25 Opae Ula | Halocaridina rubra | Volcano Red Shrimp

Opae ula, also known as Hawaiian shrimp or volcanic shrimp, are a species of small shrimp that are native to Hawaii. They are typically found in the shallow tidal pools of the Hawaiian Islands, where they thrive in the brackish water that results from the mixing of freshwater and seawater.

Opae ula have a distinctive red coloration, which is a result of their high levels of hemocyanin, a copper-containing protein that helps carry oxygen in their blood. They have a relatively long lifespan for a shrimp, with some individuals living up to 20 years in the wild.

Opae ula are highly adaptable and can survive in a wide range of conditions, including low-oxygen environments and high levels of acidity. They are also capable of reproducing asexually, which means that a single individual can start a new colony.

Opae ula have become popular among aquarium enthusiasts, and are often kept in small, self-contained ecosystems called “pico reefs.” These setups typically consist of a small aquarium or container filled with brackish water, sand, rocks, and plants, and require minimal maintenance. Opae ula are low-maintenance pets and do not require feeding, as they can survive on the microorganisms that naturally grow in their environment.

Overall, opae ula are fascinating and unique creatures that have a special place in Hawaiian culture and natural history.