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Phylum Arthropoda > Subphylum Crustacea > Class Malacostraca > Order Decapoda > Family Hippolytidae > prawns and shrimps
Cleaner shrimp
Lysmata sp.*
Family Hippolytidae
updated Jan 2020
Where seen? This little striped shrimp is sometimes seen on some of our shores. It is not as commonly seen as other shrimps. Sometimes seen in small groups near coral rubble or large debris and other crevices.

Features: About 1-2cm long. The body is transparent or white with many close-set thin dark lines along the body. A sharp pointed 'nose' and the eyes are close together. It doesn't have long pincers.

Cleaning service: Many members of the genus Lysmata 'clean' other sea creatures such as fishes. These 'clients' often patiently queue up at a 'cleaning station' manned by the shrimp to enjoy the cleaning service. The fishes get rid of dead skin and external parasites, while the shrimp gets a meal.

Pulau Sekudu, Dec 03

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Cleaner shrimps on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Punggol, Jan 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

East Coast (PCN), May 21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

  • 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.
  • Debelius, Helmut, 2001. Crustacea Guide of the World: Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 321 pp.
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