Vampire shrimp are heavily-built. In the wild, they can reach 5 or even 6 inches in length (12 – 15 cm). However, in captivity, they usually do not grow more than 3.5 – 4.5 inches (9 – 11 cm).
They use their modified chelipeds to collect fine particles from the bottom or filter them from flowing water. The life cycle includes marine larval and post-larval stages.
Vampire shrimp come in many colors. The color can variate from greyish, whitish, light blue to reddish-brown to a strong blue and may change slightly with every molt.
As with all other shrimp species, the coloration also depends on the age and the environment. For example, a dark substrate will intensify its color. However, with age, the color can gradually decrease again to reddish-brown shades (which dominate in this species). They can also lose some color after a molt. Do not worry it will come back.
Unlike many shorter-lived shrimp, the Vampire Shrimp can live for as long as 8 – 10 years with proper care