Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp – Lysmata grabhami

The Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp, also known as Redbacked Cleaner Shrimp, is a species in the order of the Decapoda and thus belongs to the subphylum of the crustaceans.

Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp - Lysmata grabhami crustacea species diving canary islands atlantic ocean canaries
Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp – Lysmata grabhami


Lysmata grabhami has a enlongated body. Their colouration is red on the back and orange on sides and belly. In addition, it has a white stripe on her back and six white feelers on her head. It reaches a maximum size of 6cm.

Habitat and spread

The Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp lives on dark, rocky ground, in holes, caves or crevices, in depths down to 50m. When diving in the Canaries you can observe them very often. In addition, its distribution are spreads in the western Atlantic from the coast of North America, along the Caribbean, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. In the eastern Atlantic you will find it around Madeira, the Canary Islands, Ascensión and Cape Verde.


Lysmata grabhami mostly lives solitary and stays close to a certain location. They feed on parasites, food residues, dead skin remains and detritus.
They are often found on moray eels and other fish and frees them from parasites and food residues between the teeth and on the body.
Scarlet-Striped Cleaning Shrimp are hermaphrodites that fertilize each other. They are not able to fertilize theirself.

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