Unlike many other dwarf shrimps, identifying the male and female Amano Shrimp is much easier for their prominent physical difference. However, beginner shrimp keepers may often get confused to distinguish between the male and female counterparts while buying or breeding Amano shrimps for the first time.
The female Amano shrimps are bigger than their male counterparts. Secondly, the male Amano shrimps have evenly spaced dots on their exoskeleton where the females have long broken dashes. Finally, the female Amano shrimps have identical saddle underneath their belly and rounder abdomen.
Let me discuss these differences in detail.
While Amano shrimps are larger than most other dwarf fishes, the female Amano shrimps are noticeably larger than their male counterparts. The female Amano shrimps can grow up to 2 inches or more, while the males generally can grow up to 1.5 inches.
Take a look at the following picture. Both the shrimps are mature for breeding where the female Amano shrimp is much larger.
Types Of Dots On The Exoskeleton
However, if you cannot be sure from their size, examine the visible dots on their exoskeleton. The translucent body of Amano shrimps has made it easy to distinguish between the two types of dots on the males and females.
The lowest or second-lowest row of dots along the body on the females will be like long irregular dashes or some oval/distorted circles like this picture.
On the other hand, in the males, the dots are clearly distinct from each other and evenly spaced on their exoskeleton. Examine the following picture. The dots are not stretched out like those on their female counterparts.
Note: However, the young female Amano shrimps (those have not been matured) may not have developed these long and broken dashes and they will have the dots like their mature male counterparts.
Egg Nest In The Female Amano Shrimps
Though the difference of the dots is prominent, you can be over-confirmed by the next characteristic.
The female Amano shrimps possess a saddle or egg nest underneath their belly. The females carry their eggs in this egg nest until they are hatched. The egg nest is glued to the forked paddle-like swimmerets attached to their abdomen. Look at the following picture.
About 1000-3000 eggs are glued onto this swimmeret. The eggs appear in dark moss-green color at first. As they mature, they become yellowish-brown color gradually. The female carries the eggs for about 5 weeks and just after releasing the larvae, they tend to mate again and carry the next batch of eggs.
So, if you are buying mature female Amano shrimps, it is very easy to recognize the female ones as they carry eggs most of the time. And if you have already bought the shrimps, the eggs will be visible in the female shrimps soon with their swelled abdomens.
A female Amano shrimp’s abdomen is rounder and much exposed for carrying the eggs where naturally a male Amano shrimp’s abdomen is flat and curved. Here is what a female Amano shrimp’s abdomen looks like:
A Few Other Facts
Besides these, the female Amano shrimps have a thicker body and an ivory stripe has run down the length of their back.
Some male shrimps (especially the darker shrimps) may also possess this ivory type stripe, but that will be noticeably fainter than that of a female Amano shrimp.
You will find the mature female Amano shrimps a little more colorful than the mature male shrimps.
Note: Besides male and female Amano shrimps, there are imposters and lookalike which some traders can pass into your bag. The real Amano shrimps are larger (whether it is male shrimp or female) while the imposters are much smaller. So, you should be aware of the imposters and lookalikes while identifying the male and female Amano Shrimps.
Therefore, there is no need to take stress contemplating whether you will be able to recognize the male and female Amano shrimps for the first time. Just notice the above-mentioned characteristics while buying them and hopefully you will get the male and female Amano shrimps at a proper ratio.