Fish ID: Harlequin Shrimp

Fish ID: Harlequin Shrimp

The underwater world is full of surprises, both big and small…

Having an eye for detail on the reef will help you find a very rare, but very beautiful harlequin shrimp.

The adjective “harlequin” refers to the color of their body, which is white to a light pink, with splashes of bright colored spots, usually red, purple, orange and blue.

Harlequin shrimps normally live together as a couple and have a relentless appetite; they feed almost exclusively on starfish, using their large claws to detach starfish limbs!

As these creatures are very small, up to 5 cm in length, they are not easy to spot, and with the help of their irregular red and purple blotches on a creamy background they are very well camouflaged, almost disappearing into the background.