Max Size: 2cm

Sulawesi Harlequin Shrimp (Caridina spongicola)

The Sulawesi Harlequin Shrimp is one of the smaller species of Sulawesi Shrimp, and they have a very striking and unique pattern. These shrimp are extremely shy until they are comfortable with their new environment. Once they have settled into the aquarium and do not fear predators, they will come out more, and its colours will show. It is an excellent addition to the community tank.

It is recommended that you keep these shrimp in groups of at least 15 as they will feel more comfortable and safer in more significant numbers and follow each other when eating. They continually scavenge the substrate, rocks, and plants for algae and food and display social behaviours. These social behaviours are often quite interesting to watch.

The Harlequin Shrimp possess very distinct colourations they have a red- and white patterned bodies and their legs and feelers have bands of both red and white along their lengths. These shrimps eyes stalks are red, and the eyes themselves are black and relatively large. The carapace has three red stripes running across it, with the final one being at the base of the tail, with red colouration running halfway along the top of the head, from the tip. The tail is red both on the top and bottom displaying a white band along each side.


Sulawesi Harlequin shrimp
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCaridina spongicola
Other NamesCelebes Beauty Shrimp, Sponge Shrimp
Classification Malacostraca
Order Decapoda
Aquarium LevelAll Levels
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 10+
Lifespan1 - 2 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 8.5
GH4 - 8
KH4 - 6
TDS50 - 150
78 - 85℉
25.6 - 29.4℃


It is beneficial if you keep your Harlequin shrimp on a varied diet to ensure optimal health. They are constant grazers of algae, but you should then supply them with substitutes such as algae wafers, shrimp pellets, or a crushed flake if this is lacking in the tank. Giving them an occasional meaty treat is also beneficial.

These shrimp are relatively small so remember this when choosing what food to give them. It would be better to feed these shrimp when it is dark and try not to overfeed them, providing only what they can devour within two to three hours.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is incredibly challenging to differentiate males from female Sulawesi Harlequin Shrimp. Unfortunately, no one has figured out how to do it with the naked eye because this species' males and females seem to look exactly the same.

The females have a saddle under the carapace that shows the eggs. However, the only way to see this saddle is through infrared light. With the shrimp's outside shell being so dark, you cannot possibly see the saddle without special equipment.

Other Caridina of interest

Amano Shrimp(Caridina multidentata)
Black King Kong Shrimp(Caridina cf Cantonensis)
Blue Bolt Shrimp(Caridina cantonensis)
Cardinal Sulawesi Shrimp(Caridina Dennerli)
Crystal Black Shrimp(Caridina Cantonensis)
Crystal Red Shrimp(Caridina Cantonensis)
View all Caridina
Date Added: 15/01/2021 - Updated: 02/02/2022 16:52:06