Sexy/Squat Shrimp

Sexy/Squat Shrimp Thor amboinensis

Type of Animal:
Anemone Shrimp

Reefs w/ anemones/corals, lagoons w/ anemones/large-polyp stony corals, areas w/ gentle to moderate water movement, coastal areas, found at depths of 1.64-98.425 ft & prefer water temps of 71.6-82 F

Indo-Pacific, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, W Atlantic from Florida to Brazil, Canary Islands, Madeira, W Pacific, E Pacific from Costa Rica to Easter Island

Olive brown to reddish-brown color w/ symmetrically placed white patches/spots often edged w/ thin blue lines, often carries tail fan above head, females larger than males

Anemone mucus, anemone tentacles, zooplankton, brine shrimp, detritus, algae, mysid shrimp, krill, ciliates, nori, zoanthid corals

Status in Wild:

Colonies of 3-20 shrimp

Additional Info:

Young: Larva/Parva
Group: Colony

3.5 weeks 

Life Span:
3-3.5 years

Body Length:
Male: 0.6 in
Female: 0.78 in

Main predators are triggerfish, hawkfish, wrasses, angelfish, harlequin bass, lionfish, fairy basslets, cardinalfish, & anemonefish/clownfish.
These shrimp all born as males, w/ larger more dominant males becoming females.
Larvae hatch after 3.5 weeks drifting in ocean currents for 1st month of life & undergoing 10-12 larval stages since they molt every 2-3 days. Larvae become juveniles at 1.5-2 months old.
Females produce 100-500 eggs per spawn & spawn w/ multiple males.
Will utilize coral hosts if anemones not available.
Shrimps have acclimation period before settling on anemone host-some studies say that shrimp collects anemone mucus camouflaging itself & others say that they acclimate by building up chemicals inhibiting excretions of stinging nematocysts from anemones.
Host anemones selected by using visual/chemical cues.
These shrimp will share anemone hosts w/ other shrimp species, crabs, & brittle stars.
Relationships between anemones/shrimp commensal w/ shrimp benefiting from protection & anemone neither being harmed nor benefited. They do keep anemones clean from mucus.
These shrimp have been observed picking parasites off carapaces of mantis shrimp.
They’ll vibrate abdomen to signal/warn others.

Fun Fact(s):
When fleeing predators, they swim backwards by curling/uncurling abdomen.
Can move 5.9 in per second to escape perceived threats.
Called Sexy Shrimp due to way they sway abdomen back & forth when walking.
Also called Sexy Anemone Shrimp, Squat Anemone Shrimp, High-Tailed Shrimp, Ambonian Shrimp, Amboin Shrimp, Carid Shrimp, Bold-Spotted Anemone Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Commensal Shrimp, Popcorn Shrimp, Sex Pistol Shrimp, Hump-Backed Shrimp, Sexy Pistol Shrimp, White-Saddled Shrimp, & Commensal Anemone Shrimp.

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