From freshwater shrimp to types of saltwater shrimp, the list is huge. I have picked out 10 of my favorite types of shrimp species to highlight for you.
Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with common species such as the brown shrimp, you have to admit the more colorful species are the more interesting. This is especially true if you are an underwater photographer, as these small creatures are a great subject for macro photography.
10 Different Types of Shrimp
If you love trying to spot the world’s smallest creatures when scuba diving then these shrimps should be on your list! Whether you are out scuba diving or have one of the saltwater or freshwater tanks. Learn about a few different types of shrimp that you can spot in the open waters.
1 . Blood Red Fire Shrimp
These wonderfully bright red saltwater shrimp species have white dots on their sides. Coupled with contrasting white legs and antennas they are definitely stunning to look at. Usually found in more tropical locations the Blood-red fire shrimp like to live in dark rocky spaces and tend to be nocturnal.
Partly because they act as a friendly cleaning service to fish, feeding on fish’s dead cells and parasites. And, partly because they are so colorful, they are extremely popular with people who have saltwater aquariums.
Their scientific name is Lysmata debelius and they grow to approximately 3 inches.
2 . Commensal Emperor Shrimp
If you see something orange with white spots and purple claws hanging on to a sea cucumber. Chances are, it’s the commensal emperor shrimp as this species is a constant companion to them and other nudibranchs.
Although, despite this comradery, they are highly territorial and do not tolerate others of their own species. This hitchhiking habit means they not only have a safe and secure place to rest, but it also takes away the need to hunt for food.
Their scientific name is Periclienes imperator, and on average they will grow to just 1.5 inches.
3 . Bumblebee Shrimp
As you can guess from the name, these small shrimp have black and yellow or white stripes. Consequentially, because of their markings, they are also sometimes called zebra shrimp or striped harlequins. This creature likes to live in pairs and will defend its territory from other species.
Their scientific name is a bit of a mouthful, Gnathophyllum Americanum and it is one of the smallest of the saltwater shrimps. Growing to the maximum of 1 inch, but can be even less than that.
4 . Boxer Banded Shrimp
Also known as the banded coral shrimp, this is a species has earned its boxer title. They can be a little aggressive when cleaning fish and they fight to the bitter end when there are competitors around.
If you have an aquarium with a case of bristle worm, you definitely want to add this saltwater shrimp because they will devour them all.
With the scientific name of Stenopus Hispidus this wonderful creature will reach a length of approx. 2 inches and they are widespread inhabiting both the Western Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.
5 . Glass Anenome Shrimp
Glass shrimp go by many names but you know you are talking about the same species by its unique pattern. It features a see-through body with purple marks on its legs, white markings on its back, and orange hues on its sides.
These shrimp love to live around anemones and use them as their natural defense. Be careful if you have these in a saltwater tank as they will run rampant.
These are tiny little things growing to the maximum of 1 inch, their scientific name is Periclimenes Brevicarpalis.
6 . Harlequin Shrimp
These are definitely not your common shrimp. Compared to all other shrimp species, these are some of the most striking kinds. Their white bodies are covered with blue and tan dots and white and blue striped legs.
If you are a scuba diver that loves underwater photography you will truly celebrate capturing a shot of this shy sea creature.
The Harlequin shrimp are best left wild shrimp because they do have special feeding needs, starfish being a favorite. Their scientific name is Hymenocera Picta and they will grow to a maximum of 2 inches.
7 . Spiny Tiger Shrimp
The Tiger shrimp have short orange stripes surrounded by black dots so the pattern isn’t the same as their feline counterparts on land. Perhaps their other name, bongo bumblebee shrimp is more fitting.
This aggressive species is a rock shrimp and secludes itself to a small area where it can feed on echinoderms.
Again a tiny little thing of less than an inch, with a scientific name that I struggle to get my tongue around, Phyllognathia Ceratophthalma.
8 . Panda Shrimp
Their name, unsurprisingly, comes from their black and white bands. Closely related varieties are the blue shrimp called blue pandas and the shadow panda which can have both blue and whitish bands.
A dwarf freshwater species with the scientific name Caridina Cantonensis Var Panda these shrimp are a variety of Bee Shrimp. This is another species that is for the more experienced aquarium and shrimp keeper.
9 . Mantis Shrimp
Mantis shrimp are actually from the order of stomatopods. Whereas, with 10 legs, the order Decapoda is considered to be the ‘true shrimp’. Still, they are a very unique animal and a favorite for non-fish aquariums.
There are two main types of mantis shrimp; the spearers, with spearing claws. And, the smashers, with club-like claws. Both are serious weapons that they will use on any creature including humans.
These Stomatopods can grow to be 15 inches, but most will be between 4-6 inches. Named after the land-dwelling praying mantis they can vary in color from dull brown to being bright and vibrant.
10 . Amano Shrimp
This is one of the most entertaining shrimp to have in your aquarium since they are social beings – lots of funny interactions to watch. They mostly feed on algae but will also not shy away from stealing the food of their fish neighbors.
To call it by the scientific name, Caridina Multidentata, it can grow to about 2 inches. One of the easiest to keep in an aquarium.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Discovered any types of saltwater shrimp that you would like to keep in an aquarium? These commonly asked questions about shrimp in the ocean may help you make a better decision.
What is the biggest shrimp?
Of the different types of mantis shrimp, the zebra mantis shrimp is the biggest of all shrimp species. While many shrimp species are under 2 inches, the zebra mantis can grow as long as 15 inches.
How long does a saltwater shrimp live?
When provided with enough food sources and a large enough tank, saltwater shrimp can live for up to 2 years. Their lifespan will shorten as they breed and the tank becomes crowded for those kept in an aquarium.
What is the deadliest shrimp in the world?
Because of their spear and club-like claws, the mantis shrimp is the most dangerous of its kind. Its claws are so strong that they can kill hard-shelled sea creatures like crabs and clams.
Can a mantis shrimp hurt a human?
Some say that the smashers among the mantis shrimp pack a punch as fast as a bullet, which can cause human injury. Therefore it is best left alone.
Although a lot of people just imagine shrimp as food on a plate, scuba divers look at them as beautiful creatures that can be found in the ocean. Not in a prawn cocktail.
All species of shrimp have something special about them, be it their color pattern or behavior. They can be spectacular in shape and color and a species that you can admire while diving.