View Full Version : Hawaiian Harlequin Shrimp Project

07/20/2017, 03:28 PM
Having succeeded with the Indonesian Harlequin Shrimp Hymenocera elegans we have turned our resources to breeding the Hawaiian Harlequin Shrimp Hymenocera picta.

Some experts have claimed them to be the same species but they look different, their larvae are colored differently, they have some behavioral differences and they come from different geographical areas. Sort of like the definition of a species.

Here is a link to our original work on H. elegans


We had a large Hawaiian pair. They had a few successful releases and then then the female died. We were not successful in raising the larvae.
We took the female form our Indo pair and put her in with the surviving Hawaiian male.

We also obtained another Hawaiian pair but they have not spawned yet.

We currently have about 20 larvae from the mixed pair. They were hatched on July 5th. They are noticeably smaller than H elegans larvae and have a green-brown tint instead of a brown tint.

Both pairs of Hawaiian shrimp and the mixed pair we now have managed to kill starfish long before they had consumed it. All the Indonesian harlequins that we had over the years managed to keep the starfish alive until it was nearly consumed. Because of this we feed them pieces parts to keep from wasting starfish.

We are still working on an alternative food source for harlequins shrimp. We can get them to eat most anything but they tend to die after a few weeks on other foods.

07/27/2017, 07:10 PM
The 20 larvae are still going strong at 2 days.

10/03/2017, 04:33 PM
We had a very large release today October 3, 2017 in the thousands. I collected them and placed them in a Kreisel with T-iso and parvocalanus copepods

11/01/2017, 02:28 PM
We had a very large release today October 3, 2017 in the thousands. I collected them and placed them in a Kreisel with T-iso and parvocalanus copepods

Any updates?

11/02/2017, 05:46 PM
We haven't been able to raise any to settlement yet. We had one batch a week from settlement and lost it to hydroids. We have a batch of 150 going that was released on October 30th

12/19/2017, 01:35 PM
December 18th we had 24 settle out at 38DPH.
As far as I know this is the first time anyone has raised any in the continental U.S. and certainly in Ohio!

12/28/2017, 01:11 PM
Settlement update:
Dec 18 24
Dec 20 7
Dec 24 27
Dec 27 12
Dec 28 5
Jan 1 6

Who wants to buy one of the first commercially available captive raised Hawaiian Harlequin Shrimp? ;)

12/29/2017, 04:41 PM
What are they feeding on?

01/07/2018, 11:05 AM
asterina starfish

01/11/2018, 03:56 PM
We had a total of 81 Hawaiian Harlequin shrimp settle
The parents released over a thousand larvae
Due to the large amount of copepods required to raise them we only collected about 150 to raise to settlement
Settlement took place over a 19 day period.,
At the beginning of settlement we ran out of parvo and iso and had to feed apocyclops grown on rotigrow.
That may have stretched out the time to settle

As opposed to the Harlequin shrimp from Indonesia
The Hawaiians:
were much smaller and greener as opposed to brown at release
settled in less time and were smaller at settlement
are a different color (more yellow)

Adult Hawaiian Harlequin shrimp:
tend to grow larger than Indonesian shrimp
are yellower
Are not as adept at keeping a starfish alive until it is all consumed

We have mixed pairs and they have produced larvae. We have not got them to settlement yet

The two "species"
are reproductively isolated from each other.
are most likely capable of producing fertile mixed offspring but that remains to be seen
Have different characteristics (color, larval, juvenile and adult size)
Appear to have different settlement periods

01/11/2018, 04:04 PM
I don’t have an Asterina population or a sump to keep a Chocolate Chip Star in. Would they take a frozen starfish arm? Should I not attempt these guys in a nano because they are messy eaters?

01/12/2018, 05:25 PM

They are still quite small but we have 81 of them.
The worlds first commercially available captive raised Hawaiian Harlequin Shrimp

Aquatic Technology
26966 Royalton Road
Columbia Station, OH 44028
(440) 236 8330

01/23/2018, 05:24 PM
Do the hawaii spp have more blue than indo?

01/25/2018, 06:15 PM
Inredible job, have room for a pair

02/01/2018, 03:38 PM
Check this video update. In this video shot January 31, 2018 they are between 25 and 44 days old. The larger ones are around 3/4". Due to the cold weather they are currently for sale in store only. The larger ones are $150.00 the smaller ones are $100.00.


02/01/2018, 07:24 PM
Is male and female apperent when small?

02/04/2018, 11:42 AM
I don't know about the Hawaiians yet but the Indos weren't able to be sexed until they were about 4 to 6 months old.
(The color (dots) did not show up under the females abdomens)
Currently some are way bigger than others so probably the females are the larger ones and the males the smaller ones

02/07/2018, 06:36 AM
Will hit you up for a pair when it warms up. Do you sell c.c starfish?

02/07/2018, 05:58 PM
It is hard to say for sure when they become sexually dimorphic. It is probably at least 3 months. In large groups like we have them they all hang out together.