How To Determine Ghost Shrimp Gender?

How To Determine Ghost Shrimp Gender

If you are a new shrimp keeper or keeping shrimps for a while now then you must be curious to know the gender of your shrimps. As ghost shrimps are very delicate species it is kind of difficult to determine their gender. However, as a shrimp keeper, it is important to know the gender of the ghost shrimps for many reasons. I did a comprehensive research and found some ways by which one can easily determine their ghost shrimps’ gender.

Male ghost shrimps are generally smaller than the female ones. Also, the female ghost shrimps have a rounder and larger belly whereas in males the belly is straight.

There are some more factors that can help you to differentiate the gender of ghost shrimps. Throughout the rest of the article, I’ll explain each of these factors in details.  

Difference Between Male And Female Ghost Shrimps:

FactorMale Ghost ShrimpFemale Ghost Shrimp
SaddleMales don’t have a saddleFemales have a clear green saddle
SizeSmaller in size than female shrimpsLarger than the males. About 1.5 inches when sexually matured
BehaviorMales are more hectic and agitatedFemales are generally peaceful
Belly ShapeThe belly is straightThe belly is rounder and larger
BodyStraight body with no curvesWider body with curves

Factors To Determine Male And Female Ghost Shrimp’s Gender:


The first thing that will help you to determine the gender of ghost shrimps is their size. The female ghost shrimps are larger in size than the male ones.

Under optimum conditions on average the female ghost shrimps can grow up to 1.5 inches in size. And the male ghost shrimps can grow up to 1.2 inches long. But if the tank environment is not healthy and suitable to them they will not have the proper growth.

You cannot understand the size when the ghost shrimps are babies. You will only be able to determine the gender with their size when the ghost shrimps get adults as when they are babies they are of the same size. So, you cannot rely on this method if the shrimps are not adults. People who are experts and have a good knowledge of ghost shrimps can easily detect their gender with the size.


Female ghost shrimps have a green saddle that runs along the underside of their belly but the male ghost shrimps do not have any green saddle. You can easily see the green saddle in the female shrimp body as ghost shrimps have a transparent body. The saddle is very visible and noticeable. This is one very easy way that helps in determining the gender of the ghost shrimps. 

But do you know what a saddle is? The saddle is a small part inside the female shrimp’s body that contains the undeveloped and unfertilized eggs. It is located underneath the back of the shrimp between the head and the abdomen.

Body And Belly

The female ghost shrimps have a curvier and wider body than the male ghost shrimps. Their belly is also wider than the male ghost shrimps because they carry eggs in there. The males are very flat and have a straight body.

This is another easy way to determine male and female ghost shrimps. After getting pregnant for the first time the female ghost shrimps belly shape changes and gets very wide which is noticeable. Also, when they are pregnant you can easily see the eggs in their belly as they have a transparent body.

So, with the belly, you can determine a female ghost shrimp. And if any shrimp carries eggs in the belly, they are definitely female ghost shrimps.


Ghost shrimps are very peaceful in nature and mind their own business. But they can get aggressive sometimes during feeding and if they don’t feel suitable in the tank environment. The male ghost shrimps get more aggressive than the female ones.

The female ghost shrimps are seen hiding most of the time. Mainly when they are pregnant they keep themselves hiding and alone from every species around them. Ghost shrimps generally like to hide themselves but male ghost shrimps are seen active and agitated in the tank than the female ghost shrimps.

Also, during the mating season, the males behave restlessly around the females. They might get into a fight with each other in order to mate with a single female. However, this doesn’t mean female shrimps are always peaceful because under stressful conditions, the females also behave crazy.

According to me, this way isn’t that reliable to determine the ghost shrimp gender because you have to observe them a lot to understand their behavior.

Best Way To Determine The Gender Of Ghost Shrimps (According To Me):

The best way to determine the gender of ghost shrimps according to me is by the saddle. The saddle is the common thing that is used to determine the gender of other shrimps as well. But most of the shrimp types available in the market are colorful or have a dark exoskeleton  through which it gets a little bit difficult to see the saddle.

But, as we know that ghost shrimps have a transparent body you can easily see the green saddle in their body. It is very visible and easily noticeable. The other ways are not that much reliable like this one to determine the gender. This is why, according to me, the saddle is the best option to determine the gender of ghost shrimps. Once you get to understand how to determine the gender once it will not seem difficult anymore.

Best Age To Determine The Gender Of Ghost Shrimps:

2-3 months after the ghost shrimps are born is the best age to determine the gender. In this stage, the female ghost shrimps have a more developed body, saddle, belly, etc. So, the saddle in this stage will get visible enough to see at one glance. During this time the shrimps also get sexually matured.

In other types of shrimps, it is hard to differentiate them in naked eyes but for ghost shrimps it is easier because of the transparent body. So, 2-3 months after the ghost shrimps are born is the best age to determine the gender.

Why Determining The Shrimps Gender Is Important?

Determining the gender is important if you are a serious breeder because only then you will be able to breed properly. Keeping a group of 10 ghost shrimps where more than 50% should be female is always recommended. If the ratio is maintained properly one can easily breed the ghost shrimps.

However, if the ratio is not maintained, besides facing problems in breeding one will face many more problems with the ghost shrimps. If the male ghost shrimps are higher in number, they can get aggressive on each other in the time of mating. This gives both the male and female ghost shrimps stress.

On the contrary, if you get female shrimps and no male shrimps the female shrimps will not have anyone to mate with. In this way, the female shrimps will not get pregnant and there will be no increase of shrimps in your tank. Without mating female shrimps can get stressed as well.

Stress is not good for ghost shrimps as it can lead the ghost shrimps to many diseases and it hampers their overall growth. For keeping the shrimps stress free, happy, and peaceful, the ratio of females and males needs to be maintained. And for that, the gender needs to be determined. This is why knowing/determining the gender is so important.


Now that you are at the end of this article, you know that the only reliable and easy way to determine the gender of ghost shrimps properly is the saddle or the belly with eggs. The other ways that I mentioned which are the size, behavior, and shape are not that much reliable to determine unless you observe them properly for a good amount of time.

However, gender determination is easy for ghost shrimps as I mentioned you can easily see everything of their body because they are transparent. So, if you look for the saddle you can easily determine the gender of the ghost shrimps.

I tried to make this article easy and understandable, so I hope this helps you to determine the gender of your ghost shrimps.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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