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Dubious Decapods

The marbled and hinge-beaked shrimp are intriguing — but dubious in reef setups.

By Scott W. Michael |

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Glowing eyes peered back at me from a low-profile reef composed of a conglomerate of rubble and miscellaneous living coral heads. I used a flashlight to better inspect the crevices where the glowing eyes disappeared. There, in the interstice were several handsome, moderately sized shrimp, with tassel-like appendages on their backs and limbs.

It turns out that these shrimp are members of the poorly studied genus Saron. Since discovering them in my tank, I have since kept many of these shrimp in a variety of different captive venues, and while they tend to be hardy, they can also be somewhat destructive to sessile invertebrates. The same holds true for another interesting group of decapods, the hinge-beaked shrimp (Rhyncocinetes).

While members of the two genera are extremely interesting additions to a reef tank, they can also cause problems for certain types of cnidarians. In this article, I would like to examine these “dubious” decapod shrimp in more detail.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the March 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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