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Alpheus formosusGibbes, 1850Alpheus formosus
Common Name: Larger blue-legged snapping shrimp.

ArthropodaCrustacea MalacostracaDecapodaAlpheidaeAlpheusformosus
Alpheus poeyi
Alpheus formosus is a fairly common species of snapping shrimps and will favor habitats such as coral reefs, crevices of coral rocks, seagrass and in clumps of Halimeda species.
This species has been reported in the Caribbean, from the region of Bocas del Toro, Panama; on the southern coast of Dominican Republic and in Morrocoy, Venezuela.
Natural History Notes
Alpheus formosus has two closely described species, its transisthmian sister species, A. panamensis and A. paraformosus.

A study conducted by Williams et al. (2001) looked at the phylogenetic relationships within the genus Alpheus, using the sequence data of two nuclear genes and a mitochondrial gene called cytochtome oxidase I. The phylogenetic analyses led to the discovery of three new lineages within the genus Alpheus. Those results suggested that specialized ecological conditions and different claw morphologies among the genus Alpheus would have evolved independently several times. It also raised questions about whether or not the genus Alpheus should be split into three or several genera. The authors suggested that those three lineages should at least receive the status of subgenus.
Present from the intertidal to 15 m.
Alpheus formosus has a body length of 30 mm. The rostrum (foremost extension of the carapace) is usually yellow in the adults and entirely yellow in the juveniles. The major chela is mostly pale-brown to orange-brown and the telson (last division of the body) does not have a blue patches like the other species closely related to A. formosus.
Other Literature
In Bocas Del Toro
Reported ByJavier Jara and Gabriel Jacome
Sampling methodsButterfly net
LocalityBoca del Drago, Punta Rocosa
Compiled by
Zoe Joly-Lopez
Alpheus formosus
Alpheus formosus
Anker A., Hurt C. and Knowlton N. 2008b. Revision of the Alpheus formosus Gibbes 1850 species complex, with redescription of A. formosus and description of a new species from the tropical western Atlantic (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae). Zootaxa, 1707: 1-22

Williams S.T., Knowlton N., Weigt L.A. and Jara J.A. 2001. Evidence for three major clades within the snapping shrimp genus Alpheus inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequence data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 20: 375-389.
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