Sexy Shrimp: A Guide to Their Charm and Care

Sexy shrimp, scientifically known as Thor amboinensis, are captivating little creatures that inhabit coral reefs in tropical oceans. Not only are they known for their unique color combination of reddish-brown bodies dotted with brilliant white spots, but they also have an intriguing nickname that piques the interest of many marine enthusiasts.

As you explore the world of sexy shrimp, you’ll soon realize that their nickname comes from their mesmerizing body movements. When they walk, they sway their abdomens back and forth in an enchanting manner, making them an alluring addition to your aquarium.

In this article, we’ll offer a comprehensive guide on how to care for these charming invertebrates, along with tips on diet and breeding to ensure your sexy shrimp thrive in their aquatic home.

Species Overview

Thor amboinensis

Property Value
Scientific name Thor amboinensis
Common names Sexy Shrimp, Squat Shrimp
Distribution Atlantic, Indo-Pacific Oceans
Size Up to 2 cm (females), Up to 1.5 cm (males)
Lifespan 2-3 years
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Peaceful
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Temperature 72-82°F (22-28°C)
pH 8.1-8.4
Water hardness 8-12 dKH
Care level Easy to Moderate
Filtration/Water Flow Gentle to Moderate
Water type Saltwater
Breeding Ovigerous females release larvae
Breeding difficulty High
Compatibility Reef Safe

Sexy Shrimp are small, colorful shrimp known for their unique upturned abdomens and tails that curl back towards their heads, giving them the appearance of dancing. They thrive in shallow waters with gentle to moderate water movement, usually forming symbiotic relationships with corals, sea anemones, and other marine invertebrates.

Caring for Sexy Shrimp requires maintaining proper water parameters and providing a suitable environment for them to live, ideally with host anemones or sessile invertebrate hosts. They are compatible with various tank mates, including other peaceful reef-dwelling creatures. As omnivores, a balanced diet of both plant and meaty foods will ensure their health and wellbeing.

For breeding, ovigerous females release larvae into the water column which later settle and metamorphose into the adult form. While breeding Sexy Shrimp can be moderately challenging, it offers great potential for marine ornamental shrimp aquaculture enthusiasts.

Sexy Shrimp Basics

Origins and Natural Habitat

Sexy shrimp, also known as Thor amboinensis, can be found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Canary Islands. They are known to inhabit dead corals, small crevices between rocks, and biogenic gravels. This fascinating species is easy to care for and makes a beautiful addition to a marine tank.

Size and Shape

You’ll notice that sexy shrimp are quite small, typically less than 2 cm in size. Females usually grow larger than males, with males reaching up to only 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) long. They have short-stalked eyes that protrude from their carapace and a well-developed rostrum that doesn’t overreach the eyes or expand ventrally.

Color and Markings

Sexy shrimp have vibrant colors and markings that add beauty to your aquarium. They display various shades of brown, orange, white, and red, which make them easy to spot against the backdrop of a reef tank.


With proper care, sexy shrimp can live for about 2-3 years in a well-kept reef aquarium. To help maintain their health, ensure that the water parameters are suitable: pH 8.1-8.3, calcium 380-450 ppm, alkalinity 2.5-4.0 meq/L, nitrites <10 ppm, and temperatures between 76-82°F.

Remember to provide a habitat with rock crevices, caves, overhangs, microalgae, coral, or an anemone, as they will hide when they feel threatened. Be friendly and mindful of their needs, and your sexy shrimp will thrive as a delightful addition to your reef tank.

Diet and Feeding

When it comes to feeding your Sexy Shrimp, these creatures are natural cleaners but might need direct feedings if there’s a lack of coral or anemones in the tank. To ensure their proper nutrition, offer them sinking pellets, flakes, or gels with high protein content. You’ll be glad to know that they also accept algae-based foods.

It’s important to keep in mind the health of your tank’s water conditions and all its inhabitants. Avoid overfeeding as it can negatively impact the overall water quality. By providing a balanced diet and monitoring your feeding routine, you’ll support a thriving environment for your Sexy Shrimp and other tank mates.

Behavior and Temperament

Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) are known for their docile and social nature. As you observe them, you’ll notice they exhibit a unique “dancing” behavior that makes them quite fascinating to watch. This captivating behavior involves swaying their abdomen back and forth in an exotic fashion as they move around the tank.

In your aquarium, they prefer to be kept in pairs or groups, as they are communal creatures. This means that with a friendly and nurturing environment, they’ll thrive and bring a lively atmosphere to your underwater world.

You’ll also find that sexy shrimp are quick and agile, capable of covering large distances in a short period of time to evade predators. This speed and agility make them mesmerizing to witness, adding an element of interest to your aquatic setup. Remember to ensure that their tank conditions are suitable for supporting their playful acrobatics and interactions.

Care and Tank Requirements

Tank Size

For your sexy shrimp, it’s essential to accommodate them in the appropriate tank size. A good rule of thumb is to provide a tank size under 10 gallons. A 5-gallon tank would be suitable for housing 3 to 5 sexy shrimp.

Water Parameters

You’ll want to create a comfortable environment for your sexy shrimp by maintaining the following water parameters:

  • Temperature: Keep the water temperature between 75 and 79°F.
  • pH levels: Aim for a pH level ranging from 8.1 to 8.4.
  • Water hardness: Maintain water hardness between 7 and 12 dKH.
  • Specific gravity: Ensure specific gravity is within the range of 1.023 to 1.025 sg.

Tank Setup and Decorations

In order to mimic their natural habitat, you should provide hiding spots within the tank. This can be achieved with live rock, anemones, or other structures, such as tunnels and channels. This setup will not only create a more appealing environment, but it will also help your sexy shrimp feel safe and secure.

Filtration and Aeration

Last but not least, it’s essential to ensure stable and clean tank conditions for your sexy shrimp. This means setting up proper filtration and aeration systems in the tank. Good filtration will help keep the water clean, while appropriate aeration will provide your shrimp with the much-needed oxygen they require to thrive.

Relationship with Anemones

Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) share a unique symbiotic relationship with anemones, providing protection for the shrimp and cleaning for the anemone. This partnership allows you, the shrimp, to crawl across the anemone’s tentacles, munching on plankton and other tiny food particles. As you move around, your small size and colorful appearance help camouflage you from potential predators, ensuring your safety.

Living amongst the anemone’s tentacles, you coexist harmoniously with other shrimp and crabs, contributing to the overall health and biodiversity of your marine ecosystem. You’re compatible with various species of anemones, so you won’t have trouble finding a home. Remember, as a Sexy Shrimp, your symbiotic relationship with anemones is essential for your survival and well-being. So, make the most of this alliance by keeping your home clean and your anemone partner happy.

Suitable Tank Mates

When searching for suitable tank mates for your Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis), it’s essential to find species that are both compatible and thrive in similar environments. Here are a few tank mates to consider:

  • Blennies: These small, bottom-dwelling fish are great companions as they are peaceful and have similar requirements to Sexy Shrimp.
  • Boxer Crabs: These unique crabs exhibit intriguing behavior and can coexist with Sexy Shrimp without any issues.
  • Bumble Bee Snails: These snails can assist in maintaining a clean tank, which is beneficial both for the shrimp and their tank mates.
  • Clown Gobies: These vibrant fish are peaceful and known for their compatibility with reef environments, making them a perfect match for Sexy Shrimp.

Remember to keep an eye on your tank for any signs of bullying or nutrient deficiencies. Ensuring the well-being of the Sexy Shrimp and their tank mates will lead to a harmonious and thriving aquarium environment for you to enjoy.


Sexy Shrimp, scientifically known as Thor amboinensis, have a unique reproductive system. They are protandric hermaphrodites, which means they transition from male to female as they mature. This is a fascinating trait, but can make breeding at home challenging, usually reserved for professional aquarists.

In order to encourage breeding, you’ll need to provide a comfortable environment for your Sexy Shrimp. Make sure to maintain stable water parameters, and don’t overcrowd the tank to reduce stress. Adequate hiding spots, in the form of live rock and soft coral, are important to facilitate breeding behavior.

When Sexy Shrimp breed, they produce tiny larva that are quite vulnerable to predation. It’s crucial to separate them from potential predators within the tank. The larvae need specially tailored care, as they have unique feeding requirements that should be researched beforehand.

Remember that successfully breeding and raising Sexy Shrimp larvae can be a difficult process. However, with proper care, patience, and attention to detail, it is possible to achieve this rewarding experience in your home aquarium. Good luck!

Common Diseases and Treatments

Sexy Shrimp are generally hardy creatures; however, they can be susceptible to immune compromise due to stress and poor water conditions. To keep your shrimp healthy, it’s essential to maintain optimal living conditions.

Salinity changes and high levels of copper or nitrate can be harmful to your shrimp. Make sure to monitor water quality regularly, ensuring parameters like temperature, pH, and salinity stay within the recommended ranges.

In case of any unusual behavior or signs of illness, act promptly to identify the issue and apply relevant treatments. Some potential diseases affecting shrimp include:

  • Vorticella: A protozoan parasite that can cause skin irritation and affect mobility. Treatment usually involves salt baths.
  • Bacterial Infections: Can manifest as gut infections or general poor health. Improve water quality and consider antibiotic treatments under a professional’s guidance.
  • Fungal Infections: May cause cloudy or cotton-like growths on your shrimp. Fungal treatments available at pet stores can be effective.

Remember to always consult with an experienced aquarist or veterinarian for appropriate treatments and diagnosis. By staying vigilant and maintaining a healthy environment, you can enjoy your aquatic companions while minimizing the risk of disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal habitat for sexy shrimp?

Sexy shrimp (Thor amboinensis) are commonly found in the Atlantic and the Canary Islands. They prefer living in dead corals, small crevasses between rocks, and biogenic gravels. Providing an environment with plenty of hiding spots will help keep them comfortable in a home aquarium.

What are interesting facts about sexy shrimp mating habits?

Mating habits of sexy shrimp are not widely documented. However, a key aspect to consider when keeping a group of sexy shrimp in your aquarium is to note that females are larger than the males, with males usually growing only up to 1.5 cm long. Make sure you have a mix of male and female shrimps in your aquarium to observe unique behaviors.

Which fish species can coexist well with sexy shrimp?

Due to their small size, sexy shrimp can be vulnerable to predation by larger fish. It’s essential to choose tankmates that are non-aggressive and compatible with small invertebrates. Some suitable options include clownfish, gobies, and other peaceful reef-dwelling species. Avoid keeping them with large or aggressive fish.

What do sexy shrimp typically eat?

Sexy shrimp primarily feed on a diet of detritus, algae, and small particles of organic matter. In a home aquarium, you can supplement their diet with high-quality pellet or flake food, as well as frozen foods like brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. Monthly or bi-monthly feedings of live food can also provide additional nutrients.

How big do sexy shrimp grow on average?

Sexy shrimp are relatively small in size. They usually grow to be less than 2 cm in size, with females being larger than males. As previously mentioned, males typically reach a length of 1.5 cm, while females may grow slightly larger. Their modest size makes them a great addition to small or nano aquariums.