News / Company News / Quality Marine Receives Aquacultured Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) (02/23/17)

Quality Marine Receives Aquacultured Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans)

Quality Marine Receives Aquacultured Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans)
Quality Marine has long been recognized as the best source for high quality marine organisms through responsible, sustainable wild-harvest. However, we are also passionate supporters of aquaculture ventures throughout the world and we continually strive to expand aquacultured availability. This week, Quality Marine welcomes a new aquacultured species, Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans).

Aquatic Technology of Ohio and the Columbus Zoo started the journey of culturing Hymenocera elegans back in May of 2015. The Columbus zoo had early success on a small scale and succeeded in raising 50 plus individuals from 2 batches to settlement. As with many aquaculture ventures, they had to overcome obstacles like larval feed types, cannibalism and pests. By December of 2016, Aquatic Technology succeeded in getting a substantial number of larvae to settlement. At one point, prior to settlement, larvae were consuming nearly 50,000 parvocalanus copepods daily. After they settled the juveniles were switched to Asterinas and then to Chocolate Chip Stars. Aquatic Technology is currently working on getting them on an alternative proprietary food. This has been a triumphant success not only for the Columbus Zoo and Aquatic Technology of Ohio, but for culturing popular ornamental shrimp overall.
The Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) can be found on reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. They are popular in the aquarium trade because of their cartoonish, elaborate carapace and oversized, paddle-like claws.
For those of you who consider Asterina stars a pest (as many do) the Harlequin Shrimp will make quick work to reduce them to substantial populations. However, as obligate sea star eaters, they won't stop at Asterina stars, likely consuming any other sea star they can find. With large, very durable sea stars, the star will likely survive this behavior, however, sensitive stars like those kept in most aquariums will eventually succumb to the constant picking.
We have always gone to great lengths to ensure that if there are sustainable, aquacultured fish or invertebrate available in the industry, that they can be sourced through Quality Marine; this is one more success story in that book. We are extremely excited to have the aquacultured Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera elegans) available and we thank the Columbus Zoo and Aquatic Technology for all their hard work.