Melissa here, just figured I would write this blog on some new Banded Coral Shrimp species we have in stock. Banded Coral Shrimp are members of the Stenopodidae family, and are referred to as “Boxing Shrimp” because of the way their large pincher’s are held. They are ready to take a swing at whatever comes close enough like a boxer would. Banded Coral Shrimp should be given plenty of space to scavenge without their long antennae touching neighboring corals or anemones, and lots of caves to hide in. Banded coral shrimp are relatively hardy, but must be acclimated slowly to avoid any salinity and/or pH shock. They are intolerant of high nitrates or copper levels, but iodine is encouraged to promote proper molting. Banded Coral Shrimp are generally peaceful towards fish, but may harass other small shrimp and are intolerant of others of the same genus. For this reason they must be kept singly, or in mated pairs. In the wild, banded coral shrimp are know to feed on parasites, dead tissue removed from fish, and other tiny organisms. In the home aquarium, Banded Coral Shrimp will usually accept most flaked and frozen foods, plankton, and meaty items. They are also known to be effective bristleworm hunters in the reef aquarium.
Most people are familiar with the first species, Stenopus hispidus as the most common species in the trade. They have a red and white banded body and claws resembling the stripes of the American Flag. I happen to have a pair of these banded coral shrimp in my tank at home. They are out all of the time and usually only an antennae length away from each other. My female is constantly carrying eggs. Something really cool that I have witnessed several times was when my female is within a day or so of releasing her eggs the male waits on her hand and foot. He brings her food and makes sure none of the fish bother her. That is about the only time I ever see them apart. I would have to say my favorite invert would have to be these shrimp.
Other species of banded coral shrimp we get in from time to time are the Golden Banded Coral Shrimp, Stenopus scutellatus and the Blue Banded Shrimp, Stenopus tenuirostris. They have similar red and bands on the tail and claws as seen on Stenopus hispidis, but have a bright yellow or violet blue body and white antennae. The Blue Banded shrimp also has golden bands between the red bands.
There is also another really cool species that recently arrived here, Stenopus zanzibaricus. This shrimp is mostly white with two red bands on the tail and two red markings on the proximal portion of the front arms. It has white claws and red antennae. Do not attempt to mix the Zanzibar shrimp with Stenopus hispidus because they will fight to death, usually with one usually loosing the battle and its life.