Cleaner Shrimp

Picture of Cleaner Shrimp

Description of the Cleaner Shrimp

The Cleaner Shrimp is also known as the Northern cleaner shrimp, Skunk cleaner shrimp, Pacific cleaner shrimp and Scarlet cleaner shrimp and has a mutual symbiotic relationship with fish. It removes parasites for the fish which in turn provides a valuable food source for the shrimp. Cleaner shrimps usually congregate at 'cleaning stations' on the reef waiting for fish affected by parasites to simply turn up and have their parasites removed!

Popular Name: Cleaner Shrimp
Species: Lysmata amboinensis

Picture of a Cleaner Shrimp

Cleaner Shrimp

Facts - Information - Picture - Video

Profile of the Cleaner Shrimp
This Profile contains interesting facts and information about the Cleaner Shrimp species.

  • Diet / Feeding: Parasites and dead tissue

  • Temperament: Good addition to a community tank, they will clean the tank and the fish!

  • Habitat: Reef dwellers, marine waters

  • Behaviour: Symbiotic relationship with fish, removes their parasites

Scientific Classification of the Cleaner Shrimp
Definition: Scientific classification, or biological classification, is how biologists group and categorize species of organisms with shared physical characteristics. Scientific classification belongs to the science of taxonomy.

  • Species: Lysmata amboinensis

  • Popular Name: Cleaner Shrimp - Northern cleaner shrimp - Skunk cleaner shrimp -  Pacific cleaner shrimp - Scarlet cleaner shrimp

  • Kingdom: Animalia

  • Phylum: Arthropoda

  • Class: Malacostraca

  • Order: Decapoda

  • Family: Hippolytidae

Interesting Facts and Information - How do you identify the sex of a Cleaner Shrimp?
The males and females of many fish species have different colors or different shaped bodies. But there are also other fish species where there is no visible difference. Its sometimes tricky being an ichthyologist!


Interesting Facts and Information - Why do Cleaner Shrimp have gills?
Gills enable the Cleaner Shrimp to breathe. Gills consist of thin sheets of tissue containing blood vessels. As water passes over the gills oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream Carbon dioxide passes out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum. Some fish species however have lungs and breathe air.

Interesting Facts and Information - Why is the Cleaner Shrimp called an Arthropod?
An Arthropod is an invertebrate animal (without a backbone) that has a segmented body with jointed limbs (appendages). True crabs are Decapod Crustaceans. Some species such as Hermit crabs, Porcelain crabs King crabs and Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs!  Decapod Crustaceans have five pairs of legs, the first three are used for feeding. At the end of the limbs are the chelae which is the correct term for pincers or claws.

Interesting Facts and Information about Cleaner Shrimp

Cleaner Shrimp

  • Interesting Information about Cleaner Shrimp

  • Facts about Fish Species - What are Crustaceans?

  • Why do the Crustaceans have an exoskeleton (external skeleton)?

  • Facts about Fish Species - Why are Crustaceans called Arthropods?

  • Species: Lysmata amboinensis

Fish Species

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