27-05-2021, 21:25
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Stenopus hispidus

The Stenopus hispidus belongs to the large group of marine shrimps under the generic name coral striped shrimps, which are by and large not shrimps, but rather shrimp-like ten-legged crustaceans. However, this technicality does not prevent shrimps with coral stripes from being incredibly popular among many aquarists. They not only add beautiful colour to your aquarium, but are also incredibly easy to care for.

This group of shrimps includes Stenopus hispidus (coral shrimp with red and white stripes), S. scutellatus (shrimp with golden stripes), S. zanzibaricus (shrimp with yellow stripes), S. tenuirostris (coral shrimp with blue or purple stripes).

Coral shrimps vary in size from 8 to 16 cm in length, with males being smaller than the females.

Stenopus hispidus

In the wild, Stenopus hispidus inhabits tropical areas in the Indo-Pacific and the Caribbean.

All striped coral shrimp are distinguished by distinctive bright red and white stripes on the body and claw claws, with white legs and antennae, except for S. zanzibaricus species, which are red. The front pair of legs is equipped with claws, which are larger than the claws on the second pair of legs. The third pair of legs has no claws. Coral-striped shrimps regrow the lost legs during the next molt.

The colouration of the shrimp shell is where the species differ, as S. hispidus is white.

Stenopus hispidus gets along well in an aquarium with most fish and invertebrates. However, the spinorhos and many eels do not mind tasting coral shrimp if the opportunity arises. In the wild, these shrimps prefer to live in caves and at the bottom of ledges, and actively clean fish when infested with parasites.

In the wild, coral striped shrimp have a nocturnal lifestyle, hiding under ledges and in caves during the day and feeding at night. These shrimps live in monogamy and somewhat territorial, defending an area of one to two meters in diameter from other crustaceans and, in particular, from other shrimps with coral stripes. If another coral-bordered shrimp enters its territory, it will defend it, resulting in one of the shrimp losing its paws and claws in the battle.

Stenopus hispidus are aggressive towards other shrimps and crustaceans. They also prey on worms, snails and small hermit crabs. Being nocturnal animals, the coral shrimps hide in caves and crevices between rocks during the day. It is obligatory to provide them with hiding places in the aquarium.

Boxer shrimps are very sensitive to changes in water chemistry, with sudden changes in pH value being the main killer when placing the shrimps in the aquarium. For this reason, do not rush to acclimatise the shrimps. The shrimp can be kept in an aquarium of 150 liters. Water parameters: temperature 21-26° C, pH 8,1-8,4. The water should be added iodine to normalize molting. In good conditions in the absence of stress these shrimps adapt well in the aquarium.

Stenopus hispidus

Low light for about 10 hours a day.

Stenopus hispidus is a scavenger by nature and eats most meat food. Readily devours polychaete worms if available. In the wild, this shrimp feeds on algae, detritus and carrion, as well as parasites, which it collects from fish.


During mating, the male first performs a courtship dance in front of the female. He then passes the sperm bag to the female, who soon fertilises the eggs and attaches them to her abdominal paws. The young hatch out after 16 days. The crustaceans are attached to their mother for about six weeks before they separate, float to the surface of the water and become part of the plankton, drifting in the ocean currents. After a few weeks and a few molts, the young crustaceans come down from the plankton, settle to the bottom and find a dark place to hide.

The lifespan of a coral-banded shrimp is about 2-3 years.

Stenopus hispidus

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