The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is also known as the
Indo-Pacific White-Banded Cleaner Shrimp, Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner
Shrimp, and Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp. It may also be called the Red Skunk Cleaner
Shrimp because of the very distinct two bright red stripes surrounding one white
stripe running down its back. There are two species usually referred to as
striped cleaner shrimp, the L. amboinensis with white spots at the end of the
tail and, from the Atlantic, the L. grabhami that has no spots. The L.
amboinensis is one of the most popular shrimp for the home aquarium.
Often found in groups, this Cleaner Shrimp will set up a cleaning station on
coral reefs or rubble, waiting for fish to come and be cleaned. It feeds on
ectoparasites or dead tissue that it picks from the body and oral cavities/gills
of these fish (e.g.; Tangs or Groupers) in the wild or in the aquarium. This
also helps to protect the fish from contracting diseases and infections. Many
fish value its services so highly that they will allow it to clean the inside of
their mouths, and not harm it. Some fish, though, such as Hawkfish, Lionfish,
and some predatory shrimp and crabs may eat the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. It
will not tolerate copper or high levels of nitrates in the aquarium, but will
require correct levels of iodine in the water to promote proper molting.
In the aquarium, the diet can include freeze dried, frozen, and dry foods.