Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Banded coral shrimp - Stenopus hispidus

PD photo: Stenopus hispidus (banded cleaner shrimp) from ‘The Coral Kingdom Collection’, University of Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, credited to Photo Collection of Dr. James P. McVey, NOAA Sea Grant Program.

Banded coral shrimp, also known as banded boxer shrimp, banded prawn, coral banded shrimp and barber-pole shrimp having the scientific name Stenopus hispidus, is a shrimp-like decapod (ten footed) crustacean. Though this invertebrate is commonly known as a shrimp, it is not a true shrimp. They are commonly found in anchialine pools which are landlocked water bodies with a subterranean connection to the ocean, and on coral reefs.

The banded coral shrimp grows to a few centimeters in length and has red bands around its body and antennae. Its body is covered with short spines for defense from other creatures. Stenopus hispidus is used as a common aquarium pet because of its bright colors and it is a cleaner that removes dead tissues, algae and parasites from larger fish.

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