Freshwater Shrimp

What Is The Yellow Mark On My Shrimp’s Back?

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Shrimps are freshwater invertebrates that give an elegant touch to your aquarium. For me, shrimps were a game-changer in my aquarium. I am rather lazy when it comes to cleaning the aquarium. I can proudly say my shrimps often do that for me. Let us discuss what the yellow mark on my shrimp’s back is?

The yellow mark on the back of your shrimp is the eggs. Shrimps carry eggs in their pleopods. Pleopod means swimming legs of the shrimps. You can clearly see your shrimp carrying the eggs with herself everywhere she goes.

Going deeper into the topic, let us know more about the yellow spots on the shrimp’s back.

What Is The Yellow Mark On My Shrimp’s Back?

The yellow mark on the back of your shrimp is the eggs. If you are confused and thinking that your shrimps are sick, do not worry. The shrimps develop yellow marks on their body or even swollen yellow marks as they are about to conceive. There are a few things you need to know about this process which I have mentioned below:

What Are The Differences Between Male And Female Shrimp?

There are a few differences between male and female shrimps that will help you to understand the yellow marks better. Simply put, the female shrimps having yellow marks in their body are pregnant while males with yellow marks might be sick.

Male Shrimps

If you have dwarf shrimps in your tank, the sexually mature male shrimps are slimmer. These shrimps are streamlines and have a small abdominal area. Let us say that the stomach does not extend beyond the pleopods.

In the same way, the macro males can get a little larger than female macro shrimps with longer claws.

Female Shrimps

On the other hand, adult female dwarf shrimps are plump and large. You might have already guessed it right as is the case with most aquatic animals. Additionally, the female abdominal area extends down beyond the pleopods. Obviously, this is to carry the eggs.

Similarly, if you view a saddle in your shrimp, you can safely say it is a female. For those who are confused, a saddle is a dark or bright patch behind the heads of female shrimps.

Likewise, the macro female shrimps have similar physical features to dwarf female shrimps and with smaller claws. Sometimes, female macro shrimps are smaller than the male shrimps.

How Do The Yellow Mark Occur On Shrimp’s Back?

Shrimps carry eggs in their pleopods. So, let us first know how these eggs are formed. Eggs are formed in ovaries as most females do.

The light or dark patch we talked about previously is where the eggs are present. This is behind the head area of the female.

To form any fertilized eggs, mating is essential. You can see the male mates with female shrimp by facing one another after the female molts. In this process, the male deposits its sperm in the genital opening of the female shrimp.

After this, the eggs slowly move towards the abdomen from her ovaries. The eggs fertilize in this process from the male sperm as they pass from the genital opening to the ovaries.

This is when the female shrimp carry such yellow marks behind their back, in the pleopod. Pleopod means swimming legs of the shrimps. Besides, you can clearly see that your shrimp will carry the eggs with herself everywhere.

What Do Shrimp Eggs Look Like?

Shrimp eggs can be any color from yellow to green depending on the color of the saddle of the shrimps. These eggs will later get brown dots on the markings which means they are ready to hatch.

Do Aquarium Shrimp Spawn After The Yellow Mark Occur On Their Back?

As an invertebrate in the aquarium, your shrimps will carry their eggs on the underside of their body called pleopods. You can call such shrimps as berried shrimp.

The yellow mark on your shrimp’s back means that the eggs of the shrimp are developing. As soon as the male will fertilize the eggs, tiny shrimplets will come out of it in some weeks.

What Does The Brown Spots In The Yellow Mark Of My Shrimp’s Back Mean?

The brown spots in the yellow mark on shrimps mean that the eggs can spawn any moment now. This means that the shrimplets have developed inside the eggs and are ready to come out.

It might take some weeks to turn the yellow marks into marks with brown spots.

Does Green Egg Mean My Shrimp Is Sick?

No, green eggs do not necessarily mean that your shrimp is sick. The color of the eggs can vary according to the diet you are providing to your shrimp.

So, if you notice green eggs especially in the case of cherry shrimps, then it is possible that the outer shell color is a contributing factor to its egg color. Make sure you are feeding your shrimp with the necessary nutrients.

I have written an article about ‘Why Is Calcium Important For Your Shrimps’. Check it out!

You might also be interested to know about Breeding Red Cherry Shrimp and Red Cherry Shrimp – Beginners Guide. Check it out!

How Do You Know If Shrimp Eggs Are Fertilized?

You will know that the shrimp eggs are fertilized when they move to the belly area from the back. These eggs will then stay in the pleopods and have a brown spot in the middle. If not, the female molts and releases hormones to attract male shrimps, and then they mate which will automatically fertilize the eggs.

Do Shrimp Eggs Hatch All At Once?

The eggs in the pleopods or legs release the squirms continuously. Some shrimps give birth 60% of the shrimplets at one time and the rest later in the next two days. The process is rather slow. So, you can say that all shrimp eggs do not hatch all at once.

Will My Shrimp’s Eggs Fertilize After Dropping?

No. The shrimps fertilize their eggs in the pleopods. Hence, if you see any shrimp eggs dropped, they are unfertilized eggs.

It is possibly a good sign if you are not looking for any breeding. But, if you want your shrimp to breed, here are some things that might help you:

  • Maintain the water parameters according to the species.

You might also like Cloudy Water in Aquarium: Causes and Prevention

  • Put the breeding pair into a separate tank as the fish mates might be stressing the shrimp.
  • Put in more than one male member with one female shrimp.
  • Maintain a temperature a little higher than you would normally keep the shrimps in so that they can bear shrimplets. Caution: It should not be too high.
  • Put some hideouts in the aquarium to make the female shrimp comfortable.

More importantly, do not stress about it. Sometimes, the female shrimps are just new to breeding. Hence, they are learning how to hold the eggs in their body and fertilize the eggs. Your contribution to this is just maintaining a favorable breeding environment and that is all.

How Long Does It Take For The Yellow Mark On Your Shrimp’s Back To Hatch?

The hatching process can be different from species to species. It can take about 2 weeks to 2 months to hatch the eggs.

For dwarf shrimps, the time frame is lower from 3 to 4 weeks. Dwarf shrimps that come straight from the eggs are very small and barely visible. You can expect it to be only a few millimeters long.

Most shrimp species produce fully developed young ones whereas some produce free-floating larvae. These larvae need special saltwater or brackish water.

You will have to acclimate the larvae later to freshwater after the postlarval stage.

The hatching also depends on the temperature of your aquarium. Let us just say that a higher temperature will pull the hatching time shorter.

Not only this, but the young shrimps come directly from the pleopods. Thus, you can say that your female shrimp will not deposit the eggs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Shrimp Eat Their Babies?

Do shrimp eat their babies? Well, it is both a yes and a no as the answer depends on the species you have in your tank. Dwarf shrimps are liberal towards their young. These shrimps do not eat their young babies. So, you can keep the shrimp babies in the same tank as the parents.

Similarly, macros can stress out the babies by showing aggression to the babies. This is not good for the shrimp baby and can cause their death due to stress in the worst cases.

Moreover, macros are also known to hunt and eat small shrimps. The small shrimps might be their own babies too. Thus, you shall keep the young ones in a separate aquarium from the parents.

On the other hand, Palaemonid shrimp, ghost shrimp/ glass shrimp will hunt and eat the larvae if the larvae are on the sides or grounds of the aquarium! Hence, keep the adults and the larvae or eggs in separate tanks!

You can get more information on how to set up a fry tank from our other article!

Do Shrimp Die After Laying Eggs?

Shrimps do not die after laying eggs or bearing the young. However, the pregnant shrimp is in a weaker state than usual. Thus, you need to take extra care of the shrimps and feed them properly.

Moreover, make sure there are no stresses that concern the shrimp. This may include having larger fish in your tank or even not maintaining a proper environment to live in. Avoid these things and you are good to go.

You might also like to read ‘Can Shrimp Live In Cold Water?‘. Find out here.

What Should You Feed Your Shrimp?

You can feed various food to your shrimp. They will also feed on the biofilm and plant algae. Along with it, you can include the following in the diet for your aquarium shrimps:

Last Words

In conclusion, you now know that the yellow mark on the back of your shrimp is nothing more than a sign that she might be pregnant. There is nothing to worry about it but just some things to take care of.

Make sure you create a favorable environment for your shrimp to get cozy and breed in the easiest way possible. Besides, consider the water parameters, the temperature of the aquarium, and tankmates for the shrimp. If possible install a fry tank! You can share your experiences in the comments down below!

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