The Coral Banded Shrimp is a colorful, abundant shrimp that can be found on shallow dives on reefs throughout the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. Most individuals are hardy, although in an aquarium Coral Banded Shrimp can grow to a significant size and be a feisty competitor for food. More aggressive shrimps may even eat smaller invertebrates when kept in a nano-sized tank. Coral Banded Shrimp also molt every two or so weeks.
The Pederson's Cleaner Shrimp is one of the most beautiful, personable invertebrates from the South Florida region, and is rarely ever seen in the hobby. A careful eye is needed to spot Pederson's on dives, but most can be found in small aggregations on shallow water reefs associated with Corkscrew Anemones (Actinoporus elegans). In aquariums Pederson's Cleaner Shrimp are known to clean fingers and wave their antennae to get attention when they are hungry.
Easy to care for and hardy, these shrimp should be maintained in a smaller aquarium without predatory fish (or invertebrates, see Stenopus hispidus above) as they make for an easy catch when separated from a host anemone.
The Sexy Shrimp is another miniature local beauty that can be found in association with a variety of anemone species, namely the Giant Anemone and Sun Anemone (Condylactus gigantea and Stichodactyla helianthus). These shrimp are shy, yet have bold coloration and a funny personality in the aquarium, where they common "wave" their abdomens in a seductive dance. Due to their size Sexy Shrimp should be maintained in a small tank with a group of 3-5 individuals.
Harlequin Serpent Stars are a smaller Echinoderm species that can bring striking patterns and colors to a cleanup crew in a nano-sized aquarium. Common throughout South Florida, in an aquarium these sea stars will graze on detritus and uneaten food stuffs, while not being too aggressive to fishes or other invertebrates. Most stay small in size, with arms not usually growing beyond 5 inches.
The Brown Short Spine (or simply Reef) Urchin is abundant in South Florida waters, and because of its small size and voracious appetite is ideal for grazing duties in a small local biotope aquarium. Shy and reclusive during the day, the urchin will become active when the aquarium lights go out, and will graze on algae and detritus. Most individuals are very hardy, but care must be taken to avoid pricking grasping fingers on spines when handling rocks or cleaning the tank!