Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Notice: The Zoo Will Close at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 2 to Prepare for Brew at the Zoo. Admission will end at noon.

Blood-Red Fire Shrimp

Lysmata debelius

The Blood-red Fire shrimp is known for its blood-red body, while its spots featured on its legs, and antennae are brightly colored white. Fire shrimp can be seen to be hiding in rockwork and caves due to being quite shy creatures.

Range & Habitat

The species' span through the Indo-pacific saltwater regions and are a widespread species in the wild; originally described in the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean and often exported from Sri Lanka at the eastern edge of the Indian Ocean.

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

Threats: Fire shrimp are incredibly sensitive to variations in water parameter, such as copper-based medication and thus very susceptible to drastic change in water quality by pollution. This pollution is prominently from sewage and wastewater from industrial materials including metals, solvents, and toxic sludge runoff and changing the pH and sediment levels of water.


Blood-red Fire shrimp feed on parasites and dead skin cells found on fish. They are optimistic omnivores that will eat any meat and greens available. They are also known to prey on both large polyp stony and small polyp stony corals.  

Life Span

In the Wild: 2 years or longer; in Human Care: around 2-5 years

Fun Facts about the Blood-Red Fire Shrimp

  • In most cases these shrimp have a mutualistic relationship with reef fish as the shrimp eats the parasites found on the fish, reef fish have become dependent on these cleaners to keep them disease free.  However, fire shrimp are unlikely to use this behavior in captivity.
  • All fire shrimps are hermaphrodites, acquiring both male and female reproductive organs. Due to this, once two fire shrimp come in contact, they can automatically become a match, regardless of a specific gender.
  • This species of shrimp has a variety of names including Blood Shrimp, Fire Shrimp, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, Blood Red Fire shrimp, Starry Blood Shrimp and Red Cherry Shrimp.


Blood Red Fire Shrimp. Tank Facts. Blood Red Fire Shrimp - Shrimp - Lysmata debelius | Tank Facts.  Retrieved July 9, 2021. 

Melissa Denchak, M.D., (May 14,2018) Water Pollution: Everything You Need to Know. NRDC. Water Pollution Facts, Types, Causes and Effects of Water Pollution | NRDC. Retrieved July 9, 2021.

Blood Red Fire Shrimp + LYSMATA DEBELIUS. Blood Red Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) Species Profile:: Retrieved 9, 2021.

Updated June 13, 2023
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