarlet-striped cleaning shrimp (Lysmata grabhami)

Lysmata grabhami is one of the famous cleaning shrimps which available for the aquarium industry several years. Like all members of this group of shrimps, the third pair of walking legs is of different shape and bears claws. We can identify this shrimp by a bright white stripe flanked by two broad red bands extend from the antennae to the tip of the tail. The color of the rest of the animal is cream to yellow. It has two pairs of bright white antennae.

It lives in the coral reefs near openings or recesses. The shrimp waves its antennae to attract fish. It will feed on the parasites it removes from the fish's skin. The depth ranges from 1 m down to 30 m. It occurs in shallow reef areas all over the Caribbean. These shrimps are hermaphrodites because they have female ovaries and male testes tissue, but are not able to fertilize themselves.

When we first observe L. amboinensis and L. grabhami they look almost identical. But there are differences between them. Lysmata grabhami has a solid white stripe that runs from head to tail, and the tail has two white stripes on the tail side pockets.

Lysmata amboinensis also has a white stripe on the back. Only this stretches from the head to beginning of the tail, and left and right of the tail compartments each with 2 white dots.

The cleaner shrimp lives in the East Atlantic and West Atlantic, the Indo-Pacific and the throughout the Red Sea. Lysmata grabhami tolerate temperatures in the range of 18 – 26 °C, Lsymata amboinensis requires temperatures in the range of 20-27 °C. Both species have recently received a visually very similar sister, it has several white spots on the tail and the tail fan.

Different between L. amboinensis and L. grabhami


  1. Great information on all the insects that you have given us. Thank you for the perfect article on them and keep posting great stuff.

  2. Great Info on Shrimps. Very informative. Keep Up The Good Work


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