Sexy Shrimp

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Thor amboinensis - (De Man, 1888)
Sexy Shrimp


This miniscule shrimp commonly lives on corals and larger anemones. Scott W. Michael


This is a tiny shrimp that would fit comfortably on your thumbnail. It is characterized by its small size, opalescent white patches ringed in deep blue or purple, and green or tan as a base color. Its range is circumtropical.

Thor amboinensis is a hardy, wonderful little animal especially suited to small and nano aquariums without large, predatory fishes. In nature it is found living with sea anemones and large-polyped stony corals.

The Sexy Shrimp is fond of establishing residence on Bubble Corals and Euphyllia spp. It will adapt to various corals and anemones in the aquarium.

This is a gregarious species and best kept in pairs or groups of three or more. Five to seven Sexy Shrimp in a nano reef offer endless viewing opportunities.

They are called Sexy for their habit of provocatively lifting and waving their tails, as above.

Family: Hippolytidae

Other common name(s):

  • Ambonian Shrimp
  • Squat Anemone Shrimp

Native range:

Habitat: Typically found in reef and lagoon areas living with sea anemones or large-polyp stony corals.

Maximum length: 2 cm (1 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 8 L (2 gal)

Lighting: Moderate to high (for host coral or anemone).

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)


Will take small bits of meaty foods as fish are fed. May also feed on mucus from its host cnidarian.

Aquarium Compatibility

Excellent nano-aquarium species, but will often be lost in large tanks. Harmless. Preyed upon by a number of fish including anemonefishes.

Aggressive clownfishes, such as Clark's Clownfish, Amphiprion clarkii, do not tolerate them well and often kill them.

Special Care

If buying sight unseen, be ready: these shrimp are very small.


In the Caribbean, this tiny shrimp is often found on the Caribbean carpet anemone (Stichodactyla helianthus); in the Indo-Pacific, it may be found on most of the larger anemones.

Reference: The 101 Best Marine Invertebrates
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM