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You are here:   animal list > Alpheus strenuus




Alpheus strenuus Dana, 1852

Snowflake snapping shrimp

James Stewart Dobson (2011)



Fact Sheet


Brief Summary

Global Distribution

Physical Description


Identification Resources


Local Distribution, Habitats and Associations

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Evolution & Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

Morphology and Physiology

External Morphology

Internal Anatomy

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Nucleotide Sequences

Molecular Biology


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Spawning in alpheid shrimp can occur shortly after mating (Wicksten, 2010). The fertilized eggs migrate from her gonopores as she bends her pleon forward to allow the eggs to attach to the ovigerous setae on her pleopods (Wicksten, 2010). The incubation period of a tropical species such as A. strenuus may be only a few weeks while the eggs develop using up the large yolk supply (Wicksten, 2010). Cleavage is unequal and divisions are regular until the ~128 cell stage when the yolk will be completely surrounded by a single layer of cells (Wicksten, 2010). The female encourages hatching by rowing her pleopods pushing the hatchling larvae out into the water column (Banner & Banner, 1982). This emergent stage is known as a nauplius larvae. The nauplius has sessile eyes, maxillae, three pairs of maxillipeds, mandibles and two pairs of antennae (Wicksten, 2010). Zoeal larvae disperse themselves via ocean currents until they are deposited in a suitable habitat (Banner & Banner, 1982) Additional appendages and eye stalks then form in the successive zoeal stages before metamorphing into a postlarvae (Wicksten, 2010). At this stage the larvae slightly resembles the adult with pleopods for swimming rather than using maxillipeds and antennae in the zoeal stages (Wicksten, 2010). The postlarvae then molt several times before reaching the juvenile stage when they seek shelter in small abandoned polycheate burrows in coral rubble to avoid predation (Banner & Banner, 1982). Only when the juvenile has matured into an adult is it reproductively capable (Banner & Banner, 1982).