Banded Coral Shrimp

The Banded Coral Shrimp, Stenopus hispidus is a decapod crustacean, resembling shrimp. It is classified in the infraorder Stenopodidea. More familiar names for this species include Banded Boxer Shrimp, Banded Prawn, Coral Banded Shrimp and Barber-pole Shrimp. This crustacean looks like a shrimp and even shares the common name shrimp, however, it is not truly shrimp.

The shrimp-like crustacean is less than an inch long with red bands wrapping his body, and long, white antennae upon his head. To defend itself from predators, its body is covered with short, sharp spines.

Decapods use their tail to move backwards very quickly to escape danger. Unlike true shrimp that dwell on muddy bottoms to feed, the banded coral shrimp are much cleaner and prefer to dwell in openings in the reef as well as sponges. The crustacean is a popular aquarium pet because of its cleaning reputation. It is capable of removing dead tissue, and algae and parasites from other comrade fish in the tank.

The banded coral shrimp are often found hanging upside down on rocks and shells in anchialine pools and on coral reefs.