With a distinctive white line running down its entire body, accompanied by a parallel red line on both sides, it is easy to see where this shrimp got its name. The Scarlet Cleaner shrimp has a number of
other common names, including: Indo-Pacific White-Banded Cleaner Shrimp, Indo-Pacific White- Striped Cleaner Shrimp, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp. This shrimp is generally an amber colour, with its trademark red and white lines running down its body. The tip of the tail is red with four white spots.
The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimp can be found in the Indo-Pacific region as well as the tropical coast of East Africa. In the wild, this cleaner shrimp is most often found in groups among the live rock or coral of coastal reefs. In captivity, this shrimp appreciates a similar habitat with plenty of live rock with multiple ledges and caves. As its name implies, this shrimp has a symbiotic relationship with many types of reef fish and will set up a “cleaning station” where it will remove parasites and dead tissue. They have even been known to climb into the mouths of large fish such as groupers.
The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is popular in home aquariums because of its relaxed and peaceful nature, bright colouration and useful cleaning services. Just like in the wild, this shrimp will set up a cleaning station in a home aquarium and can be quite helpful in ensuring that aquarium residents remain pest free. They are also completely reef safe. In addition to what they remove from fish their diet also includes any meaty foods that they can find through scavenging. It is also possible to feed them chopped squid or meaty pellets directly. Studies have shown that Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimp will offer its cleaning services more frequently to fish that it identifies as a potential predator, perhaps offering more frequent cleanings in exchange for not being eaten.