Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday
Photo by William Soo
The Harlequin Shrimp is a small but vividly colored resident of the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. The species only grows to about 5cm (2 inches) long. Thanks to their brightly patterned shells, they are sometimes also called painted shrimp or clown shrimp. They can also be recognized because of their large flattened claws. They may stay in monogamous male-female couples over relatively long periods of time. The mated pairs share territory and prey – and they have been noted to be territorial against other shrimp. Once the pair finds a suitable home within the reef, they are known to stay within the area for months or even years. The pair mate after a female molts, and can produce anywhere from 100 to 5,000 eggs per breeding season.