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FAQs about Stick Shrimps, Tozeuma Species

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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>

"Green stick shrimp" 8/3/09
Hey Bob or other wonder-crew!
It's Andy from lovely Colorado here.
I have a 90 gal. macroalgae tank connected to my large system with many types of macro (including a couple different types of Sargassum), five Dartfish, a pair of Banggais, and a lovely pair of seahorses
along with cleaners of the snail variety (Columbellids, Ceriths, Nassarius, etc.). I've had someone offer me some "green stick shrimp," supposedly collected in the Gulf of Mexico. As near as I can tell, they look like a type of Latreutes sp. or Sargassum shrimp. It looks like it might be a fun, not-something-you-see-everyday type of addition that could go with the theme of the tank (well somewhat: it's certainly no biotope, but it feels like a theme).
<Is a Latreutes; I believe Latreutes parvulus>
But, I can find nothing on these shrimp aside from a few larval development papers, and a couple of oblique references to them by Bob on your site.
Can you tell me what the expected mature size might be? What they might eat? Whether they might be threats to the other members of the tank? Please consider that I don't want anything that might upset the
horses. They are a regularly breeding pair of Hippocampus comes and I'm trying to help get a captive-bred breeding population established here.
Thanks for the help! Photo attached.
Andy Berry
<Unfortunately I know nothing re the biology or captive husbandry of this genus. Bob Fenner>

Re: "Green stick shrimp" 8/3/09
Thanks for the ID and thanks for your time, Bob. I hope you have a good week!
<Let's not limit ourselves Andy... I heartily wish you a great life time... even a here after!!! BobF>

Help with Shrimp ID: Likely Tozeuma spp. -- 2/24/09 Hi there! <Hi Tom!> I know that your site is primarily dedicated to aquarium keepers, but you also seem incredibly knowledgeable about aquatic life in general, so I'm hoping you can help me ID this creature I saw today while snorkeling in Jupiter, FL in the Intercoastal Waterway (Blue Heron Bridge, some of the best snorkeling in FL). <Lucky you -- wish I was there! It was in the forties and raining here today in the Seattle area!> I am 98% sure it was a species of shrimp, but I've never heard of anything like it. <Yep, it's a shrimp alright. It's most likely a species of Tozeuma, possibly Tozeuma carolinense (aka an Arrow Shrimp). They vary in color, from bluish purple, to green, or gray, depending on habitat (Gorgonians, sea grasses, etc). Their ability to blend in and flatten themselves out along slender branches or within seagrasses makes them very difficult to spot by predators and divers alike.> I've spent the past two hours Googling with a variety of keywords, mostly involving "green" and "shrimp", and nothing's come up at all. <Try Tozeuma. Also, see the following links for examples: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hippolytidae.htm Tozeuma carolinense: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3098/2869225708_64b58f2eff.jpg  > At the time, I was observing a small group of pipefish that were hiding in some plants. <Neat> The pipefish were bright green, and I saw what I initially mistook for a juvenile pipefish in the midst of them, only he was bent in the middle. Curious, I moved my hand toward him. He moved backward! <I bet he did! Beware the giant hand!> Eventually I caught the animal in my hand out of curiosity (I know, you're not supposed to touch, but I couldn't help it!). It was bright lime green, about three inches long, <Are you absolutely sure it was that long? The reason I ask is that T. carolinense only gets to about half that length (just under 4cm/~ 1.5').> ...and as big around as a thick toothpick. It had legs like a shrimp, and a tail like a shrimp, but it had a VERY long proboscis, with two yellow eyes close to the middle of its body. It didn't bend its entire body to move, like a shrimp usually does, but instead whipped the very end of its tail. Unfortunately I was not able to snap a picture of it, but I made a pretty bad yet accurate MS Paint rendering of it (best I could do, I'm sorry). <No worries, Tozeuma spp. have a distinctive body shape with a neat little fan tail that you did a good job of portraying.> If you guys can help, that would be awesome! If not, no big deal, I'm going to keep looking. -Tom <I'm fairly certain that what you saw was an Arrow Shrimp/Tozeuma spp. of some sort, but do take a look around the 'net for confirmation. Take care and happy snorkeling! --Lynn>

Re: Help with Shrimp ID: Likely Tozeuma spp. -- 2/24/09 <Hello Tom> Thanks for the swift response! <You're very welcome!> The picture of the Tozeuma was close, that's for sure, but I'm not 100% certain, if only because the eyes in the picture are set much further forward than the shrimp I saw. But it's the right length and shape! <Good. I'm pretty sure it's a Tozeuma spp. of some sort.> And yes, I'm pretty sure about the size. I know that the water distorts your perception, but this time around I had a bit of a guide. When I held it in my hand, nose to tail it was almost the width of my palm, and I have very large hands. <Good reference, indeed.> But like I said, going by the picture, the Tozeuma shape is close, so now I have that for a keyword to help in my Googling! <Yay! Let us know if/when you find the little fellow.> Thanks so much! -Tom <You're most welcome! - Lynn>

Follow-up Re: Help with Shrimp ID: Likely Tozeuma spp. -- 2/24/09 <Hi Tom> Aha! Confirmation! <Yay!> Though a tiny bit more confusion. I did a Google Image Search for Tozeuma, and I have identified what I saw. It was a Tozeuma armatum. There's no mistaking it. This is very exciting, because they are apparently very rare! <Neat!> I wish I knew who I could report my finding to. <Perhaps someone at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg. Here's a link to their site with more information: http://www.floridamarine.org/features/view_article.asp?id=30903 > However, further Googling makes me wonder what the heck it was doing in Florida!! Though in the area I snorkel, I'm not entirely surprised. There are Sea Robins everywhere, and they're not supposed to be found outside of China and Indonesia. So we have all sorts of wacky things! <Heheee!> Once again, thank you so much for your help! -Tom <You're very welcome and thanks for letting us know which little shrimp that was! --Lynn>

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