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FAQs about Harlequin Shrimps Reproduction

Related FAQs: Gnathophylliids 1Gnathophylliids 2, & FAQs on: Gnathophylliid Identification, Gnathophylliid Behavior, Gnathophylliid Compatibility, Gnathophylliid Selection, Gnathophylliid Systems, Gnathophylliid Feeding, Gnathophylliid Disease, & Marine Shrimps 1, Marine Shrimps 3, Shrimp Identification, 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 ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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

Harlequin shrimp MM pair?   11/7/11
I currently have one male harlequin shrimp and I am interested in getting him a mate (I've heard they do better with mates...and I want another to help defend food as the cleaner shrimp keep stealing his starfish legs!).
Oddly enough, the store I got my harlequin shrimp from is not willing to order in another one as they don't want to risk that it would be male, not sell it, and have to feed it starfish (can't imagine they cost too much wholesale though...).
<Mmm, offer to pay up front for them to order this specimen>
The other LFS in town aren't willing to either for the very same reason.
Very strange considering that they can be sexed (but I guess stores can't even request females from wholesalers - or can they?).
<They certainly can... of a certainty>
Anyway, I was on a short trip out of town a couple weeks ago (2hr drive) and they had harlequin shrimp at the LFS I visited for fun. They had two - one was for sure a male and the other I'm not sure about. I asked the person in front and they said they were both boys and that they were aware of how they were sexed. I wrote it off as just strange behavior that they hadn't killed each other and that they were even following each other around. I checked again today (2wks since the first visit) and they are still following each other around. I know for a fact one is a male - it swam a little and its swimerettes were exposed (white, not spotted). It was a really small tank, but they were definitely following each other around. I asked the lady at the front (it was a general pet store) and she said their saltwater "expert" was out so she couldn't even take them out to check. Do you think there is any chance that both could be male? I didn't think two males could even tolerate each other?
<There is a chance they may still both be males... the smaller one may be "getting clues" that result in it staying relatively small... Order the female through your LFS as suggested. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

- Breeding Harlequin Shrimp - Hey WWM crew, it's me again... <JasonC here...> umm... I was wondering, since you don't have info of harlequin shrimps, except for the FAQs... do you know any good site that have info on them? <This is one of the only ones I've ever found: http://www.sihawaii.com/sydkraul/harly.html > sites that talk about breeding and all... thank you Sokha <Cheers, J -- >

Harlequin Shrimp Update 8/3/07 Hi there, <Hello Syd> I was reading your information page on harlequin shrimp http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnshrpfaqs.htm I am raising and selling these shrimp ( you refer to me when I did this at Waikiki Aquarium, but I now have my own farm). Your answers to people seemed good to me. I can assure you that the shrimp eat pieces of frozen starfish, and seem to do fine on dried starfish. I use only crown-of-thorns stars, for political and cost reasons. Because they are large, it is not good to stick the whole star in the shrimp tank. It is ok to do that with small stars. Anyway, if you want to use any of the info on my website, feel free to do so. <Interesting, and thank you for sharing. Will post for others to see. James (Salty Dog)> Syd Kraul www.sihawaii.com/sydkraul/harly.html

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No, Supply and Demand... What the Market Will Bear... Future Breeding Efforts... A $A350 Purchase! More breeding thoughts... 9/5/07 <Ray, my friend! Mich with you again.> WOW .... what a wonderful resource to get started with. He certainly provides some valuable knowledge that would only otherwise come by doing it yourself firsthand. I think that if I can get my guys to produce eggs, I will be "up there" very quickly. He mentions several things that I had already guessed at, but he provides infinitely valuable info that would otherwise take ages to figure out on my own. So thank you (and thanks to Brenda too), for such a great page. <You are welcome! Must credit Brenda here, was her find, she though it would benefit you.> I didn't realise you had such an adverse reaction to Harlequin feeding habits, and I promise not to mention it again. <Yeeaah... I've gotta couple of issues... perhaps about same number of issues as National Geographic...> I used to live in an area right on the coast, with coral gardens only a short walk from the beach at low tide, <Ahh... heaven :D > but I have since moved too far south, and the reef flats I used to frequent are now 1000 miles away. <Now why would ya go and do that?> I still live just a short drive from fresh seawater though, so collecting fresh water and copepods is no problem there. <I think this will be a great benefit to you and your new babies!> My new little companions lack the large luminescent eyes of cuteness, <Heehee!> but they have much greater appeal to me than that. <Ahh, good!> I find myself sitting and watching them for hours, totally awed by their graceful beauty <The underwater world holds some amazing things... can hold ones attention for hours if allowed.> (and the fact that I can't believe I have them). <I'm pinching you! You are awake!> I do water quality checks daily, but I am sure that will settle down when I finally get used to seeing them every day. <Heehee! A bit of an overprotective parent are we?> I'm still in shock ... but it will pass. <Heehee! Yes undoubtedly.> The journey has already been thrilling, so I can't imagine how good it will get should I be successful in breeding, and raising even a single one. <As I said before can be a journey of highs and lows, but hopefully more success than heartbreak.> I think there is much joy to be had in the successful accomplishment of each step, <Assuredly!> and if I can do something small to contributing of captive bred species around the world, then I will have paid my dues for all the wild stocks I've kept in the past. <Each step makes a difference.> Here's to hoping. <Cheers! I'll toast to that!> Ray. <Wishing you all the best my dear friend! Michelle>

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No, Supply and Demand... What the Market Will Bear... Future Breeding Efforts... A $A350 Purchase! More breeding thoughts...  9/10/07 Lovely Michelle - <Precious Ray> Glad to know I'm not annoying you too much. <Nope! Not at all.> Charles contacted me and we have e-mailed a few times since I wrote you last. <Oh, Terrific! I am glad to hear this!> He says that I am the only other person he knows of that is attempting to breed these creatures. <Really!?!? I am quite surprised by this, perhaps there are others who are just not "vocal". Have you searched other forums, ReefCentral etc?> No one else has contacted him through his page, <This I can believe. Was a challenge to find his email on his site. Perhaps better email placement may encourage more contact.> and we are going to keep in contact regarding our efforts, <Very good!> and see if we can figure it out. <Often two heads are better than one.> The biggest problem we face it seems is feeding the larvae. <From what I've read, does seem to be a challenge, finding appropriate and small enough foods. Not knowing the natural diet is a challenge.> Once we crack that, we will be world famous breeders of Harlequins... <Hey, ya never know! Could be your 15 minutes of fame! You should at least be able to get published! I want an autographed copy! ;) > I am trying to condition my guys by providing a completely stress free environment (including stress by less than perfect water quality), <Good.> and plenty of their favourite food (which I won't mention). <Heehee! Thank you! Much appreciated!> Also, I am taking into consideration other factors often overlooked such as temperature range (and/or variance) plus water movement, as these sorts of things are often triggers for breeding behaviour. <Yes and the phase of the moon is often quite an important breeding queue as well.> I will get more information from Charles, regarding conditions on his tanks, so that should go a very long way to getting them producing eggs. <Yes, to have someone who has had some degree of success will be most helpful. You should be able to help each other quite a bit. There are others out there who may be able to assist.> Once I get them happy enough to produce eggs, half the battle will be won, <Yes.> but the most challenging part will begin. <Absolutely. Raising the fry is challenging to say the least!> I have no delusions of getting it right straight away, but if I can have even limited success before they get too old, I will be happy. <Ahh, good.> Tons of gratitude to you once again, <Glad I could be of help! Please continue to send updates.> and if you were close by, I would hug you. <I always appreciate a hug! Michelle> Ray.

Re: question on Harlequin Shrimp -- 09/05/07 <Hello Charles and Linda, Mich from WetWebMedia here.> Thanks, it was very nice to see the effort I put into that page was of use to someone. <Likely more than you know! I thought you might enjoy seeing. This will be posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com website which averages around 20,000 unique visits per day, more than www.reefcentral.com so hopefully more will find their way to the wealth of information you have provided. Thank you for your work here. Mich> Charles & Linda Raabe

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No, Supply and Demand...What the Market Will Bear... Future Breeding Efforts... A $A350 Purchase! More breeding thoughts...  9/7/07 Darling Michelle - <Sweet Ray> I really, really love to write to you, but please let me know if I am wasting your time. I don't wish to become a burden on your time, so you must tell me if you are too busy. <Not currently...> I just wanted to let you know that I have e-mailed Charles and Linda to thank them for their page on Harlequin breeding, <Very thoughtful of you. I'm sure your kindness will be meaningful and appreciated.> and thank you and Brenda for sending me there. <You are quite welcome and I have informed Brenda as well.> You asked me why I moved so far away from my coral world ... The answer is life. I needed to get out of the small town I lived in, and find a life with better opportunities, so I move to our state's capital. <Ahh, yes, I can very much relate and am making strides toward such a move myself... but hopefully towards the octopus' garden, not away.> I can tell you that had I not moved, I doubt I would be e-mailing you now ... so it's all a progression, <Yes, I understand, growth and change are indeed good.> as it will be with breeding "my" Harlequins. The first thing to do is set up a tank to raise the larvae in while mom and dad are settling in properly, <Acclimation and time is good> and then try to condition them to produce eggs. <And just how you going to try to condition them to do that? Heehee!> So .... here goes ... <Are you ready?> It all begins ... <Excellent! As Confucius said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."> *Hugs and Gratitude for your support* <Thank you very much Ray, been a while since I've received much of either and they are appreciated. Michelle> Ray. Re: question on Harlequin Shrimp -- 09/14/07 Beautiful Michelle - <Dearest Ray> My little Harlequins seem to be very shy. <I'm sorry. Makes it more difficult to enjoy them.> They rarely come out of their cave, so observing them is often difficult, <perhaps more time to acclimate will help these guys get more comfortable.> but they seem happy enough, and feeding well. <Oh good!> Water quality is spot on, so all I can do now is wait. <Time and patience...> I've only had them a week and a half though, so I may have to wait a while yet. <Yes, Hopefully they will become more secure and outgoing with time.> I don't think the food issue for the larvae is the biggest problem. <No, I didn't think so either from what I had read on the DIBS board, the unexplained deaths are more concerning in my opinion.> Charles seems to think that his water quality has been to blame for all the losses of larvae, <Again from what I read, this does seem like a reasonable/logical conclusion.> because he has observed them feeding ravenously on copepods in his rearing tank, but he just can't get them to live longer than 7 days. <Could be something else as well.> The water quality issue may well be true, <Yes.> but he is awaiting a new batch, due to hatch any time now, <Excellent! Please keep updating.> so it will be a big leap forward if he can make it work this time, even if it's just a few. <Oh! Yes! Most definitely!> I intend to do things a little differently to Charles, <Trial and error... doing things slightly different is called experimentation ;) and is often how we learn and at times succeed. Just document what you do and how you do it.> but he has found a suitable food, <A large obstacle to overcome!> and I'm hoping he has more success this time. <Me too!> The challenge is worth it, <I'm glad you feel this way.> and I'm just excited to have mine produce eggs at this stage, but who knows if and when that will be. <One hurdle at a time.> You know a little about what makes me tick, so what's your interest? <After many years of longing I was recently certified to SCUBA dive and I have much enjoyed doing this, though I'm not doing it as much as I would like. It is wonderful to see so many of the creatures I am familiar with, in their natural setting... and the "tank" maintenance is so much easier ;) I am also quite a passionate above and underwater amateur photographer. I have much to learn in this area. I enjoy traveling and have been quite fortunate to do quite a bit this year and hope to continue this trend. Perhaps making it to your country at some point in the not too distant future, I would really love to see the GBR. My father spent over 33 month in the South Pacific including Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and I believe he made it into Japan as well fighting in WWII. So I grew up hearing many stories about the wonders of your country. My first "research" paper (in 6th grade mind you) was titled The Marsupials of Australia. I also enjoy interior decorating; swimming, actually diving more so; hashing, running of sorts; spending time with friends; helping and sharing with others; and philosophizing, laughing, and chatting with interesting people.> Do you keep marines yourself? <Barely... my tank is more of a nuisance algae farm at the present moment. I hope to be relocating soon so it has been rather neglected.... Michelle, hanging her head in shame...and grateful that no one can see her tank.> Ray.

Re: question on Harlequin Shrimp  7/21/07 Dearest Michelle - <Hi there Ray of sunshine!> It's always so nice to hear from you, <And you as well... brightening up my day!> so I thought that I would include a small picture of myself for you to put a face to the letters. <Ah, yes, thank you. It is indeed nice to put a face with the name. We, the crew, are familiar to many, as most of us have our pictures posted on the meet the crew page. I am just returning from an international conference, MACNA, which was held over the weekend and it is always surprising to meet some of the people who I have heard about or corresponded with on-line. You never know what to expect.> Bad news about Charle's Harlequins I'm afraid. <Uh-oh!> He did a too hasty transfer to his rearing tank and they all died from not being acclimatised properly. <Darn. A shame.> Sad news, but his Harlequins have eggs every 3 weeks or so, so he won't be waiting too long to try again. <This is good. Charles's name came up a couple of times in presentations at the MACNA conference over the weekend. Took me by surprise. I actually saw some pictures of some of his tanks! How funny is that? I was like wait, I know that name! Also attended a lecture on breeding and micro-foods. You and your little shrimp were first and foremost on my mind.> I on the other hand have not had so much luck as yet ... (not that I was expecting any mind you). <Yes, sometimes low expectations can protect our wellbeing.> One of them did shed for the first time though, and I suspect it was the female because she has been hiding completely out of sight for 2 days now, and didn't even come out of hiding to try to grab the new food I put in their tank today, but left the little male up to the task. She got involved only when it was safe in the hole they live in. <Well at least she had a safe molt.> I hoped that she may have been protecting new eggs (as I have read they will do), but she isn't carrying any yet, so I suspect it is because she still feels too "soft" after shedding to come out. <Likely so.> Thank you so very much for the personal info. It's great to know something about you, and I think we are very similar with regards to our diving history. <Oh, I only wish. You undoubtedly have many, many more dive than I do, likely several magnitudes more.> I learnt when I was just 19 (geez ... that's 20 years ago now), and it was about a year and a half to two years after I started keeping marines. <With over 20 years of experience keeping marines why aren't you writing on WWM?> Ultimately, I learnt to dive because I wanted to see what I was keeping in their natural environment, so I could better take care of them, <I actually wanted to dive before keeping an aquarium. If anything, I started to keep an aquarium as a means to satisfy this urge.> plus I just wanted to experience the thrill of diving a coral reef, <Initially, I would have been happy just being able to be underwater for a prolonged period of time, just to see what I could see. Now I'm a little more spoiled. I want to be in warm, clear water, with a camera.> and I got hooked like I never thought I would. <I'm hooked, but I can't say I'm surprised. I have always loved being in the water.> I spent the next 8 years in the diving industry, <How awesome!> eventually becoming an instructor (though I haven't taught for a long time now), but it still thrills me to get wet and see what's under the water. <It's a whole different world. I love it! Though, I can hardly bear to go without a camera. I love seeing what images I might capture.> Some of my happiest memories are the times I sunk to the bottom of the reef after a few weeks away, and looking around, feeling like I was home again. <A wonderful feeling.> My mum (sorry ... mom) always said that one day I would find a mermaid and never come home again... Well... I never found a mermaid, but I still keep my eyes open for one... <You may still find her.> It would be an experience of a lifetime for you to come out here and see the GBR. <I would absolutely love to. Is one of my life goals.> I can definitely tell you the best places to go, and who knows ... I might even come with you to see the places I love and haven't seen for so long. <That would be wonderful! This is the best way to do it, with an experienced and knowledgeable friend.> Much hugs. <And to you!> Ray. <Keep updating! Mich>

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp -- 10/04/07 Michelle : <Hello my friend> I hope you get this in time ... <I did, but just barely! I leave in 3 short ours from now!> I write, feeling very much like an amateur. <Uh-oh!> I went out last night (Wednesday) and got back rather late. I used a flashlight to check on my shrimp before I went to bed, <Tuck them in!> and the tank was a mass of larvae. <WOW! YAY! I'm so happy for you!> I couldn't figure it out at first, because I didn't even know she had eggs, but after a closer examination, I found them to be shrimp larvae. I was both gleefully surprised and pitifully ashamed at the same time. <Heehee! Mixed emotions indeed! But a fantastic discovery!> I check the female nearly every day for evidence of eggs, but I never saw them. How foolish I feel, but how excited for the future. <Heehee! Great that they are reproducing so soon! Well, it would likely help to know exactly what the eggs look like, which I doubt you've seen before and you may not really know what you're looking for until your little guys have had a couple of spawnings. Pictures help, but until you've seen such with your own eye... But this is wonderful news! I am much looking forward to your updates! Feel free to write as I'm gone thought I won't be about to respond for a while. > It looks like those links will be coming in handier sooner than I thought. <I guess! Glad I could get them for you!> Enjoy your trip, <I sure hope to! I am very much looking forward to being in the warm, clear, water with a camera!> and please take care, and be safe. <Thank you Ray. I appreciate your concern. Looking forward to hearing about the future developments! Hugs, Michelle> Ray.

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