Did you know?
Scientific name: Aeoliscus strigatus
Range: Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific
Ocean far as Hawaii (absent from Atlantic.)
Habitat: Schools among the spines of sea urchins.
Status: Not threatened.
Diet in the wild: small particles of plant and
animal matter or tiny plank tonic crustaceans.
Diet in the zoo: bait shrimp and a variety of small marine
Location in the zoo: James R. Record Aquarium (exhibit closed)
The striped shrimpfish is remarkable for its strange body shape and swimming habits. It has a straight, sleek, razor-like body with one long, sharp spine and two shorter spines at the end of the body. The dorsal (back) and caudal (tail) fins are found below these spines. The shrimpfish's elongated, slender body is encased in an armor of thin and transparent bony plates. Body length up to 17 cm. Wine red on top and dark yellow underneath, black longitudinal band and three silver spots on both sides of each bony plate.
shrimpfish live in coastal reefs and seagrass beds, forming schools among
staghorn corals or among the spines of sea urchins. They are found in the
Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans and in the Red Sea. In the Indo-Pacific,
they range from the western Indian Ocean to New Caledonia, north to southern
Japan, south to New South Wales and from Palau to Pohnpei in Micronesia.
Special anatomical, physiological or behavioral adaptations:
swim in synchronized groups, each fish in a vertical position with the
snout pointing down. Adult striped shrimpfish are approximately 15 centimeters
(about 6 inches) long. Unlike most fishes, shrimpfish and their seahorse
relatives don't have scales. They have bony plates under their skin, like
a suit of armor. The plates provide protection from predators, but, for
some species, they make the body semirigid. Because of this, seahorses
and their relatives don't move their bodies in a wavelike fashion. Instead,
they glide gracefully by fanning their delicate fins faster than the eye
||Comments about the
shrimpfish of the Fort Worth Zoo.
In the wild, these shrimpfish eat a variety of zooplankton and minute crustaceans.
At the Fort Worth Aquarium, they are fed mysis shrimp and brine shrimp.
The shrimpfish, like its relative the seahorse, sucks in its food and swallows
it whole because it does not have teeth. Many larger fishes
prey on young shrimpfish. Adult shrimpfish probably have few, if
any, predators. Their camouflage and "armor" of bony plates protect them
from predation. The reproduction methods and life span of shrimpfish
are not known.
This fish is really interesting to see alive because it does not appear to be a normal fish. One might even believe that this fish is sick or crazy. I believe that this fish has adapted in a very remarkable way. The striped shrimpfish is not listed in the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals and is not considered to be threatened.
Source Materials and Related Links:
Encyclopedia of Fish. Maurice and Robert Burton. Mandarin Publishers Inc.:
Hong Kong,China. 1975. p. 197.
Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. Ed. Dr. Dr. h. c. Bernard Grzimek
Van Nostrand. Reinhold Company: New York, New York. 1974. p. 33-40.
Pictures of Shrimpfishhttp://www.colours.dk/anders/dyk/razorfish.html
Striped shrimpfish are also known as razorfish.