Tiger pistol shrimp
|A. bellulus and Cryptocentrus cinctus|
Miya & Miyake, 1969
Alpheus bellulus can grow to a size up to 4 to 5 cm, not including antennae. The body is stout and opaque. The background color of the body is yellowish white or plain yellow. The patterns drawn on the cephalothorax, abdomen and tail are irregular but symmetric, their coloration varies from light brown, brownish purple to brownish orange. The legs are banded with the same colors as the body and are covered with short bristles. The antennae are red. The chelipeds are also banded, with the right cheliped being bigger and modified into a powerful weapon. By closing at extreme speed, the cheliped expels an air bubble at more than 100 km per hour towards the prey. This action is accompanied with a loud bang. This powerful sonic weapon creates a violent shock wave which can kill or knock out prey, which could be another shrimp or a small fish passing close to the Alpheus bellulus.
Alpheus bellulus can be found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific area.
Alpheus bellulus likes the sandy, muddy and detrital substratum in shallow waters until 20m.
Alpheus bellulus has a meat-based diet and feeds on crustaceans and small fish.
Alpheus bellulus lives in burrows in symbiosis with certain goby species such as Cryptocentrus cinctus, Amblyeleotris guttata or Stonogobiops yasha. The shrimp digs and maintains the burrows which are the dens for both animals. And the goby is like a watchman that warns in case of potential danger because the shrimp has poor vision.
Alpheus bellulus is one of the most popular pistol shrimp in the marine aquarium hobby as it has a peaceful temperament, is inexpensive and does not require complicated care.
Miya, Y. & S. Miyake, 1969. Description of Alpheus bellulus sp. nov. associated with gobies from Japan (Crustacea, Decapoda, Alpheidae).— Publications from the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory 16: 307-314.
- Vilcinskas, Andreas.La vie sous-marine des tropiques. Vigot,2002. ISBN 2711415252
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