Pistol shrimp belongs to the family Alpheidae. The family Alpheidae is one of the members of the section Caridea, and contains about 400 species distributed in 20 genera..They are also commonly known as Symbiosis Shrimp and Snapping Shrimp. Their common name "Pistol Shrimp" is derived from the clicking or snapping sounds produced by the larger chela. They are usually abundant in shallow-water habitats, primarily on coral reefs in the tropical and subtropical regions.
Pistol Shrimp grows up to a maximum size of around 6 – 7 cm and occurs in varied colors. They are non-aggressive towards other marine aquarium members. These kind of shrimp are Omnivorous in feeding habit and eats detritus, phytoplankton, frozen meaty bits as well as brine shrimp and veggies.
The Alpheus species shares a symbiotic relationship with gobies. Gobies have good eyesight and warn the shrimp of any nearby predators in the exchange of the food that Pistol Shrimp provides to their host, gobies. Pistol shrimps may also get symbiotically associated with sponges, corals and anemones.
Pistol Shrimp may attack shrimps smaller in size than itself. Therefore, do not keep very small sized shrimps and the Alpheus species in the same marine aquarium.