Species encyclopedia

Fire Shrimp

Lysmata debelius


This shrimp lives as a couple or in small groups in coral reefs 10 to 40 m below the surface.

This fearful creature often hides in dark places. It mainly moves about by walking on rocks, only swimming when in danger, which allows it to escape very quickly.


This shrimp is hermaphroditic, born male and later becoming female. However, it retains functioning male organs throughout its life. When a female is fertilized by a male, it stores the sperm in a ‘sperm packet’. That way, it only needs to be fertilized the one time. The first clutch may not come for a few weeks, or even months, after fertilization.

This shrimp is an omnivore and, like many tropical shrimp, it plays the role of a cleaner, eating parasites off of fish.

Its colouring can vary depending on its geographic origin. For example, specimens in the Maldives have white spots on their exoskeletons and underbelly, while those in the Philippines and Indonesia only have them on their exoskeletons.

Indo-Pacific area


Species encyclopedia

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