Harlequin shrimp

Scientific name:

Caridina woltereckae¹

Official common name: (accepted by ESA)

Harlequin shrimp

Unofficial synonyms:



C. woltereckae is a lacustrine species endemic to Lake Towuti, Sulawesi, Indonesia; where it is widely distributed.¹

The image below show the distribution of the species within the lake.¹


C. woltereckae is found on hard substrate, specifically small rocks in shallow water. It can also be found in deeper water, however, where it hides between large rocks.¹


– (20 – 25mm)




Due to the delicate nature of these shrimp, I recommend only experienced and skilled aquarists attempt to keep this species.




Reproduction takes place entirely in freshwater, and offspring immediately assume a benthic lifestyle.


C. woltereckae is often confused with C. spongicola, a superficially similar species which forms a symbiosis with a freshwater sponge. Within the hobby today, exporters and hobbyists call this shrimp ‘spongicola’ erroneously. I have written a page on how to differentiate between the two species, but I am confident hobbyist will never see the true C. spongicola for sale.


  1. von Rintelen, K. & Cai, Y., (2009). Radiation of endemic species flocks in ancient lakes: systematic revision of the freshwater shrimp Caridina H. Milne Edwards, 1837 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) from the ancient lakes Of Sulawesi, Indonesia, with the description of eight new species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 57(2).


Chris Lukhaup



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