Pretty Aquatic Pets: 10 Most Beautiful Shrimps

Will you put these lovely creatures in a tank or will you serve these for dinner?

Shrimps are found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Shrimps are widely caught and farm for consumption. Shrimps are also becoming popular as aquatic pets. Here are some beautiful species of shrimps for your aquarium.

1. Harlequin Shrimp

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This shrimp is not just beautiful but also unique in appearance amongst shrimps. This colorful creature named Hymenocera picta is a very popular for aquariums. This pretty aquatic creature is found in the Indian Ocean and dwells in coral reefs, where it lives on a diet of starfish. It also has unusual front legs that are shaped like paddles. Harlequin shrimps only grow up to 2 inches.

A Harlequin Shrimp is completely reef safe, but should not be kept by beginners. Its diet is solely star fish. It will not harm any other tank inhabitants. It will hide most of the time until a star fish is added to the tank. It can over power its prey even at 10 times their size. Its front legs act as a pseudo needle type projection that temporarily paralyzes the prey, enabling the shrimp to flip them over and carry them off. This is a vicious little shrimp, as it consumes starfish alive. The harlequin will keep the starfish alive by feeding on it for about a week, until it is all eaten up. Considering this, it is difficult to keep a constant food supply for this pet.

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This lovely-looking marine animal is also commonly known as Dancing Shrimp, Clown Shrimp and Painted Shrimp.

2. Zebra Mantis Shrimp

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Your aquarium will surely look beautiful with this brightly colored species of mantis shrimp found across the Indo-Pacific area is called Lysiosquillina maculate. It is commonly known as the Zebra Mantis Shrimp or Striped Mantis Shrimp. This pretty shrimp is the “world’s largest mantis shrimp” which can grow up to 40 cm.

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  1. Wonderful article and filled with such colorful pictures!

  2. Excellent article with stunning photos!

  3. Wow! The underwater world is filled with such beautiful creatures…thanks for reminding me of this.

  4. aaargh! I`m allergic to eating shrimp… loved reading about them however.. thanks for sharing info about this beautiful creatures..

  5. Excellent article, Norbert! I have thumbs this up!

  6. I enjoyed this and learned a lot, thank you for a great article and beautiful photos.

  7. I love eating shrimp and had no idea there was such a variety. I learn so much from you Nobert. You are an amazing wealth of knowledge! Love the pics too!

  8. Wow… I had no idea that these shrimp even existed – - wonderful article!

    Blessings.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.

  9. Awesome nobert, i didn’t see any of these before they are just beautiful, to beautiful to be on someone’s plate lol

  10. An excellent article and beautifully illustrated.

  11. These colorful creatures deserve be a pet.

  12. simply gorfeous creature!

  13. Wow! That was a pretty spectacular article with really extraordinary images. Too cool! :)

  14. Mother Earth has awesome beauty beneath her waters too.

  15. The shrimps are so adorable! I love the striped one… though it scares me that it eats starfish alive. >.

  16. Wonderfully educational article. The photos were so brillant. They looked like underwater spiders. I never know there were so many different shrimp.

  17. Wow! Very colorful shrimps and captivating shrimps. They’re like birds under sea.

  18. Colorful shrimps indeed.

  19. those are beautiful! and soo colorful!

  20. Absolutely amazing. And all this time I thought there were only jumbo and colassal! Great article nobert.

  21. There still are many amazing things in this world waiting to be discovered. Thanks for unraveling the beauty of God’s creation.

  22. Thats interesting especially with the beautiful pictures.

  23. How could anyone eat these colorful little creatures? Not me.

  24. These are beautiful. I had no idea that shrimps could look like this. An excellent article.

    Christine

  25. Oh, Nobert, even if shrimps are my favorite meal, I don’t think I have the heart to eat these beautiful creatures. I’ll just go for fresh vegetables and fruits, thank you.

  26. Never knew there were so many different shrimp! Great article!

  27. Not trying to be nitpicky, but I just wanted to let you know that the zebra mantis shrimp and the peacock mantis shrimp are not actually shrimp. They are another type of crustacean known as stomatopods, more closely related to lobsters than shrimp. Also the second picture of the peacoock mantis shrimp is actually another species of mantis shrimp, not sure which. Great article though, I really enjoyed it.

  28. I wonder if they all taste the same. =D

  29. are all the ships edible…

  30. Yummy. I love shrimp.

  31. So beautiful to look at…as long as you’re not a starfish or other aquatic animal these creatures want to eat!
    Personally…I prefer my shimp to be pink and white, and ’swimming’ in melted butter! :)

  32. I loved the Spotted Cleaner Shrimp.

  33. aww… they are really pretty with impressive colors!

  34. Well researched article. We call saltwater ones prawns,and freshwater ones, yabbies.Either way the are an amazing animal.
    My favourte-Garlic Prawns in white wine sauce served with fresh continental garden salad and garlic bread, washed down with bubbly!

  35. P.S. – Just added your article to all my feeds.

  36. Mantis Shrimp aren’t shrimp. Harlequin are definitely the winners though.

  37. very beautiful and nice information

  38. Whoa Nobert, it is the first time I see these beautiful creatures. Their colors are really beautiful.

  39. They look so exquisite and brilliant.

  40. good article

  41. Hi Nobert. I really enjoyed this article so much. You always come up with the best ideas and pictures to fascinate readers. That’s why this article is on # 2 spot in hot content as I write this comment.

    Cheers and more success to you!

  42. wow so beautiful

  43. Wow, who knew shrimp could be beautiful! Growing up in Louisiana, all I knew was to pinch the head and suck the tail!

  44. Wow, beautiful pictures, and the article is very informative as well.

  45. WOW! This is my first time to see the different kinds of shrimps. Its really nice. They are colorful and beautiful to watch. Nice article.

  46. Amazing article my friend… as usual. Congratulations!

  47. Great article, Nobert. I never thought of these little guys as potential pets before!

    Dugg at http://digg.com/pets_animals/Shrimps_as_Pets_Why_not

    and blogged at

    http://www.webphemera.com/2009/04/shrimps-as-pets-why-not.html

  48. Very nice! :-)

  49. beautiful little critters indeed

  50. I hate mantis shrimp. I had one hitchhike in on some live rock and it wrecked havoc. Killed many fish except my yellow wrasse that burrowed at night in the sand. At first I heard a loud snapping sound every so often like a firecracker had been thrown against the glass. This is how the Mantis stuns its prey. It even killed my little Octopus. Finally I had to disassemble the whole reef piece by piece and place each rock in a five gallon bucket with no saltwater,to flush him out. 24 hours later it was at the bottom of the bucket,only 3/4″ long and brown in color. Bad little dude. The Pitbull of shrimp. But I miss my Peppermint Shrimp most of all.

  51. awesome list!

  52. great write. very beautiful photos too.

  53. Mantis shrimp are not shrimp at all but are Stomatapods. I netted two last night while shrimping in the Mosquito Lagoon of East Florida

  54. Amazing creatures indeed!

  55. Jesus is my wonderful Savior, I am marvelled by His creation, especially these Shrimphs.

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