Tiger pistol shrimp

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Alpheus bellulus
Gobie and Shrimp.JPG
A. bellulus and Cryptocentrus cinctus
Scientific classification
A. bellulus
Binomial name
Alpheus bellulus
Miya & Miyake, 1969

The tiger pistol shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) belongs to the family of snapping shrimp.


The tiger pistol shrimp 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.[1] The chelipeds are also banded, with the right being bigger and modified into a powerful weapon. By closing at extreme speed, the cheliped expels an air bubble at more than 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) 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 tiger pistol shrimp.


The tiger pistol shrimp can be found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific area.[2]


The tiger pistol shrimp dwells in sandy, muddy and detrital substratum in shallow waters until 20m.


The tiger pistol shrimp is a carnivore, preying primarily on crustaceans and small fish.


The tiger pistol shrimp 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.[3]

In aquaria[edit]

The tiger pistol shrimp 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.

Original publication[edit]

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.[4]


  1. ^ http://decapoda.nhm.org/pdfs/26212/26212.pdf
  2. ^ http://fran.cornu.free.fr/affichage/affichage_nom.php?id_espece=1725
  3. ^ Vilcinskas, Andreas.La vie sous-marine des tropiques. Vigot,2002. ISBN 2711415252
  4. ^ http://decapoda.nhm.org/pdfs/26212/26212.pdf

External links[edit]