Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus Bellulus

The Comprehensive Guide Of The Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus bellulus

Image of a Tiger Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus bellulus)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Characteristics
  3. Behavior
  4. Feeding Habits
  5. Care Requirements
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Conclusion


The Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus bellulus, an incredibly fascinating creature, is a popular addition to many marine aquariums. Known for their unique symbiotic relationship with gobies, these shrimps are a guaranteed source of interest and entertainment in any tank.

Scientifically classified under the family Alpheidae, the Tiger Pistol Shrimp is a marvel of the underwater world. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of this species, covering their characteristics, behavior, feeding habits, and care requirements.

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The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is a small marine invertebrate that is notable for its vibrant coloration and unique physical features. The most distinctive characteristic of this shrimp is its large claw, which it uses to create a snapping sound, hence the name "pistol" or "snapping" shrimp. This claw is not only a formidable weapon against predators but also a tool for hunting prey.

These shrimps typically have a yellowish-white body adorned with brown bands and spots, giving them a tiger-like appearance. They are relatively small in size, usually reaching up to 3 inches in length.


The Tiger Pistol Shrimp is best known for its symbiotic relationship with certain species of gobies. This relationship is so close that the shrimp and its goby partner are often referred to as "shrimp gobies". The shrimp digs and maintains a burrow in the sandy substrate, which provides both the shrimp and the goby with a safe place to hide from predators.

In return, the goby acts as a lookout, warning the shrimp of approaching dangers with specific tail movements. This fascinating behavior is a testament to the complex and intricate relationships that can be found in marine ecosystems.

Feeding Habits

Tiger Pistol Shrimp are omnivores, feeding on a variety of foods. Their diet primarily consists of small invertebrates, detritus, and macroalgae. In an aquarium setting, they can be fed chopped seafood, frozen aquarium fare, sinking pellets, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp.

Despite their small size, these shrimps are quite active and are often seen foraging for food around their burrow. They are also known to share food with their goby partners, further strengthening their symbiotic relationship.

Care Requirements

Keeping a Tiger Pistol Shrimp in an aquarium can be a rewarding experience, but it does require some specific care requirements. These shrimps need a tank with a minimum capacity of 10 gallons, with a sandy substrate that allows them to dig their burrows. The water parameters should be stable, with a temperature between 72-78F and a pH of 8.0-8.3.

It's also important to note that Tiger Pistol Shrimp, like other invertebrates, are intolerant of copper in their tanks. Therefore, any treatments or supplements containing copper should be avoided.

Top 4 Frequently Asked Questions

1. How big do Tiger Pistol Shrimp get?

Tiger Pistol Shrimp typically reach a size of approximately 3 inches.

2. Are Tiger Pistol Shrimp aggressive?

No, Tiger Pistol Shrimp are generally peaceful and are known for their symbiotic relationship with gobies rather than aggressive behavior.

3. Will Tiger goby pair with pistol shrimp?

Yes, Tiger gobies are known to form a symbiotic relationship with Tiger Pistol Shrimp, with the shrimp providing a safe burrow and the goby acting as a lookout for potential threats.

4. Is the pistol shrimp powerful?

Yes, the Tiger Pistol Shrimp's large claw can create a shockwave to stun prey, making it a powerful tool for both hunting and defense.


The Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus bellulus is a fascinating creature that brings a touch of the wild to any marine aquarium. Their unique characteristics, intriguing behavior, and symbiotic relationship with gobies make them a captivating addition to any tank. With proper care and understanding of their needs, these shrimps can thrive and provide endless fascination for their owners.

Remember, the key to successfully keeping Tiger Pistol Shrimp, as with any marine life, is to provide an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat and to ensure their specific care requirements are met. Happy shrimping!

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