The Coral Banded Shrimp, scientifically known as Stenopus hispidus, is a type of shrimp that looks like a crustacean. It has other names too, like Banded Cleaner Shrimp.
Coral Banded Shrimp’s body is clear, but it has parts that are red and white.
This shrimp has the neat ability to know if there are others of its kind around. This is not common in creatures without backbones and might be because of chemical signals.
Where Does the Coral Banded Shrimp Live?
Coral Banded Shrimp is found all around the world, in both warm and cooler areas. It lives in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, from Canada to Brazil. It also lives in the Gulf of Mexico.
In Australia, Coral Banded Shrimp is found as far south as Sydney and even around New Zealand.
The Coral Banded Shrimp lives below the area where the tide comes in, up to depths of 210 meters, on coral reefs.
Coral Banded Shrimp’s Habitat
The Coral Banded Shrimp has a wide habitat range, from the Red Sea and South Africa to the Hawaiian and Tuamotu Islands.
It’s also found in the tropical waters in the western Atlantic from Bermuda and off the coast of North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and southern Florida.
Coral Banded Shrimp loves to live in the shallow waters of Bermuda, where it can find lots of reef fish.
It makes homes in crevices in rocks, under mats of turtle grass, and even in man-made objects like buckets and tires.
What Does the Coral Banded Shrimp Eat?
The Coral Banded Shrimp is a cleaner shrimp, which means it cleans fish by removing parasites, fungi, and damaged tissue.
Coral Banded Shrimp does this by waving its long, white antennae to attract fish. It then uses its three pairs of claws to clean the fish.
The Coral Banded Shrimp is monogamous, meaning it stays with one partner. The female shrimp are usually bigger than the males and they live in a territory that is 1-2 meters in diameter.
What Is the Role of Coral Banded Shrimp in The Ecosystem?
The Coral Banded Shrimp is very important to the cleaning of fish. It lives in shallow tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region and the western Atlantic.
Coral Banded Shrimp is the largest known cleaner shrimp and is very important to the ornamental trade because of its beautiful coloration and low maintenance in an aquarium.
What Is the Lifecycle of The Coral Banded Shrimp?
Coral Banded Shrimp has a hard outer shell that restricts its growth. To grow bigger, it must shed its old shell and grow a new one.
This process consists of four stages, ecdysis, proecdysis, metedysis, and anecdysis.
These steps happen in a continuous cycle and take place in a mature female shrimp about every 16 days at temperatures of 26 to 30°Celsius.
Mating Process of Coral Banded Shrimp
Mating can only happen when a female Coral Banded Shrimp is vulnerable in the ecdysis molting phase.
The male and female perform four distinct courtship behaviors to mate. After the mating, the female begins to spawn 10 to 15 minutes later.
The eggs appear as a greenish mass and are placed on the swimmerets underneath the female’s abdomen and hatch 16 days later at night.
Does the Coral Banded Shrimp Have Any Predators?
The Coral Banded Shrimp doesn’t seem to have any natural predators. It can even enter the mouth and gills of a fish without being eaten.
However, it’s not entirely safe from predators as indicated by two shrimp exoskeletons that were found in the stomach of a grouper.
What Is the Commercial Importance of The Coral Banded Shrimp?
The Coral Banded Shrimp is popular in the aquarium trade. Because of their colorful body and the relative ease with which they can be kept in an aquarium environment, they are very valuable.
The worldwide import value of marine ornamentals is estimated to be 200 to 300 million US dollars annually with 80 percent of the exports coming from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Recent Research on Coral Banded Shrimp
Recent research has been focusing on the harvesting and grow-out of the larvae of Coral Banded Shrimp in order to maintain the ornamental trade of the species without affecting the reef.
Scientists are developing techniques to catch the postlarvae before they settle onto a reef.
The idea behind this is that the abundance of postlarvae shrimp is very high and in the wild, there are only a few that actually settle to a reef because the mortality rate is high due to predation.
Coral Banded Shrimp Characteristics