The Amazing Power And Facts Of Pistol Shrimp (Alpheidae) – All You Need To Know

The Amazing Power And Facts Of Pistol Shrimp (Alpheidae) – All You Need To Know

Welcome to Nagro Farms, in this article, we will be discussing Pistol Shrimp, its incredible powers, and all you need to know, so keep reading.


Pistol shrimp, also known as snapping shrimp, are Alpheidae crustaceans. Their two front claws differ in size, with one significantly larger than the other. There are hundreds of species found all over the world, but the majority are found in temperate and tropical reefs and seagrass beds. They’re not particularly large, only reaching a few inches in length, but their large claws can grow to be half their body length.

Pistol Shrimp are called pistol shrimps because the sound they make with their claws is usually louder than a gunshot, measuring around 218 decibels. Alphadae belongs to the caridean snapping shrimp family and is distinguished by asymmetrical claws and the ability to make a loud snapping sound.

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Pistol shrimp are said to be blind and mostly found on oyster reefs, coral reefs, and seagrass. They can be found in both saltwater and freshwater.


The pistol shrimp’s superpower is housed in its large claw. When a pistol shrimp senses prey is nearby, it will open the top part of its big claw, allowing some water to enter a small chamber in the crook of the claw. The pressure from a small plunger on the top claw then forces the water out of the chamber when it clamps down. This happens so quickly that bubbles form. These bubbles can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, enough to stun or kill the prey! When the bubbles pop, a “snap” sound is produced, which gives these shrimp their name.

Fun Facts About Pistol Shrimp (Alpheidae)

Below are four (4) fun facts about Pistol Shrimp you need to know:

1. Their Bubble Bullets Are As Loud as a Gun And as Hot as Lava

The bubbles of these sharp-shooting crustaceans have been measured at 218 decibels, which is louder than a speeding bullet. The sound isn’t actually that loud to us humans because the blast only lasts a fraction of a second.


When the bubble pops, it produces heat that can reach 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit (4,427 degrees Celsius), making it four times hotter than lava. The heat dissipates quickly, leaving no lasting effects (except to the unfortunate small creature that felt its burn).

2. Netflix featured Them in the Lead Role of a Superhero

In the Netflix film “Project Power,” the character played by Jamie Foxx is given a few minutes of pistol shrimp power to turn raindrops into high-speed jets that decimate anything in their path. Who knew such a small creature could have such a big screen presence?

There’s no denying that these gun-toting invertebrates stand out beneath the waves. They’re one of nature’s loudest — and most fascinating — critters, whether they’re shooting the enemy or making friends with their allies. Dip down next time you’re in tropical waters and listen to the strange, crackling chorus.

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3. They Nearly Intervened in WWII

During World War II, the powerful pistol shrimp threw a wrench in the United States Navy’s defense strategy. The sailors called in researchers from the University of California Division of War Research after the snap-crackle-pop sound began interfering with sonar used to detect enemy ships. Fortunately, they discovered the source and recorded the shrimp’s sounds in order to train sonar operators to recognize them as sea creatures rather than enemies.

While the sound produced by pistol shrimp can be annoying to humans at times, it is not always so. Because a lot of hunting means a lot of life and a balanced ecosystem, it can reflect the health of the coral reef. Other sea creatures may benefit from the noise as well.

4. They can Regrow a Lost Limb as Well as Switch Weapon Hands

The monstrous snapper claw does all of the dirty work, but the smaller claw has some special abilities of its own. To protect themselves, pistol shrimp will let go of their massive snapper if attacked. Fortunately, they won’t just grow a new one; their original small pincer will start to transform into a large snapper claw. This gives them an advantage in getting back on track with shooting bubbles.

The Amazing Power And Facts Of Pistol Shrimp
Pistol Shrimp

Species of Shrimps

There are approximately 2,000 shrimp species in the world but the big five that are the most popularly consumed — pink, white, brown, brown rock, and royal red shrimp — each with their own deliciously distinct flavors.

The pink shrimp or white shrimp can be one of several different types or varieties. White shrimps are tasty and sweeter but taste nuttier than pink shrimp.

Pink shrimps are typically pink and mostly seen behind the seafood counter, they are normally pink when raw. The brown shrimp tend to have more mineral flavor than the pink or white shrimp and also have the ability to contain iodine.

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Pistol Shrimp Reproduction

The pistol shrimp mating process begins with snapping; female pistol shrimps usually molt first and mate later. The female then molts every few weeks while the male protects or guides her to keep her safe.

After that, the eggs are incubated beneath the female’s abdomen. The larvae molt and become shrimp. Pistol shrimps live for about 3 to 4 years in the wild, but only 2 to 4 years in captivity, according to research.

However, keeping them in an aquarium is not recommended because they are capable of breaking glasses.

Pistol shrimp cannot kill humans by simply snapping their claws, but they can kill a human if the human is allergic to shrimp and consumes one, resulting in anaphylaxis shock.

What is The Difference Between Pistol Shrimp and Prawn

  • According to research, the primary anatomical difference between a prawn and a shrimp is their body structure or form.
  • In terms of claws, prawns have three pairs of claw-like legs, whereas shrimp only have one pair.
  • Prawns have longer legs than shrimp.
  • Furthermore, their modes of reproduction are quite different.

Video From Deep Marine Scenes Showing Facts About Pistol Shrimp