Antiguan Cave Shrimp – Janicea antiguensis

The Antiguan Cave Shrimp is a species in the order of the Decapoda and thus belongs to the Subphylum of the Crustacea. Janicea antiguensis was first described in 1972 by Chace.

Antiguan Cave Shrimp Janicea antiguensis Crustacea decapoda species diving canary islands canaries atlantic ocean
Antiguan Cave Shrimp – Janicea antiguensis


The Antiguan Cave Shrimp has an elongated body. Their very wide tail part and their white, extremely thin legs are striking.

The body appears transparent to pale pink with red rings, while the transition to the head is orange.

It reaches a length of up to 10cm.

Habitat and Distribution

Janicea antiguensis lives on rocky ground. It prefers caves, crevices and shipwrecks. The Antiguan Cave Shrimp is therefore hiding in the dark. It has rarely been found below 10m.

When diving in the Canaries it is rather rare to see.

Their distribution area extends across the eastern and western Atlantic. In the eastern Atlantic it was already sighted around São Tomé, Príncipe, the Cape Verde Islands and the Canary Islands.

In the western Atlantic it is common in Antigua, Bermuda, Cozumel Island, Yucatan, Bonaire and Brazil.


Janicea antiguensis is nocturnal and escapes with light immediately by paddling with its swimming legs and staying off the ground with its legs. In complete darkness it stands exclusively on its legs. When it is touched, they react with a quick dash of the back to escape.

The Antiguan Cave Shrimp was almost always found in pairs during studies in Porto de Galinhas, where both partners often had eggs in different stages. That is, they could be hermaphroditic.

In addition, they have killed Mechanical Shrimps in order to feed on them.

It has been found that fresh eggs of Janicea antiguensis have different colours in the eastern and western Atlantic. This may indicate that they actually are two different species or subspecies.


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