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Related FAQs: Hippolytid FAQs, FAQs 2, & FAQs on: Hippolytid Identification, Hippolytid Behavior, Hippolytid Compatibility, Hippolytid Selection, Hippolytid Systems, Hippolytid Feeding, Hippolytid Disease, Hippolytid Reproduction, & by species: Atlantic Cleaner Shrimp (L. grabhami), Blood/Debelius Shrimp (L. debelius), California Cleaner Shrimp (L. californica), Pacific Cleaner Shrimp (L. amboinensis), Peppermint Shrimp (L. wurdemanni), Saron ShrimpsSexy Shrimp (T. amboinensis), & All Cleaner Shrimps 1, Cleaner Shrimps 2, Shrimps, Marine Shrimps 2, Marine Shrimps 3, Coral Banded ShrimpDancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp DiseaseCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

Cleaner Shrimps of the Family Hippolytidae

By Bob Fenner

Lysmata amboinensis  


Genus Alcyonohippolyte:

Alcyonohippolyte commensalis (Kemp 1925); Xenia Soft Coral Shrimp. KBR 2011


Genus Lysmata:

Lysmata amboinensis (De Man 1888), the Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp or Ambon Shrimp. Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. Telson white, uropods with two white dots. Can be kept singly or in groups. A hardy Cleaner. Need hiding places to avoid predators during molting periods. Conds: temp. 20-27 C. At right: in Hawai'i. Below: a tiny (1") individual and a pair at their cleaning station in N. Sulawesi, and a diligent cleaner in an aquarium. 

A L. amboinensis cleaning a bunch of Chromis in an aquarium.

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Lysmata californica (Stimpson 1866), the Catalina Cleaner Shrimp. Found along the lower coast of the western USA. Found in small to  large groups. Best kept this way. To about two inches in length.  A temperate species (10-20C.) NOT tropical though at times sold as such. Check your "Peppermint" shrimp carefully before buying. 

Lysmata debelius Bruce 1983, the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, Blood Shrimp. Found in the Indo-Pacific; Maldives, Japan to the Society Islands. Best kept in pairs. Peaceful toward most all aquarium species. Accept all types of foods. Aquarium image.

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Lysmata grabhami (Gordon 1935), the Atlantic White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp. Tropical East and West Atlantic coasts. Generally gets along with all fishes and other crustaceans. Best kept in pairs or small groups (no sexual distinguishing marks externally). A hardy Cleaner species that accepts most all foods. Conds: temp. 18-28 C.

Lysmata prima Borradaille 1915. Yellow bodied with distinctive red lining. East Indo-West Pacific; Maldives, Andaman Sea, Indonesia. N. Sulawesi pix. Found living on sand/mud bottoms. 

Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes 1850), Peppermint Shrimp, Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp. Tropical West Atlantic. Lives singly or in groups. Gets along with all aquarium species. Commercially produced. A reclusive, sometimes misidentified species (there are other shrimp from the area that are similar) used in the fight to limit Aiptasia Anemones in aquariums.

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Genus Phycocaris: Hairy or Chicken Shrimp
Phycocaris simulans Broken back shrimp... 1/4" Occurs in yellows, browns, reds. Indo-W. Pacific and Japan

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Genus Saron: Saron Shrimp
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. 


Genus Thor:
Thor amboinensis (de Man 1888), the Squat Anemone or Sexy Shrimp (in reference to its usually-raised tail). 1/4-3/4" long. Common in all tropical seas. Found in association with Giant, Sun, Elegant Anemones. Here is one in a Condylactis gigantea in Cozumel, Mexico. Another associated with a Plerogyra in the W. Pacific. And one on an anemone in S. Leyte 2013


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Tozeuma species. Unmistakable body shape. Hard to discern to species. Some eleven in the Indo-Pacific found in close association with "bushy" black corals, sea whips and gorgonians. N. Sulawesi (Lembeh Strait) pix. 


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