Without a doubt the Harlequin Shrimp is one of the most fascinating animals available to reef enthusiasts. The Harlequin is also called the "Painted Dancing Shrimp". But what comes with such beauty is the all so common high maintenance requirements. The Harlequin Shrimp is a full time preyer. And the only thing they will eat are starfish. I recently purchased a pair of Harlequins to maintain a recent out burst of Asterinas rubens stars in the Barton Memorial Hospital's Family Physician Office reef tank. The Asterinas are a common nuisance in reef aquariums.
The Harlequin Shrimp like aquariums that are moderately lit. Dining on echinoderms, primarily starfish, it may also pick at urchins. Will eat most Linckia species, the Harlequin shrimp tends to leave Fromia sp. alone unless it is very hungry and it`s the only type of starfish in the tank. Keeping several starfish in the tank will enable a careful Harlequin shrimp to tend to it`s `herd` and only eat the starfish bit by bit. This enables the starfish to go free and heal as the Harlequin selects a different seastar.