The Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) reaches a total length of 60 millimetres (2.4 in), and has striking colouration.Often initially spotted by its long, bright-white antennae sticking out of crevices, where it likes to hang upside down, its appearance quickly changes to a stiking colouration with alternating bands of dark-red and white. The ground colour is transparent, but the carapace, abdomen and the large third pereiopod are all banded red and white. The antennae and other pereiopods are white. The abdomen, carapace and third pereiopods are covered in spines. Stenopus hispidus has the ability to detect individuals of its species. This trait is uncommon in invertebrates and is most likely explained through chemical signals.
Banded coral shrimp's facts
Did you know?
The Banded Coral Shrimp is a non-obligate cleaner shrimp of larger fishes and therefore waits - upside down - for customers swimming by.
The Banded Coral Shrimp the carapace (body) can grow up to 6 centimetres the length of the antennae be triple that size.
Banded coral shrimp's Behavior & Ecology
Being a cleaner shrimp, it is with these exceptionally long antennae that it signals to passing fish to let them know that they can get themselves cleaned. It whips its antannae, while it performs a little ‘dance’ swaying its body from side to side. This attracts fish that, in turn, start flashing their colours to signal to the shrimp that they need cleaning. The fish moves in close enough for the shrimp to reach or, when the fish is big enough, it simply just ‘jumps’ on using their swimmerets, after which it starts removing parasites, fungi and damaged tissue using its three pairs of claws. The adult Banded Coral Shrimp does not seem to have any natural predators. The symbiosis between the shrimp and the reef community is highly developed to a point where the shrimp can safely enter the mouth and gills of a fish without being eaten.