Possibly a complex of 3 species globally.
Stocky reddish-brown body, with bold white saddles and spots ringed with blue, giving a clown-like appearance. They hold abdomens vertically in the air. White eyes at the ends of short stalks. Males typically smaller. Females have white spots on their pleopods (swimming legs on abdomen).
Usually found in groups living in various anenome species from 10-60ft (3-20m), but in Antigua have been found singly in rocky/ coral crevices at times. Elsewhere they have also been recorded living on other animals (including Ricordea coralimorphs and Crinoidea spp.).The waving of their upheld abdomens gives rise to one of their common names of "Sexy Shrimp".
They keep anemones clean from mucus while the anemones provide protection to the shrimp. Sexy shrimp have been observed cleaning mantis shrimp in the Indo-Pacific, picking parasites off of their carapaces, although this activity is not considered a primary mode of feeding or behavior for this species.
Protandric hermaprhodites, born male and may change into females later in life.
The female carries the fertilised eggs under her abdomen until they are ready to hatch. Eggs are light brown in colour and are cared for as they develop by the female, who carries them on her pleopods and continually cleans and aerates them. Within 2-3.5 weeks after fertilization, eggs hatch, usually at night. Larvae (zoea) average ~2 mm in length, and are phototaxic upon hatching. They drift in ocean currents for 20-30 days as they develop, undergoing 10-12 different larval stages, with physical changes occurring in each stage. Larvae moult every 2 to 3 days, most often at night. Although larvae eventually settle on a host anemone, they do not require a chemical cue from a certain host to do so; it has been hypothesized that individuals settle first and seek out an appropriate host second. In captivity, metamorphosis and settling have been observed to occur within 26 days of hatching.
| Ecological Descriptors
Squat Anenome Shrimp