The National Aquarium and its Animal Care and Rescue Center are temporarily closed in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). CLICK HERE for more information.

Animal Update: Nimble Spray Crab and Debelius Cleaner Shrimp

A nimble spray crab and debelius cleaner shrimp have been added to our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit.

Published June 02, 2017

Nimble Spray Crab 

Nimble spray crabs, also known as "urchin crabs," are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. However, this crab likes to move and was recently discovered in the Mediterranean Sea. This behavior has given it the title of "most invasive decapod species to enter the Mediterranean."nimble-spray-crab

Despite this intimidating title, nimble spray crabs only grow to about 3 inches in length. They are strict herbivores, feeding on various types of algae. They live almost exclusively among rocks and boulders, which they use to hide from fish and predatory invertebrates.

Debelius Cleaner Shrimp

Debelius cleaner shrimp can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific, and are also referred to as fire shrimp, blood shrimp or scarlet cleaner shrimp. As indicated by these various names, this shrimp is a bright scarlet color, with white dots and white tips on its third to fifth pereiopods.Debelius-Cleaner-Shrimp

Evidenced by their name, the debelius cleaner shrimp play a cleaning role in their reef environments. These shrimp clean parasites and dead tissue from the reef, along with scraps of food not consumed by other animals. Growing to about an inch in length, these shrimp are small but mighty when it comes to cleaning up their reef environments! 

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes updates!

Previous Post

Featured Stories

Calypso header Remembering Calypso

We’re looking back at Calypso’s incredible life and reflecting on the many ways she impacted the lives of those who knew her best.

Read the full story

octo header No Hands? No Problem: Tool Use Among Aquatic Animals

Aquatic animals are resourceful—just like humans, when they can’t solve a problem, they can look to the world around them ... and fashion tools!  

Read the full story

Related Stories

Species Spotlight: Nimble Spray Crab

Published October 24, 2017

All About Moon Jellies!

Published June 16, 2017