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Quick Stat
Care Level: Moderate
Color: White, Blue, Tan
Diet: Carnivore
Max Size: 2"
Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
Origin: Africa, Indian Ocean
Reef Safe: With Caution
Scientific Name: Hymenocera elegans
Temperament: Peaceful


Hymenocera picta, commonly known as the harlequin shrimp, is a species of saltwater shrimp found at coral reefs in the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans. It is usually considered the only species in the genus Hymenocera, but some split it into two species: H. picta from the central and east Pacific where the spots are deep pinkish-purple with a yellow edge, and H. elegans from the Indian Ocean and west Pacific where the spots are more brownish and have a blue edge.

They reach about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length, live in pairs and feed exclusively on starfish. They are very skilled at flipping over the slow starfish on its back, and eating the tube feet and soft tissues until it reaches the central disk. They, usually one female and one male, use their claws to pierce the tough skin and feeding legs to help them maneuver the starfish

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