Atya Molluccensis

Family Atyids

Origin: indo-pacific, namely Malaysia

Recent distribution: worldwide for aquaria hobbyists

Nom Commercial: -

Size: 7-8 cm

Adequate Environment: average to elevated hardness, pH higher than 7,0.  it is sensitive to nitrate and nitrite and prefers clear calm water

Temperature: 24 to 28C

Feeding:  detritivorous and feeds on small food particles captured with its fan-ilke forearms

Utility: filtrates water, positioning against the water current  in order to capture food particles or edible waste.  if the water current is not strong enough, it will search for food on the substrate.

Particularity:  Forearms provided with fans, acting as food-traps; the first legs of males are more developped and robust.


It can be found in the indo-pacific region, namely in Malaysia.  It is a middle-sized shrimp, the male reaches 6 cm, and the female 7-8 cm.  Its basis color pattern is brown, with small white dots or even a white stripe.  Quite sociable, several individuals may be maintained together.  Claws are small but moving legs are quite developped;the fits pair is particularly robust, most of all on the male.  This anatomic specificity shows that these shrimps walk rather than they swim, but the development of the abdomen shows they can also jump and swim.

The two first walking leg pairs are provided with visible fans that are used for feeding.  In fact, this shrimp is detritvorous and eats small particles captured in the wateror on the substrate, the four specialized legs bringing food to the mouth.  In captivity, they may feed on fishfood, be fed with zooplancton or with small fragments of meat.

As many invertebrates, this shrimp is quite resistant, but requires a correct water quality: temperature from 24 to 28C, average to elevated hardness, pH superior to 7,0.

Atya molluccensis is sexually mature when it reaches less than 5 cm, 3 cm females may carry eggs, often after a moult.  More or less one hundred eggs incubate during three weeks and when they hatch the larvae mesure already more than 1 mm.

Reproduction is possible in aquarium, but few cases of success have been reported.