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Cleaner Shrimp

on September 1, 2007; last updated September 1, 2007
Aquarium Guide - Mini

This shrimp is known for the orange coloring along its sides and the long red stripe on its dorsal side that is bisected by a narrow, white band. It also has three pairs of white antennae.

Cleaner Shrimp

Design

The role of the cleaner shrimp is truly unique. Many species of fish, including some species of eels, allow the cleaner shrimp to clean parasites from inside their mouths. The cleaner shrimp is in no danger of being eaten when it enters the fishes’ mouths to clean. This symbiotic relationship is part of God’s provision for His sea-dwelling creatures.

Features

  • This shrimp is known for the orange coloring along its sides and the long red stripe on its dorsal side that is bisected by a narrow, white band. It also has white spots on its tail and three pairs of white antennae.

Fun Facts

  • This shrimp may also be called the Pacific cleaner shrimp, the white-banded cleaner shrimp, and the skunk cleaner shrimp.
  • In many coral reefs, cleaner shrimp congregate at cleaning stations where fish come to be cleaned of bacteria and dead skin.
  • This is a popular member of home aquariums where it is easy to keep.

CLASS: Malacostraca (crabs, krill, pill bugs, shrimp, and relatives)

ORDER: Decapoda

FAMILY: Hippolytidae

GENUS/SPECIES: Lysmata amboinensis

Size: About 2.4 in (6 cm)

Diet: Dead and diseased skin, bacteria, and parasites from

their “customers”

Habitat: Red Sea and tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region

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