By Bob Goemans
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Lysmata wurdemanni

(Gibbes, 1850)

Peppermint Shrimp, Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp, Veined Shrimp

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Gulf of Mexico, South Carolina, Florida, and the Caribbean.

Size: 3 inches (7 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow coastal reef areas rich in pipe-shaped/tube sponges and lives singly or in pairs, usually inside their hollow interiors, or in nearby crevices and small holes. Basically nocturnal and feeds upon various forms of zooplankton that become trapped or adhered to various forms of substrate in the area, including the surface area of sponges.

General Husbandry: Generally safe for reef aquariums and usually purchased in small groups because they are a very good eliminator of unwanted Aiptasia anemones. In fact, I've seen a newly added group head directly for the anemones in my aquarium and stay there until they were all eaten!

Provide numerous hiding places, as once the species is in the aquarium, they will seek out hiding places and rarely be seen during daylight hours. It is not necessary to feed them, as they hide mostly by day, usually on the underside of elevated rocks, and scavenge/feed during the night.

However, they appear to have a taste for zooanthids such as "Parazoanthus gracilis," which is generally called Yellow Polyps by aquarists.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Arthropoda

    Class: Malacostraca

    Order: Decapoda

    Family: Hippolytidae

    Genus: Lysmata

FYI: Has successfully been captive bred.

See the 'Introduction' to this Group for more information as to safety with other species of cleaner shrimp and the molting process.

Experience Level: Beginner

Diet: Carnivore

Temperament: Peaceful

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: Yes

Acclimation Time: Shrimp are 'very' sensitive to specific gravity/salinity changes. Therefore, be sure to adjust the bag's water to that of the aquarium in which it will be placed by slowly adding small amounts of aquarium water to the bag every few minutes. In most cases, this process should take at least 15 minutes.

Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy

Calcium (Ca): 380 - 430 mg/l

Alkalinity: 2.5 - 3.0 meq/l

Phosphate (PO4): <0.05 mg/l

Magnesium (Mg): approx. 1350 mg/l (relate to specific gravity) Extremely important for molting!

Strontium (Sr) 8 - 10 mg/l

Iodine (I) Trace element additives containing iodine should be used as recommended by their makers, as iodine is also vital for the molting process.

Temperature Range: 67 - 79°F (218 - 26°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Lighting: PAR ratings N/A

Water Movement: WM 1 - 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

 Lysmata wurdemanni (Peppermint Shrimp, Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp, Veined Shrimp)
Photo © Wikimedia
Lysmata prima Saron marmoratus
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