Peppermint Shrimp

SKU: 493Categories: Invertebrates, Shrimp

The Peppermint Shrimp is renowned for its natural ability to control nuisance Aiptasia, or glass anemones. However, it is worth noting that some Peppermint Shrimp may not be interested in Aiptasia at all, while others may be better at managing them. Despite being classified as a “cleaner” shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni is more of a scavenger. This member of the Hippolytidae family has a clear or creamy white body with several thin and distinct longitudinal red bands, giving it a striking appearance. Also known as the Veined or Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp, the Peppermint Shrimp can sometimes be confused with its Pacific cousin, Rhynchocinetes durbanensis. In contrast, the Pacific shrimp has a pointed nose and inter-spaced white stripes over its body. In the wild, Peppermint Shrimp are usually found in the vertical shafts of the reef or even inside pipe sponges. In home aquariums, they require live rock, sufficient hiding places, and open areas to scavenge. Peppermint Shrimp are very social and peaceful towards most reef inhabitants. Like other invertebrates, they cannot tolerate copper-based medications or high nitrate levels. Additionally, they require supplemental iodine to promote proper molting of their carapace. Peppermint Shrimp should be fed most types of prepared foods and occasionally pieces of fresh fish, in addition to what they obtain from scavenging. The Peppermint Shrimp has been successfully bred by commercial fish farms and can also be bred in a home aquarium, although rearing the larvae requires specialized feeds and care outside of the display aquarium. The Western Atlantic Peppermint Shrimp complex Lysmata wurdemanni was reclassified in 2006 based on its morphology and color pattern. Peppermint shrimp from different regions can be easily identified to species level by their color patterns. Peppermint Shrimp from either the Florida Keys or the Gulf of Mexico are most often Lysmata boggessi, a species proven to consume Aiptasia. However, differences in the exact collection location can dictate the species available in stock. All species of Peppermint Shrimp tested in the laboratory by Dr. Rhyne have been confirmed to consume Aiptasia. The exact species of Peppermint Shrimp shipped may vary based on the time of year, weather conditions, freight space, and inventory levels. Nonetheless, all species make excellent scavengers and prey on the pest anemone Aiptasia pallida.


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