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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

Life History & Behaviour



Evolution & Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

Morphology and Physiology

External Morphology

Internal Anatomy

Molecular Biology & Genetics

Nucleotide Sequences

Molecular Biology


Names & Taxonomy

Common Names


External Morphology

Generalized alpheid shrimp external anatomy

Alpheid shrimp external anatomy. Drawing by James Dobson. Information from Schram et al (2004).

The particular alpheid shrimp follows a typical caridean (shrimp-like) body plan (Schram, 1986). Like most shrimp A. strenuus possesses sensory appendages (antennules and antennae), appendages for walking across substrates (thoracic appendages), pleopods for swimming, uropods for backward thrusts of speed to escape predators, various maxilliped appendages and a single small cheliped used for feeding. However, like most alpheid shrimp A. strenuus possesses a single modified chela that is uses to produce the snapping sound (Martin et al, 2009). Banner & Banner (1882) separated the species of A. strenuus into two subspecies based on small morphological differences. The orbital grooves appear shallower and more rounded in A. s. strenuus while are broader, deeper and more posteriorly extended in A.s. cremnus.

The modified chela of A. s. strenuus. The image shows the dactyl in a 'striking' position. When closed with force the protrusion on the dactyl fits into a depression on the pollex causing a cavitation bubble that produces the snapping sound (Martin et al, 2009).