Like other members of the genus Lysmata, the fire shrimp is a cleaner shrimp. Cleaner shrimps are notable for their symbiotic relationships with other species, removing parasites and dead tissue from reef fish.

They are common in warm water reefs along the east African coast.

These shrimps are characterised by their red bodies and the white tips of their third, fourth and fifth sets of legs. Like the skunk shrimp, they have long white antennae. They also have large white spots on their cephalothorax, a distinctive feature as other similar species tend to have spots on their abdomen as well.

The adult fire shrimp carries its eggs in a set of arms (pleopods) under its body. When hatched, the shrimp larvae free-float as plankton, until they have matured sufficiently. All fire shrimps are hermaphrodites and able to act as a female after moulting and a male between moults.

Fire shrimps are fiercely territorial and will attack other shrimps infringing on their territory. They are able to tell members of their own species apart, and form a long-term bond with a mate.

The fire shrimp has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 


Species Facts

  • Sometimes called scarlet cleaner shrimp or blood shrimp.
  • Its body can grow up to 3cm long.
  • Looks almost identical to a closely related species, L. splendida, only distinguishable by its lack of abdominal spots.