Blue Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans)

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Hymenocera elegans-9969.jpg
Blue Harlequin Shrimp

Hymenocera elegans

114 Litres (30 US G.)

4-5 cm (1.6-2")


8.1 - 8.5

22.2-25.6°C (72 -78 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods

2-5 years

Alternative names[edit]

Blue Harlequin Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Clown Shrimp, Painted Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harley Shrimp


Females are larger than males.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Reef-compatible. Keep with starfish only if you intend the stars to be eaten! These shrimp do best in pairs as long as you can provide food for them.


Predator, mainly preying on starfish only. They usually will not eat bristle or serpent stars however. They are unlikely to be able to wean on to other foods.

Feeding regime[edit]

If no nuisance stars are available for them to dine, Chocolate Chip Starfish are available at most pet stores. Because Stars can regenerate limbs some have had success in keeping a couple stars in a separate tank and cutting off a leg for their shrimp now and then.

Environment Specifics[edit]

This animal requires calcium and iodine/iodide to facilitate moulting. As with all inverts it is not tolerant to copper medications or interceptor treatments. This shrimp must be provided with plenty of hiding places in rock work.


A very social animal it will often be seen out in the open or under an overhang when intense lighting is on. They seem to not mind how close you are to the glass and don't mind you watching them eat.


White body with purple-blue blotches and spots and striped legs. Sometimes also in red or orange. Flamboyant flattened appendages. Can be easily mistaken for Hymenocera picta.


External links[edit]