The Armoured Shrimp (Atya gabonensis) is a freshwater crustacean. It is also known as the African Fan Shrimp, the African Filter Shrimp, the Cameroon Armoured Shrimp, or the Blue Rhino Shrimp. It is related to the crab and the lobster.
The Armoured Shrimp can vary in colour from creamy-white to rusty brown and deep blue.
It measures 15 centimetres (6 inches) in length.
The Armoured Shrimp is native to west Africa, from Senegal to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in South America, from Venezuela to Brazil. It prefers freshwater rivers and streams.
It is diurnal, active during the day, although it is not very active. It sits still for a long time.
It is omnivorous, using its feather-like claspers to filter particles from the water. It eats algae, plant leaves, and biofilm.
The female carries 20-30 eggs under her belly and tail on her swimmerettes. The eggs hatch after 14-21 days. The young are called shrimplets.
The Armoured Shrimp lives for 1-2 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM