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bubble coral shrimp

Coral Shrimp: Jewels of North Sulawesi’s Waters


Delve into the mesmerizing realm of the Coral Shrimp, an exquisite marine creature that reigns supreme in these turquoise depths of North Sulawesi. As you embark on your underwater adventure, uncover the secrets of these remarkable jewels, showcasing their vibrant colors, delicate beauty, and captivating behavior.


Let’s take a look at some of these crustaceans you can find in Murex Resorts dive sites!




Harlequin shrimp are a highly sought after species by underwater photographers due to their exquisite colors and markings, one of the most beautiful Crustaceans of North Sulawesi. Their bodies are white with bold brown to purple circular markings which are outlined in blue. Their slender legs are banded in blue and white and they are usually found in pairs living underneath rocks and in shallow holes in the sea floor.


They feed on blue sea stars which they are experts in hunting. They start by turning the sea star over to immobilize it and then sever an arm which they carry back to their lair to consume over a period of time. Harlequin shrimp do not tend to move around and will stay under the same rock for as long as there are unsuspecting sea stars in the area!


Dive sites: The best sites for Harlequin Shrimp are Tanjung Bulo in Manado, Tiga Batu in Bangka and Aw Shucks in Lembeh.


Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus) at Bangka Island


This one is usually well hidden in crevices, cracks and small caves but despite this they are easy to spot as they attract fish by “announcing” their presence by waving their long white antennae.


The body and legs of this shrimp are banded in white and reddish brown (which are occasionally bordered in purple which can result in it being incorrectly identified as the Violet Banded Boxer Shrimp). The Banded Coral Shrimp grows up to 6 cm and its abdomen, carapace and arms are covered in short spines.


Dive Sites: The Banded Coral Shrimp can be found at almost all of our dive sites in Manado, Bunaken, Bangka and Lembeh – all 3 resorts House Reefs are excellent places for spotting this species.


Violet Banded Boxer Shrimp (Stenopus tenuirostris)


This species of shrimp is very shy and usually found hiding under covered areas or in cracks and crevices in the reef – often in pairs. The arms and claws of this species of shrimp are banded in red and white while the head and body area are a violet to purple color, the tail is also patterned in red and white.


The carapace and claw arms of this species are covered in fine spines which it uses as a defense mechanism. It is quite a rare find and can be tricky to take pictures of as it will retreat away once spotted.


Dive Sites: This rare species of crab can be quite elusive but the dive sites that offer the best chances of a sighting are in Lembeh, in Bangka and in Bunaken or Manado.


Bubble Coral Shrimp (Vir philippinensis) found on the walls of Bunaken


This is a small shrimp species and as its name would suggest it is most often found inside bubble coral but also occasionally on anemones. Its body is almost all transparent with the exception of a purple coloured appendage and antennae and a purple line running in the center of its body. This species grows up to 3 cm and we have year round, frequent sightings.


Due to the extreme color contrast between the transparent body and purple details it is an attractive shrimp to photograph. If they feel threatened they will retreat between the bubbles of the coral for protection but as it is a common species you will have lots of opportunities.


Dive Sites: As with the anemone shrimp, bubble coral shrimps can be found at many of our dive sites in Manado, Bangka, Lembeh and Bunaken, including all three House Reefs.


Diving and Stay with Murex Resorts


Ready to find some coral shrimp while diving in North Sulawesi? Don’t miss your chance to experience the true essence of paradise with Murex Resorts’ Passport to Paradise package. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of North Sulawesi through Bunaken – Bangka – Lembeh, where countless marine wonders await your discovery.


Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality, stunning accommodations, and world-class diving facilities that Murex Resorts proudly offers. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a nature enthusiast looking for a transformative escape, our Passport to Paradise will create memories that will last a lifetime. 


Book now and let Murex Resorts be your gateway to an unforgettable journey!



Dive, Snorkel and Explore More with us in beautiful North Sulawesi.

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