The Peppermint Shrimp, also known by its scientific name, Lysmata wurdemanni, is a specific species of shrimp. They are usually 7 centimetres in length.
Peppermint Shrimp are quite unique; they captivate attention with their red stripes on a clear body. These stripes give them their name, as they look like peppermint candies or candy canes.
But as bright as their bodies are, they lay bright green eggs!
Where Do Peppermint Shrimp Live?
Peppermint Shrimp are found in many parts of the United States. They were first found in Key West, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina. So, where else do these creatures live?
They are found along the Atlantic seaboard, from Long Island to Florida. They also live along the Gulf of Mexico, stretching from Florida to Port Aransas in Texas.
Some people think they might live in the northern Caribbean Sea. But, no one has confirmed it yet.
Unique Habitats of Peppermint Shrimp
The habitats of the Peppermint Shrimp vary. They are found in different water bodies, including both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
How Do Peppermint Shrimp Reproduce?
The Peppermint Shrimp have a unique way of reproducing. They are what we call a protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite. What does that mean?
Well, they start their lives as males. But as they grow, they can change to become hermaphrodites. A hermaphrodite is a creature that is both male and female at the same time.
Reproduction Process of Peppermint Shrimp
The males change to hermaphrodites after four moults. But not all males change; some stay males.
The ones that change act as males between moults and females right after a moult.
How Do Peppermint Shrimp Find Mates?
Peppermint Shrimp have a unique way of finding mates. They use a ‘pure searching’ tactic.
The male Peppermint Shrimp use their smell organs, called aesthetascs, on their antennules to find female scents.
The female Peppermint Shrimp give off these scents 2-8 hours before they moult. The males follow these scents to find the females.
What Role Do Peppermint Shrimp Play in Aquariums?
Peppermint Shrimp are great for keeping in aquariums. They are reef-safe and help in cleaning up. They eat parasites and dead or diseased tissue from other animals.
Besides, Peppermint Shrimp also eat the Aiptasia or ‘glass’ anemone. This anemone is a pest and hard to get rid of in home saltwater aquariums.
What Are the Different Species of Peppermint Shrimp?
The species, L. wurdemanni, was split into four different species – L. wurdemanni, L. ankeri, L. bahia and L. boggessii. But, there’s more.
Some studies found that L. wurdemanni is a hidden species. This means there are at least 5 (and maybe up to 9) species that look the same but are different.
- L. wurdemanni,
- L. ankeri,
- L. bahia, and
- L. boggessii.
These are just a few of the species of the Peppermint Shrimp. Scientists are still finding more!
Lysmata wurdemanni complex Characteristics