Three body types?! Camelback shrimp

Photo by: Derek Keats (Flickr)

The Camelback shrimp (Rhynchocinetes durbanensis) is commonly well-known as “Durban dancing shrimp” and “hingeback shrimp” among scuba divers for their cherry red colour, small size, and humpback making them popular subjects photography.

But not everyone knows…

  • Males are larger than females and have larger claws
  • Males have different bodies (morphotype) at different age (life stage) and use different strategies to court females.
    • small (typhus)
    • intermediate (growing up | intermedius)
    • large (grown up | robustus)
  • Turns out that females like males that are a bigger male.
    • Tough luck for small guys…

Some divers told me that they have seen these shrimp appearing almost transparent…

Well, in order to appear transparent to human eyes, your tissues must be specialized in such a way that scatter your pigments far way enough that humans cannot detect it. If you want to know more about transparency, check out the Johnsen Lab for the latest research on transparency in marine plankton and deep sea organisms, among others!



Prakash, Sanjeevi, et al. “Reproductive morphology and mating behaviour in the hingebeak shrimp Rhynchocinetes durbanensis Gordon, 1936 (Decapoda: Caridea: Rhynchocinetidae) in India.” Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 96.06 (2016): 1331-1340.

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