This chubby shrimp with black-ringed orange spots on its tail is often
seen in large sea anemones on many of our shores. Usually a pair are
seen in one anemone. Elsewhere, seen from 1-5m deep. It is also sometimes
called the Clown anemone shrimp or Peacock tail anemone shrimp.
Features: To about 4cm. Body almost
transparent, especially the smaller male. Pincers long transparent
with purple bars. The female is often larger and more brightly marked
with more and larger white spots on the back, along the abdomen and
the base of the tail. The male may be totally transparent except for
the eyespots on the tail. Some also have a white tail and a white
bar between the eyes like the female. In both the male and female,
the tail has 5 black-ringed orange eyespots.
At low tide, they are more easily spotted at night when they are still
somewhat active. During the day, they often remain hidden under the
We have seen these shrimps with these large sea anemones: Giant
carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea), Haddon's
carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni), Magnificent
anemones (Heteractis magnifica), Leathery
anemone (Heteractis crispa), Pizza
anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum).
clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris) are also found
together with the anemone shrimps on the same anemone. They don't
seem to bother one another.
Does it 'clean' fish? A filefish
was once observed close to an anemone shrimp for some time. Could
it be expecting the shrimp to clean it?
What does it eat? Anemone shrimps
do not appear to eat the host anemone or off the anemone's fluids.
Instead, they are believed to shelter in the anemone for protection
and may feed on left overs. The shrimps have often been seen "hanging"
over the edge of their anemone home with their pincers extended.
Kusu Island, May 07
Five black-ringed orange spots on the tail.
The male often smaller and more transparent.
This filefish appeared to be
presenting itself to the shrimp
Pulau Sekudu, May 05
'Locked out' of its
sea anemone at low tide!
Kusu Island, Jul 04
Sometimes, both anemone shrimps and
share the same anemone.
Pulau Hantu, Jul 07
anemone shrimps on Singapore shores
video clips and more
photos of five-spot anemones shrimps on Singapore shores
- Lim, S.,
P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life
and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of
Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology,
the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.
- Jones Diana
S. and Gary J. Morgan, 2002. A Field Guide to Crustaceans of
Australian Waters. Reed New Holland. 224 pp.
- Humann, Paul
and Ned Deloach. 2010. Reef
Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications.
- Kuiter, Rudie
H and Helmut Debelius. 2009. World
Atlas of Marine Fauna
. IKAN-Unterwasserachiv. 723pp.
Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral
Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawai’I
exclusive of the vertebrates
Sea Challengers. 314pp.