Fun Emperor Shrimp Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Emperor Shrimp Facts For Kids

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Emperor shrimps are really cool animals! They're sometimes called 'walking rocks' because they dig themselves into the ground with those claw-like appendages coming out from under their heads. And if you get too close, it'll swing its claw around like a scorpion's tail (but without the stinger). Emperor shrimps are fascinating creatures found most commonly living with a host sea cucumber!. They can grow to be the size of a human hand and they have many interesting features that make them unique. Some of these features include their claws, which can extend up to six inches long, and their ability to change color in response to different environments. To learn more about this amazing animal, read on!

They're big and red, purple, and white so they look like an 'emperor'. But there's a lot more to them than just that. They can live for over 20 years and they come in all different colors; you'll find brown, green, pink, blue and orange ones too!  In order to survive the winter months when food supply is low, Emperors have a built-in system called 'branchial respiration'. When their gills get wet from water, they can breathe through the branchial respiration instead of using their mouth! How cool is that? The emperor shrimp, Periclimenes imperator, is known for its many features and abilities including its ability to produce a bioluminescent flash that can be used as an alarm signal. The emperor shrimp eat algae and bacteria on rocks or plants in freshwater habitats. They also need saltwater in order to reproduce which makes them unique from other species of shrimp. When they feel threatened by predators such as fish or crabs they release a light signal called 'photophores'.

For more relatable content, check out these shrimp facts and mantis shrimp facts for kids.

Fun Emperor Shrimp Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Algae, plankton, parasites

What do they eat?

Carnivore, detritivore

Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1.5-2 lb (750-900 g)

How long are they?

2-5 in (5-12 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Red, white, orange, purple

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Sharks

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them?

Marine Areas With Warmer Temperatures


Peru, Indo-pacific Zone









Emperor Shrimp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an emperor shrimp?

Emperor shrimp are a type of crustaceans with colorfully striped shells and large claws for catching prey. They stay on the common pacific coral reef surface as well as nearby coastal waters where they hide from predators by clinging to rocks or hiding under corals in the sea during the day before emerging at nightfall from the host body when it is safer because their sensitive eyes would be blinded by sunlight.

What class of animal does an emperor shrimp belong to?

The emperor shrimp, Periclimenes imperator, belongs to a small ancient class called Malacostraca, and genus Periclimenes; this group has a relationship with other nudibranch animals like lobsters, crayfish, and prawns.

How many emperor shrimps are there in the world?

It's hard to know the exact number of imperator shrimps species in the world. Some say that there are as many as 100 million!

Where does an emperor shrimp live?

These shrimp are a type of nudibranch that lives on the coastlines around the world.

What is an emperor shrimp's habitat?

Emperor shrimp species are an exciting new addition to the freshwater aquarium tank. They hail from South America and make themselves quite at home in a tank of warm, shallow water with plenty of live plants for them to hide among. This shrimp is originally found along riversides and lakeshores with the host sea cucumbers on both sides of the Andes Mountains in Peru & Ecuador where they tend not to be disturbed by human activity as much these days because most have been converted into protected areas such as national parks that allow all-day access without any hunting or fishing allowed.

Who do emperor shrimp live with?

Emperor shrimp live in symbiotic relationships with a variety of other species including sponges, sea anemones, and the common Pacific coral reef.

How long does an emperor shrimp live?

The average lifespan of an imperator shrimp is between two to three years, like a Dungeness crab. The host helps them survive for so long. The sea cucumbers are the host creature for these shrimps.

How do they reproduce?

The emperor shrimps' long-awaited breeding season begins when females lay eggs which can then either be spawned with another member's genetic material through external fertilization methods or internally create baby shrimp all for themselves without outside help! These remarkable creatures spend much time swimming around looking for suitable partners so it is important you provide an ample supply while unpacking your aquarium tank.

What is their conservation status?

It is a deep-sea creature that cannot be found in shallow water. Its conservation status was declared as Near-threatened because there are very few individuals of this species available for study and observation, making it difficult to assess its population size or threats.

Emperor Shrimp Fun Facts

What do emperor shrimp look like?

Take a minute to appreciate the beautiful fiery orange color of the emperor shrimp.

The emperor shrimp resembles larger shrimps with an average length between 5-7 in (12 -18 cm). The body is typically light reddish brown without any markings other than its eyes that can be either dark greenish-black or bright yellow with vertical stripes running the full-lengths on each side from the head to tail end. This species has fairly short pincers which may not even reach past their eye stalks when closed tightly together at rest; however, these claws grow much longer during mating season as males use them for competing against one another by locking jaws.

How cute are they?

For some people, these commensal shrimp species are the cutest nudibranch on earth. Others might disagree because they find their long tentacles creepy or revolting.

How do they communicate?

These commensal shrimp use a variety of methods to communicate among themselves. They can produce sounds that are audible by humans, they send out hormones from glands in their antennae which sends signals and smells for the opposite sex, or when one of them feels threatened it will signal to its fellow mates.

How big is an emperor shrimp?

These shrimp are 2-5 in (5-12 cm) in length. Their body is bright red and their head has a relatively larger white spot on it that looks like an emperor's crown. They have pairs of black stripes running down the center of their back, which resemble arrows pointing to the rear end where they can shoot out powerful jets for protection when attacked by predators such as seagulls or horseshoe crabs!

How fast can an emperor shrimp move?

It's not just this commensal shrimp that can move fast. Remember when you were on the swing, and then you were pushed? You went really high in a matter of seconds! Emperor shrimps do something similar to this: they have very quick escape reflexes because their bodies are so light; these movements, plus the host animal, allow them to survive in the ocean by quickly reaching shelter if threatened.

How much does an emperor shrimp weigh?

The imperator shrimp are a type of nudibranch that can grow to be very big! It is not uncommon for a shrimp's weight to range from 1.5-2 lb (750-900 g). It is almost three times the size of a regular prawn!

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-s[ecific names for emperor shrimp.

What would you call a baby emperor shrimp?

The baby emperor shrimp is just called a baby emperor shrimp.

What do they eat?

Their diet includes algae, plankton, and parasites from its host but when it comes time for dinner the common grey reef shark loves feeding on them and eats their whole body because they make tasty snacks!

Are they poisonous?

The imperator shrimp are not poisonous and are safe to feed. They have a pinch of spice that makes their texture just right when cooked with vegetables or on the grill. These shrimp are known for their tangy, spicy flavor profile which helps them stand out in any dish - like Spanish pasta! This shrimp belongs to the Palamonidae group as it loves to feed on small invertebrates!

Would they make a good pet?

These marine shrimp may be the perfect pet for those who want to take care of a crustacean, but we can't commit. Emperor shrimps are hardy creatures that require minimal upkeep and stay well in captivity. They are a perfect addition to your small aquarium.

Did you know...

These shrimps belong to the nudibranchs, as they are known to shed off their shell in good time. Also. a trend has been observed with the increase in demand for these shrimps in November every year! Why November? We don't know! Maybe, people love munching on these in winter!

What is the relationship between imperial shrimp and sea cucumber?

The host sea cucumbers and imperial shrimp have a symbiotic relationship. The sea cucumber provides the perfect surface for a shrimp to spawn, while at their peak in the population sea cucumbers provide sustenance for the more desirable species of Spanish seafood. The host sea cucumbers spend their life slowly munching on seaweed while shrimp swim fast to avoid being eaten by other fish or crabs; when it comes down to survival the sea cucumber and shrimp work well together with their long-existing symbiotic relationship all their life!

Is emperor shrimp endemic?

Yes, we can say these shrimp are endemic because they’re mostly found in the Indo-Pacific region.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other Arthropods including black witch moth facts and giant leopard moth facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Emperor shrimp coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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