Welcome to the Wonderful World of Alpheus randalli!  

    Alpheus randalli, known as Randall’s Shrimp or more generically as a Pistol Shrimp, is a very noisy shrimp that packs a punch!  It can stun its prey with only a snap of its claw, which also is the source of the noise.  This claw is not like normal shrimp claws.  It is enlarged and can get up to half of the size of the shrimp’s body.  The other claw, called a pincer, is what you would normally see in shrimp.  The noise that the claw makes when it snaps is astonishing.  If you get a whole colony of pistol shrimp together, the noise can interfere with military and scientific sonar (Johnson, et. al. 1947).

    The only catch is that it is tiny!  This species of Pistol Shrimp only gets to about 2 inches long, so it will fit in the palm of your hand.  It is also very aesthetically pleasing with its vibrant red and white stripes along its body.   This makes them a very popular shrimp for salt water fish tank enthusiasts.   

    Many people have never heard of a Pistol Shrimp, but in reality, they are very common.  In fact, there are over 663 species in the Alpheidae family (Zeng and Jaafar 2012). 300 of those species belong to the Alpheus genus (Mathews 2009).  

    Alpheus randalli can be found in shallow tropical and subtropical waters living in association with goby fish.  These two organisms form a symbiotic relationship in which both organisms benefit.  This relationship can be observed in all areas where this shrimp is found, along with in salt water fish tanks where both organisms are present.

    This semester's theme is spooky organisms!  Later on, on the Spooky Story page, you will get the chance to learn how this tiny shrimp has really made some military personnel nervous!  

    To begin our journey learning about this intriguing pistol shrimp, let’s find out how it is classified by continuing on to the Classification page.  

    If you think my organism is interesting, check out my classmates’ pages to see lots of other fantastic organisms at MultipleOrganisms.net.

    If you love the picture of the Alpheus randalli and Amblyeleotris aurora by Mark Strickland above, check out more of his beautiful photography of ocean life and more at Mark Strickland Photography.