Tiger pistol shrimp

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Tiger pistol shrimp
Gobie and Shrimp.JPG
A. bellulus and Cryptocentrus cinctus
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Pleocyemata
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Alpheidae
Genus: Alpheus
A. bellulus
Binomial name
Alpheus bellulus
Miya & Miyake, 1969

The tiger pistol shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) belongs to the family of snapping shrimp.



The tiger pistol shrimp can grow to a size up to 4 to 5 cm, not including antennae. The body is stout and opaque. The background color of the body is yellowish white or plain yellow. The patterns drawn on the cephalothorax, abdomen and tail are irregular but symmetric, their coloration varies from light brown, brownish purple to brownish orange. The legs are banded with the same colors as the body and are covered with short bristles. The antennae are red. [1] The chelipeds are also banded, with the right being bigger and modified into a powerful weapon. By closing at extreme speed, the cheliped expels an air bubble at more than 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) towards the prey. This action is accompanied with a loud bang. This powerful sonic weapon creates a violent shock wave which can kill or knock out prey, which could be another shrimp or a small fish passing close to the tiger pistol shrimp. The sound emitted from the collapsing bubble can be up to 218 decibels, with a temperature of up to 4,800 degrees celsius, slightly cooler than the surface of the Sun.


The tiger pistol shrimp can be found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific area. [2]


The tiger pistol shrimp dwells in sandy, muddy and detrital substratum in shallow waters until 20m.


The tiger pistol shrimp is a carnivore, preying primarily on small invertebrates. It may also eat detritus and macroalgae, and will scavenge carcasses near its burrow. If it has formed a symbiotic relationship with a goby, the goby may bring it food. In aquaria, it is sometimes blamed for the death of fish, but it is very unlikely that it possesses the strength or willingness to attack fish for food. It can be fed many common foods given to aquarium shrimps, such as flakes, pellets, and most frozen foods, and will generally take prepared foods with no training required.


The tiger pistol shrimp lives in burrows in symbiosis with certain goby species such as Cryptocentrus cinctus , Amblyeleotris guttata or Stonogobiops yasha . The shrimp digs and maintains the burrows which are the dens for both animals, while the goby acts as a watchman, warning of danger the shrimp cannot see due to poor eyesight. [3] Proven from a study, in an environment where goby fish and the tiger pistol shrimp are kept together, specifically in a tank, if there is no food source for the shrimp, the shrimp maintains its diet by consuming the feces of the goby fish from its burrow to survive. [4] Hence, another example of their partnership.

In aquaria

The tiger pistol shrimp is one of the most popular pistol shrimp in the marine aquarium hobby as it has a peaceful temperament, is inexpensive and does not require complicated care.

Original publication

Miya, Y. & S. Miyake, 1969. Description of Alpheus bellulus sp. nov. associated with gobies from Japan (Crustacea, Decapoda, Alpheidae).— Publications from the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 16: 307–314. [1]

Related Research Articles

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Gobiidae or gobies is a family of bony fish in the order Gobiiformes, one of the largest fish families comprising more than 2,000 species in more than 200 genera. Most of gobiid fish are relatively small, typically less than 10 cm (3.9 in) in length, and the family includes some of the smallest vertebrates in the world, such as Trimmatom nanus and Pandaka pygmaea, Trimmatom nanus are under 1 cm long when fully grown, then Pandaka pygmaea standard length are 9 mm (0.35 in), maximum known standard length are 11 mm (0.43 in). Some large gobies can reach over 30 cm (0.98 ft) in length, but that is exceptional. Generally, they are benthic or bottom-dwellers. Although few are important as food fish for humans, they are of great significance as prey species for other commercially important fish such as cod, haddock, sea bass and flatfish. Several gobiids are also of interest as aquarium fish, such as the dartfish of the genus Ptereleotris. Phylogenetic relationships of gobiids have been studied using molecular data.

<i>Lysmata amboinensis</i> Species of crustacean also known as a cleaner shrimp

Lysmata amboinensis is an omnivorous shrimp species known by several common names including the Pacific cleaner shrimp. It is considered a cleaner shrimp as eating parasites and dead tissue from fish makes up a large part of its diet. The species is a natural part of the coral reef ecosystem and is widespread across the tropics typically living at depths of 5–40 metres (16–131 ft).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alpheidae</span> Family of crustacean

Alpheidae is a family of caridean snapping shrimp, characterized by having asymmetrical claws, the larger of which is typically capable of producing a loud snapping sound. Other common names for animals in the group are pistol shrimp or alpheid shrimp.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Black-ray goby</span> Species of fish

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<i>Alpheus</i> (crustacean) Genus of crustaceans

Alpheus is a genus of snapping shrimp of the family Alpheidae. This genus contains in excess of 330 species, making this the most species-rich genus of shrimp. Like other snapping shrimp, the claws of Alpheus are asymmetrical, with one of the claws enlarged for making a popping noise. Some species in the genus enter into symbiotic relationships with gobiid fishes, and others associate with sea anemones.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steinitz' prawn goby</span> Species of fish

Amblyeleotris steinitzi, Steinitz' prawn goby or simply Steinitz' goby, is a species of small fish in the family Gobiidae. It lives in association with an alpheid shrimp and is found from the Red Sea through the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean.

<i>Squilla mantis</i> Species of crustacean

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<i>Alpheus randalli</i> Species of crustacean

Alpheus randalli is a species of snapping shrimp in the family Alpheidae. It lives in the Marquesas Islands and parts of the Indian Ocean, including the Seychelles, in association with a goby of the genus Amblyeleotris. The shrimp is transparent or white with prominent red markings.

Alpheus deuteropus or the petroglyph shrimp is a snapper or pistol shrimp in the family Alpheidae. It lives on coral reefs in tropical parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and in the Red Sea, as a commensal of corals such as Porites lobata. Its presence among the lobes leaves tunnels, cracks and grooves in the surface.

<i>Ancylomenes pedersoni</i> Species of crustacean

Ancylomenes pedersoni, sometimes known as Pederson's shrimp and Pederson's cleaner shrimp, is a species of cleaner shrimp. It is part of the genus Ancylomenes and was described in 1958 by Fenner A. Chace Jr. as Periclimenes pedersoni. Ancylomenes pedersoni is found in the Caribbean Sea, often associated with a sea anemone, at depths of 1 to 15 metres. They are often found on the reefs off Bermuda.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shrimp</span> Decapod crustaceans

A shrimp is a crustacean with an elongated body and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – typically belonging to the Caridea or Dendrobranchiata of the decapod order, although some crustaceans outside of this order are also referred to as "shrimp".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Prawn</span> Common name applied to some types of crustaceans

Prawn is a common name for small aquatic crustaceans with an exoskeleton and ten legs, some of which are edible.

<i>Alpheus heterochaelis</i> Species of crustacean

Alpheus heterochaelis, the bigclaw snapping shrimp, is a snapper or pistol shrimp in the family Alpheidae. It is found in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

<i>Amblyeleotris periophthalma</i> Species of fish

Amblyeleotris periophthalma, the broad-banded shrimp goby or the periophthalma shrimp goby, is a marine benthic species of goby native to reef environments of the Indo-West Pacific, Red Sea included.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crustacean</span> Subphylum of arthropods

Crustaceans belong to the subphylum Crustacea, and form a large, diverse group of arthropods including decapods, seed shrimp, branchiopods, fish lice, krill, remipedes, isopods, barnacles, copepods, opossum shrimps, amphipods and mantis shrimp. The crustacean group can be treated as a subphylum under the clade Mandibulata. It is now well accepted that the hexapods emerged deep in the Crustacean group, with the completed group referred to as Pancrustacea. The three classes Cephalocarida, Branchiopoda and Remipedia are more closely related to the hexapods than they are to any of the other crustaceans.

Alpheus tricolor is a crustacean belonging to the family of snapping shrimp. It was first isolated in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It counts with a setose carapace, an acute rostrum, shallow adrostral furrows and a basicerite with a strong ventrolateral tooth. The lamella of its scaphocerite is not reduced, with an anterior margin that is concave. Its third maxilliped counts with an epipodial plate bearing thick setae, while its first chelipeds are found with their merus bearing a strong disto-mesial tooth; its third pereiopod has an armed ischium, with a simple and conical dactylus. Its telson is broad, distally tapering, with 2 pairs of dorsal spines. The species is named after its characteristic colour pattern, including white, red and orange.

<i>Alpheus digitalis</i> Species of shrimp

Alpheus digitalis is a species of pistol shrimp in the family Alpheidae. The species was first discovered after a taxonomic study of a snapping shrimp from the genus Alpheus from Japan and the Gulf of Thailand, of which, it was found that two species was confounded under A.digitalis, which was originally described based on a single specimen possessing abnormal chelipeds.

<i>Alpheus armatus</i> Species of crustacean

Alpheus armatus is a species of snapping shrimp in the family Alpheidae, found in shallow water in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It lives in association with a sea anemone such as Bartholomea annulata, clearing out sand from the cracks and crevices in which the sea anemone often lives.

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<i>Alpheus astrinx</i> Rare species of shrimp

Alpheus astrinx, also known as the candy-stripe pistol prawn, is a rare species of snapping shrimp found around Australia and Papua New Guinea. It has recent presence in the fossil record, having been recorded from 0.012 million years ago. The species has an acute rostrum which is roughly equal to the length of the first segment on the antennae.


  2. SOUS LES MERS : Alpheus bellulus - crevette pistolet tigre
  3. Vilcinskas, Andreas.La vie sous-marine des tropiques. Vigot,2002. ISBN   2711415252
  4. Kohda, M., Yamanouchi, H., Hirata, T. et al. A novel aspect of goby–shrimp symbiosis: gobies provide droppings in their burrows as vital food for their partner shrimps. Mar Biol 164, 22 (2017).