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The Snapping Shrimp

Learn how to care for and perhaps sneak a peek at the cryptic snapping shrimp in your aquarium.

By Scott W. Michael |

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There are many fascinating species of crustaceans, a number of which are available to the home aquarist. Yet none are as mystical and amazing as the snapping (pistol) shrimp (family Alpheidae). While relatively few snapping shrimp are available to aquarists, those that are available can make interesting aquarium inhabitants. Let’s examine the biology of these incredible shrimp, as well as their captive-care requirements.

Alpheidae consists of at least 46 genera (the taxa in the family are currently being revised) with more than 600 species. Most do not exceed 1 inch in length. The largest of the group reaches about 3 inches, while a number of dwarf species do not exceed half an inch in length.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the October 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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