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FAQs about Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimps, Identification

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

Related FAQs: & FAQs on: Hippolytid FAQs 1, Hippolytid FAQs 2, 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 Shrimps, Sexy Shrimp (T. amboinensis), & FAQs on All Cleaner Shrimp 1, Cleaner Shrimp 2, All Cleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction, & Coral Banded Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Shrimp ID       7/4/19
Thank you,
Henry C. Schultz, III
<Hey Henry! Looks to be a Gnathophylliid of some sort; though not one of
the Gnathophyllum species one sees (if you are lucky and look REALLY close)
in the Caribbean. Am going to share this w/ friends on FB for better input.
Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
<<According to friend Ellen Muller (on Bonaire), "Looks like a Roughback Shrimp, Trachycaris rugosa.">>

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>

Lysmata wurdemanni ID      6/1/12
Can you please confirm or deny that this is indeed a Lysmata wurdemanni?
Since I have gotten this shrimp I have lost six fish.
<The shrimp played no part in the deaths.>
 Some of them I can not find in the tank at all and others I have found him eating?
<Shrimp eat decaying material- it's what they do.>
I don't want an ammonia problem to start because of unfound decaying fish and while moving rocks to find their bodies the shrimp will try to attack our hands.
<More cleaning than attacking.>
 The shrimp seems darker red than other I have seen or had.  Also his markings seem slightly different than other pictures I have looked up for comparison.  Your site is a wealth of knowledge I have found to be vital and I thank you all for that. 
<Always good to hear.>

Bullseye Sargassum Shrimp 11/9/09
Hello. Thanks for the knowledge that you share with us! It's much appreciated.
I have a bit of a mystery I'm hoping you can help me with.
<Will certainly try>
I have a wild caught Sargassum Shrimp
<Latreutes fucorum>
that is different than the others I have, and different from any that I can find in any online or book literature or photos. I realize that doesn't mean it's a new shrimp, but I just want to check anyway. She's reproducing in my tank. All of them are. It's a bit of a sudden shrimp baby boom actually. But anyway, if this one is a special shrimp, then I feel I should try to get her somewhere that can save the babies.
Otherwise, my Sergeant Major is proving to suck up anything that moves, so baby shrimp of course don't stand a chance. I tried a baby cage but they still disappeared overnight. If this is just an ordinary Sargassum Shrimp with some unique markings, then we'll just enjoy her beauty and let the Sergeant Major enjoy some yummy snacks.
Background: She was "rescued" in the shallow waters at Surfside Beach, TX in June '09 in a clump of Sargassum seaweed. It washes ashore and dries up in the sun and all the little creatures in it die or get consumed by birds or crabs. We have several Sargassum Shrimp so I'm not sure if she was alone on her clump or if she had friends with her. We didn't notice her uniqueness right away.
Her description: She has two very distinct bull's-eyes on her profile and both sides are symmetrical (total of 4). In all other ways her coloring is like the other Sargassum Shrimps. Although her tail is fringed in what looks like a foil like shine to it. And she has three spots on her tail too, but those are only visible when her tail is flared out. She can change colors from transparent with a tinge of beige to a deep cola color, and is sometimes bright red or orange. Sometimes she will be half one color and half another, the rear always being darker. One time she turned almost neon green for about a week after I added some fake plants. But the bull's-eyes are always visible. She also has, like the other Sargassum Shrimp, the white dotted lines along her back and across her tail and I can see a faint variation in color on her legs and antennae too, as if they're striped. The bull's-eyes themselves have more than one color to them. There are at least two distinct rings, and the dot in the middle is darker on the edges.
I've put some photos of her into my Flickr account in several poses and sizes. Here is the link to the set.
<A beaut!>
And I've attached one of the smaller sized photos.
So is this a new shrimp? Should I report this one to someone?
<I don't know... and I would send these pix around. Possibly to Texas "fish and game" agencies for their input>
Thank you so much for your time, and let me know if you need more information.
<Thank you for sharing. 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>

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.>

Real shrimp ID? -- 06/04/08 Hello, <Hello Pete.> I'm wondering if anyone there knows about Galapagos cleaner shrimp. <Yes, rather rarely imported compared to other cleaners.> At least that is how they are name at my LFS (they couldn't provide much information). I cannot find any information about them on-line, but I have found them for sale at http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/217855/product.web and http://floridapets.tripod.com/shrimp.html Neither source has much information on them, but I like the picture from the second source because it shows their striping and blue color. That is what the one at my LFS look like. Does anyone know their scientific name? <If it is the real Galapagos cleaner shrimp, it is Lysmata galapagensis. There is at least one similar Lysmata species from the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans with transverse stripes: L. kuekenthali. The origin of the shrimps can be a species indicator for you, the real L. galapagensis occur only in the Eastern Pacific.> Are they really cleaners? <Yes.> Do they play well in a reef tank? <There are reports of L. kuekenthali eating pest anemones, but also some desirable anemone species.> Thanks, Pete. <Cheers, Marco.>

Cleaner Shrimp Question Bob, Can you tell me a positive way to tell the Indo-Pacific Cleaner Shrimps from the Atlantic variety? <Of the genus Lysmata? Yes... differences shown, link provided to more... on the Cleaner shrimp files, FAQs... on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> I had one cleaner shrimp in my tank and decided to buy a second so they would possibly produce fry for fish and coral food. I am suspect as to whether the two that I have are actually the same species. The only difference between the two of them is the coloration on their tail. I have read on several web sites that the Indo-Pacific variety has the inverted "T" at the base of the tail and the Atlantic variety is supposed to have the white stripe go all the way from head to the end of the tail. I am assuming that the Atlantic variety is not supposed to have the inverted "T". Is that correct? <Yes...> I have been looking for pictures of both of the species on the Internet to try and find a definite answer, but all of the pictures I have found look the same or don't show the tail area good enough for a positive identification. <See our site or Baensch Marine Atlas v.1...> Also, if one is Indo-Pacific and the other is Atlantic will they still mate or did I just waste my money? <They will not produce viable young as far as I'm aware... you may want to posit your question to the folks at "The Breeder's Registry" as well... link on WWM. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help. Chad N.
Re: Cleaner Shrimp Question
I have seen the pictures on the " http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cleaner.htm" age on your site. However, it appears as if both pictures of the cleaner shrimps on that page have the inverted "T" shape at the base of the tail and start of the tail fin. That is what's confusing me. And yes we are talking about Lysmata cleaners. Thank you for your fast response! <Sorry to seem so daft... but is this Lysmata grabhami and L. amboinensis you're trying to discern? And the telson markings shown on the above link unclear? Or are you sorting through wurdemanni et al. from the tropical Western Atlantic... and something like californica from the Pacific? Bob Fenner, still jet-lagged from yesterday night>
Re: Cleaner Shrimp Question
Yes I am trying to discern Lysmata grabhami and L. amboinensis. The markings on that link are at least unclear to me anyway. It appears in the picture as if both species have the inverted "T" mark where the tail and tail fin meet. I had assumed that grabhami was not supposed to have the "T" mark, but it looks as if it does in that picture. <Ah... Hmm, perhaps I should suggest stressing the markings on the "tail" itself... notice the four distinct white dots on L. amboinensis... and connected "U"s on the tail of L. grabhami? This is definitive difference and one easily seen. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cleaner Shrimp Question
Thank you very much. That's what I was afraid of. I was hoping it was only a matter of whether the "T" shape was present at the end of the tail (before the telson). But apparently that is not the case. Thanks for your help. I will try to return the one I bought today and find one that is a match for the one I already had. <Ah, good. Sorry again for the confusion. Do take a further look at the references listed on the "Cleaners" and "Shrimps", and "Cleaner Shrimps" files for more. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp species check Hi Mr. Fenner, Sorry to bother you, but I couldn't seem to get the right info from any other source, and you are unusually responsive and knowledgeable. We have Aiptasia cropping up, which at first seemed pretty until we realized exactly what kind of a tank dandelion it was. <Very lucidly put> I decided to use the natural approach and find something which would munch it before subjecting them to lethal injection. Already have a Pacific cleaner amboinensis (Whiskers), which is great at free-loading on the fishies, but not much at cleaning Aiptasia. So I got several peppermint shrimp from the LFS. I couldn't get a good look at them in the store tank, as they took a bit of capture and things got stirred up. Once in my tank, they disappeared. I spotted one under an overhang a few days later and it didn't look like ones on the WetWebMedia site. <Then probably not...> I have never seen the other one. Another LFS (I use about 4 to bounce questions off) <Good idea> suggested that for my size tank, I could use 5-6 of the peppermints. So I bought 4 more wurdemanni (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo) from a very clean tank where I could identify them. When introduced, they acted very much different than the first two, being much more visible and active. <Yes... do a sort of side to side dance> Could the first two be a different species entirely? <Definitely... there are a few others that are very similar in static appearance> Tank specs: 55 gal, 40 lbs Fiji LR, 1.5" crushed coral bed Livestock: Domino damsel (very small), (2) Firefish, Fiji damsel, Valentini puffer, Orange Clown (percula or ocellaris - I can't tell), Pajama cardinal, Pacific cleaner shrimp, Condy anemone, (4) peppermints, and (2) suddenly unidentified shrimp. All species are small and non-aggressive (except occasional outbursts from the Fiji). Questions (at last) 1. What could the first two shrimp be? From peering into their hidey-hole, they are red with no markings. <Many choices still... do you have access to a large college library?> 2. Is it a mistake to have small cleaner shrimp at all with the Valentini? <Hmm, not usually... if enough space, food for the Toby, hiding spaces during molts for the shrimp...> They are supposed to like shellfish - does that include the wurdemanni and the poor missing variety? <In the "right/wrong" circumstances assuredly yes> 3. If peppermint shrimp do indeed eat Aiptasia, how many is appropriate for a 55-gal tank and how quickly do they get around to it? <A couple or three... a few weeks to a couple of months or so> 4. I'm sure the Valentini would like Nori. Does leaving it in the tank muck up your conditions, or do you remove it when he is done feeding? <Puffers don't eat much of this sheet algae... should be removed after an hour or so> 5. Is the Marine Conference you are speaking at this summer in Baltimore appropriate for the home hobbyist, or just marine professionals? <For home hobbyists specifically... There are "scientific" and "business" associations as such... the hobby groups ones are for hobbyists in particular.> Thank you so much in advance. Kevin. West Virginia <Be seeing you my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cleaner shrimp species check
Dear Bob, Oh me, oh my. Thank you so much for the info on peppermint shrimp and other topics. Why can't I learn to do my homework before purchasing, as I am not yet familiar with the subtleties of species ID. Judging from the pictures I now found, my latest were 4 Candy shrimp (Rhynchocinetes uritai), not the peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) I was expecting. They are definitely clever little things, but now I have my doubts whether they will eat the Aiptasia. <They won't> Thank you so much for your patience and wisdom. Kevin Milne. West Virginia. <All attainable through study, discipline my friend. Bob Fenner>

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