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dragon shrimp

Exploring the Dazzling Diversity of Sulawesi’s Shrimp Species


Shrimp are known for their intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and unique behavior, these small but mighty creatures are a favorite of divers and underwater photographers alike. Our guide takes a closer look at the different species of Sulawesi shrimp found in the waters around Murex Resorts.


We’ll explore their habitat, behavior, and role in the marine ecosystem. Join us as we dive into the world of North Sulawesi’s unusual shrimp species and discover their beauty and importance to our oceans.

Unusual Sulawesi Shrimp Species




The Tiger Shrimp is a very rare species of shrimp that we are very lucky to have here in North Sulawesi. It is only found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean region and is a real treat for macro photographers.


Its body is a pale white to translucent shade and is decorated with exquisite orange and blue markings. This species of crustaceans only grows up to 2cm and we find it in shallow reef areas, often close to coral rubble and / or sponges.


Dive Sites: This is a rare shrimp so it can be difficult to guarantee a sighting. The dive sites where we have most luck finding this shrimp include Jahir 2 and the House Reef in Lembeh, Tanjung Kelapa in Manado and Tiga Batu in Bangka.


Dragon Shrimp (Miropandalus hardingi) found on the Lembeh Resort house reef


This tiny shrimp only grows up to 2cm and it is commensal with black corals / whip corals. It has a very distinctive body shape with large tooth-like spines along the center of its back (almost like a miniature dinosaur).


It has numerous color variations which range from green, white or black depending on the color of its whip or green coral host. The trick to finding this species is to carefully study every whip coral from tip to root and from all angles!


Dive Sites: This species can be found all year round at any dive site that hosts whip or black corals. We recommend Nudi Retreat in Lembeh, Murex House Reef in Manado and Batu Gosok in Bangka.


The Whip Coral Shrimp (Dasycaris zanzibarica) can be found on Whip and Black Corals


Whip coral shrimps live in corals of the order Antipatharia, namely black corals and whip corals. This species of shrimp is often found in pairs with females being twice as big as the male, but still only growing to up to 1.5cm.


The whip coral shrimp has color variations from white through to red and green depending on the color of the whip coral host (to which it will match almost identically). This shrimp is a relatively common find and we see it all year round at depths from 3 – 40 meters.


Dive Sites: Whip coral shrimps can be found at all three House Reefs (Manado, Bangka and Lembeh) as well as other sites which feature whip and black corals.




The Bumblebee shrimp is a very rare species of shrimp and one that our Dive Guides love to find. This is a solitary species of shrimp which is rarely found in pairs. We mainly find the bumblebee shrimp on echinoderms such as sea cucumbers, sea stars and sea urchins.


This species has a short rostrum and its body is banded in a series of white and black or tan lines. It has orange markings on the tail and orange markings with blue highlights on its chelipeds (the first leg / claw arm). This shrimp grows up to 2.5cm. Due to the rarity of the bumblebee shrimp it is a sought after species by underwater photographers.


Dive Sites: Hairball sites in Lembeh, Sabora in Bangka and Bulo in Manado.


Skeleton shrimp (CAPRELLID SP.)


Skeleton shrimp are very small crustaceans that are frequently mistaken for algae. They are often found in large numbers on gorgonian sea fans, soft corals, hydroids and algae. Skeleton shrimp can be very difficult to spot as they have such fine bodies which are mostly transparent although can be colored orange, purple or spotted.


This species of shrimp grows to 1.5cm. Female skeleton shrimp carry their young on their shoulders to protect them from male skeleton shrimp which are known to feed on juveniles! We have sightings of skeleton shrimp on a regular basis all year round, mainly at depths of up to 20 meters.


Dive sites: The best dive sites for spotting skeleton shrimp are Batu Merah and Air Prang in Lembeh, the House Reef in Manado and Sampiri in Bangka.

Dive With Murex

Intrigued by the unusual Sulawesi shrimp species? Prepare to be captivated by the hidden wonders beneath the waves of North Sulawesi’s waters.


Plan your adventure today with Murex Resort’s Passport to Paradise and discover the awe-inspiring world that awaits you. Contact us today for more information or to book your stay: [email protected]



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

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