Bigclaw snapping shrimp

Alpheus heterochaelis

Family Alpheidae - snapping shrimps

Body somewhat lobster-like (abdomen slightly compressed dorsoventrally); color translucent green, white markings on chelae, legs pale red; rostrum small, pointed, not reaching past eye; eye stalks small, covered by carapace; 1st walking legs thick, chelate (clawed), claws unequal, major chela broad, flattened, notched dorsally and ventrally behind fingers; tip of moveable finger curves downward into large tooth; fingers of minor chela long and narrow, about 1/2 the length of the chela, in males a little thicker and more curved at the end; 2nd walking leg weakly chelate; carpus (segment next to chelae) of 2nd walking leg divided into smaller segments.
Similar Species
The bigclaw snapping shrimp is distinguished by its greenish color, its wide major claw with rounded fingers and has no grooves on back of carapace.
Gulf and bay, live in broken shells or sponges or muddy bottoms
Maximum Size
5 cm (2 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names