The name Peppermint Shrimp applies to a variety of Lysmata species that are distributed along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. This attractive shrimp is named for the red stripes running the length of its transparent to cream-colored body. It grows to a maximum size of 2 inches.
The Peppermint shrimp serves two important functions in a reef system. It is a cleaner shrimp, meaning it cleans the parasites off its tankmates. It is also a scavenger; sifting sand for food and promoting a healthier aquarium.
The Peppermint Shrimp is famous for eating the nuisance Aiptasia anemone. In a reef system, the shrimp can control the spread of aptaisia by eating the small, developing anemones. This shrimp will not eat corals.
During the day the shrimp will generally hide in live rock and come out at night to forage for food. The Peppermint Shrimp is non-aggressive with fish and other invertebrates, and groups of them can cohabitate peacefully in the same reef aquarium.
It is not uncommon for peppermint shrimp to spawn when kept in groups of 2 or more. The newly hatched shrimp larvae are great food for corals and small fish.