The Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta) is also known as “Clown Shrimp” or “Painted Shrimp” are one of the most stunning and beautiful shrimps in the saltwater hobby. Harlequin shrimps are shaped slightly like a praying mantis with leaf-like appendages. The Shrimp has a white body with large light blue spots, and the males are slightly smaller than the female.
Harlequin shrimp are diligent little security guards, keeping your corals safe from parasites (like Asterina starfish) by hunting and eating them, before the pests have the chance to do any harm. Harlequin shrimp are not only kept simply to keep pests away, but marine enthusiasts also keep them for their natural and unique beauty, which is making them a rather fashionable addition to many people’s aquariums.
Harlequin shrimp are found on the rubble piles outside of coral reefs from Hawaii to the Indo-Pacific region. The Harlequin Shrimp is small and grows only to a size of about 1.5 inches. It should not be kept in tanks with aggressive fish, inverts, or anything that might consider it prey. They are best kept, as mated pairs. They eat primarily starfish and urchins.
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