Banded Coral Shrimp-Facts and Photographs

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The banded coral shrimp (Tenopus hispidus) is also known as the banded cleaner shrimp. They are shrimp-like decapod crustaceans belonging to the infraorder Stenopodidea. Their bright red and white coloration with their long antennae make an unusual and attractive sight.

APPEARANCE

Stenopus hispidus reaches a total body length of 60 millimetres and has striking red and white colouration. The base colour is transparent wheras  the carapace, abdomen and the large third pereiopod are all banded red and white. The very long antennae and other pereiopods are white. The abdomen, carapace and third pereiopods are covered in small spines.

banded coral shrimp (Tenopus hispidus)

 

IN THE WILD

Banded coral shrimp are usually found in pairs hiding in crevices and small caves on the reef. During the night they come out of their holes and await clients to clean and feed off of. In areas where there are many concentrated in small areas, territorial fights sometimes break out. These usually involve a lot of posturing and the smaller one usually backs away.

HABITAT

Banded coral shrimp have a pan-tropical distribution extending into some more temperate areas. They are found up the east African coast across to Australia and New Zealand and up to Japan. In the Atlantic ocean it is found from Canada to Brazil including the gulf of Mexico. In the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico.

They are found from depths of one meter to at least 35 meters on the Tanzanian coast and reportedly have been found as deep as 200 meters.

banded coral shrimp (Tenopus hispidus)

DIET

Banded coral shrimp are usually nocturnal feeders , emerging from their holes once it is dark and they wave their long white antennae around and exhibit a dancing swaying  movement to attract client fish to clean. In areas where many fish congregate they may be found in the company of the standard cleaner shrimp. They will also scavenge to supplement their diet. Usually a fish approaches a banded coral shrimp and allows the shrimp to begin removing the parasites from him.It uses its large chelipeds and three sets of smaller claws called maxillipeds to scrape and pick off food and parasites from the fish hosts body, mouth and gills or wherever needed.

REPRODUCTION

They have been successfully bred in laboratory conditions, but with low survival rates. Once they mate the eggs develop on the stomach of the female and when these hatch there are several larval stages that the larvae go through, free swimming for a period until the young develop into small adults. The female can only mate at a certain stage of moulting.

banded coral shrimp (Tenopus hispidus)

COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION

They are collected for Marine aquariums and in some areas this collecting has substantially reduced the population.

AQUARIUMS

With their striking coloration they make an attractive addition to an aquarium, Only a mated pair may be kept in one tank and these form a monogamous relationship, If you are not certain that the pair is indeed a mated pair, it is best not to take the risk as they will fight with each other. They are easy to care for and soon take food.

IMAGES

 

_MG_2400 banded coral shrimp (Tenopus hispidus)

BANDED CORAL SHRIMP CALASSIFICATION

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Caesionidae
Genus: Caesio
Species: C. xanthonota

LITERATURE CITED

 

The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates
East and South Coasts of Southern Africa
Dennis King & Valda Fraser

EQUIPMENT USED

Canon 7D

Ikelite 7D Housing

Twin Ikelite DS 161 Strobes

Flat Ikelite Lens Port

Ikelite Dual Synch Cord 

Ikelite 5.1 inch Port body

 

 

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