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Dancing shrimp

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Dancing shrimp
Dancing shrimp2.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Rhynchocinetes durbanensis

Image Description
Dancing shrimp3.jpg

The dancing shrimp is a common name for any of the species of shrimp belonging to the taxonomic family Rhynchocinetidae. They are generally distinguished from other shrimp by their movable rostrum (beak).


The dancing shrimp is known for its long, serrated rostrum that has a hinge that lets them move it up and down. You look at the size of the chelipeds (legs with a claw or pincer) to determine if they are male or female. The males have a more elongated one. Since they have a nocturnal lifestyle their color is red.[1]

Dancing shrimp4.jpg


Once the female has molted the reproduction cycle will begin. The male shrimp will find a female that is ready to molt. The male will guard the female from other males while she is molting. After she is done they will lock together and copulate for a few seconds then they will swim together for a few hours and sometimes days. During copulation the female holds out a gelatinous mass between her fourth pair of walking legs, then the male will deposit sperm into it. After the male is finished the female will put up to 15,000 eggs in the gelatin sack for the sperm to fertilize. The female will care for the eggs in a brood chamber that is located on the underside of her tail. [2]


Dancing shrimp live under overhangs, in coral rubble and in crevices of the reefs. They stay in large groups and are nocturnal. They also molt in these places so they are protected while removing their outer shell. They like to stay in groups of four to six shrimp at a time. [3]



The dancing shrimp will occasionally nip at colonial anemones, disc anemones, and soft leather corals but won't touch bubble coral and stinging anemones. They usually will live peacefully with other invertebrates that inhabit the reef. They like to use their extra time scavenging the reef for meaty foods and so are more of a scavenger than a parasite cleaner even though in the cleaner shrimp family. [4]



  • [5] Scott W. Michael, live aqurium, 12/2/09.
  • [6] author, ehow, 12/2/09.
  • [7] aqurium domain, 12/2/09.