Death of a Shrimp

I was talking on the phone with a friend when I glanced down and saw, to my horror, that my Banded Coral Shrimp had died. Its lifeless body, already festooned with algae, lay at the bottom of the tank, arms spread, claws clenched.

After my initial gasp, I looked more closely, and was about to find something with which to extract the corpse when I noticed yet another Banded Coral Shrimp behind a rock. Since I did not own two such shrimp, I was confused. After a few moments, it became clear: my shrimp had molted.

I extracted the "skeleton" and laid it out carefully on a sheet of wax paper. After it dried, I was able to photograph it in some detail. Perhaps you will find this to be as interesting as I did.

I was surprised that the "skeleton" was virtually completely intact: I had expected it to be shredded, as is the case with most snake skins. And I was surprised that I managed to get it out of the tank and dried without significant further damage. As you will see, in the final picture, the shrimp managed to pull itself out of even the six antennae and they are more like hairs than anything else.