The grading of the Crystal Red Shrimp has sometimes created more confusion than concrete answers. Not only are there many different grades but there are also several different color patterns, features, terminologies and other factors which can dictate one grade from the next. Being well educated with the grading of the Crystal Red Shrimp is very important if you decide to acquire, keep and breed this species.
There are numerous factors which can dictate the grade of a Crystal Red Shrimp. One of the most important factors is the intensity of both the white and red coloration on the specimen. If the white coloration is not full and shows signs of transparency then this can downgrade a specimen. When obtaining Crystal Red Shrimp from another breeder it can sometimes be common for a specimen to lose its fully opaque white coloration when newly arrived and also if it is an older specimen. It is recommended to purchase non-adult Crystal Red Shrimp if you do not want to risk potential color loss in adults after shipping. Adult Crystal Red Shrimp can be very picky when being introduced to a new environment.
Color patterns are also a very important factor when grading a Crystal Red Shrimp. Patterns like Hinomaru, Tiger Tooth, No-Entry Hinomaru, Mosura and more can dictate one grade from the next. At the bottom of the page is a guide to the common features/terminologies which are associated with certain grades. It is highly recommended that you are well educated with the grading terminologies of Crystal Red Shrimp if you decide to keep this species.
Please note that there of course has not been an "official" Crystal Red Shrimp Grading Guide. This version was created in order to help hobbyists better understand the grades and their respective terminologies that are associated. As more information develops on this ever changing Crystal Red Shrimp species this page will be updated.
SSS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp
The SSS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp has the most white coloration out of all of the grades below it. It is sometimes refered to as a "Mosura" grade Crystal Red Shrimp. It follows the typical rule in Crystal Red Shrimp Grading that the more white coloration the higher the grade. However, there are many features which can make one SSS grade specimen considered even higher grade than another SSS Grade. One SSS Grade can be higher than another dependent upon features including the different red patterns on the head, eye coloration, leg coloration and even antennae coloration. As the grading gets higher there are more factors which can make a single specimen more prized than another of the same grade. Please read about the grading terminologies located on the bottom of the page.
SSS Grade Mosura with "Flower"
SSS Grade Mosura with "Crown"
Additional SSS Grade Photos
SS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp
The SS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp has more red coloration than the SSS Grade. The additional red coloration is located on the mid portion of the body, typically on the top. The SS Grade is usually given when there is a "Hinomaru" which is a red circle on the back which in fact signifies the sun in the Japanese flag. There are different varitiations of the Hinomaru including a No-Entry Hinomaru which is a white line through the red circle, and a Double Hinomaru feature which occurs when there is a second red circle on the body typically right at the end of the back at the tail. In the various photos below you can see the different types of SS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp. Please read about the grading terminologies located on the bottom of the page.
SS Grade Hinomaru
S Grade Crystal Red Shrimp
The S Grade Crystal Red Shrimp has even more red coloration than the SS and SSS Grades. The additional red coloration is located more along the sides of the body versus the SS Grade which has red mostly on the top portion. The S Grade Crystal Red Shrimp is a more popular grade due to the lower price and also because it is considered to have a more even white/red coloration. Some do not prefer the majority white coloration that the SS and SSS grade provide, let alone the high price they can demand. The S Grade can also be ranked as S+ given certain characteristics like solid red and white coloration as well as special features including Tiger Tooth and V-Band. The grading of Crystal Red Shrimp from S+ grade and below is very dependent on color solidity. Nice fully opaque white and red coloration can make the difference between an A Grade and S Grade. It is very important to inspect each specimen thoroughly. Please read about the grading terminologies located on the bottom of the page.
S+ Grade Tiger Tooth
S+ Grade V- Band
S Grade 3 White Band
A Grade Crystal Red Shrimp
The A Grade Crystal Red Shrimp is a more popular grade for beginners in the Crystal Red Shrimp breeding arena. The A Grade has characteristics of blotchy and transparent red coloration and poor solid white coloration as well. A lack of any special features/patterns is typical of an A Grade specimen. The distribution of the red and white coloration can differ where some can have three white bands and some can have four white bands. The A Grade is a great beginner grade and are very inexpensive compared to higher grades. As stated before, it is important that you inspect each specimen well because an A grade can be improperly labeled as an S grade if not careful.
A Grade 3 White Bandsz
A Grade 3 White Bandsz
B Grade Crystal Red Shrimp
The B Grade Crystal Red Shrimp is typical of poor distribution of red and white coloration with an almost complete lack of any fully white bands. Some would say it is an ugly grade but I suppose it is in the eye of the beholder. This is another great beginner shrimp and also a great shrimp for breeders who are interested in practicing selective breeding. The irony is that it can sometimes be hard to find low grade Crystal Red Shrimp like the B Grade since not many people are fans of its pattern/coloration.
C Grade Crystal Red Shrimp
The C Grade Crystal Red Shrimp is typically where it all started. The very first Crystal Red Shrimp looked closely like this. Over time the white coloration was bred out and became more prevalent than the red coloration. You can see how the red coloration is almost 100% with very little white except for a coulple of strips. This is almost exactly what the red colored variety that Hisayasu Suzuki first discovered in his batch of wild Bee Shrimp looked like. Very little recognition is given to this grade given the fact that it is the origin of the mainstream Crystal Red Shrimp. There have been attempts to breed the red 100% with no white but lately it has not been as popular to do so.
Grading Terminology & Features
Mosura "Flower": A Flower-like pattern on the side of the head of a SSS Grade Mosura. Exactly where the "flower" term originated from is unknown as it does not seem to resemble a flower too much. Found in SSS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
Mosura "Crown": A half-circle Crown-like appearance located around the top and sides of the head. Found in SSS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
Double Hinomaru: Instead of one circle there are two. A large circle in the back (with no-entry sign) and another small circle towards the tail. Found in SS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
No-Entry Hinomaru: Occurs when a white dash appears in the middle of the red Hinomaru circle. The white dash gives the appearance of a No-Entry sign commonly found in traffic signs. The white dash can go all the way through the sides of the circle or can be contained inside as well. Found in SS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
Hinomaru: Hinomaru is when there is a distinct Red Circle in the middle section of the Crystal Red Shrimp top back portion. Hinomaru means "sun disc" in Japanese and is symbolic of the red circle which symbolizes the Sun in the Japanese Flag. There are also different variations of Hinomaru as stated above, i.e. Double Hinomaru and No-Entry Hinomaru. Found in SS Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
Tiger Tooth: The Tiger Tooth marking is located on the lower half of the middle red section of an S+ Grade specimen. There are two red downward dashes. In between those two dashes is a white "Tiger Tooth". There must be a white portion between the two red dashes in order for the Crystal Red Shrimp to be considered to have a Tiger Tooth. If the area between the dashes is clear then it is not considered Tiger Tooth. The lack of a second red band would in fact create a V-Band instead. Found in S+ Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
V-Band: The middle red section is shaped as a pseudo "v" shape signifies V-Band. Found in S+ Grade Crystal Red Shrimp.
Crystal Red Shrimp QUICK Grading Guide
Crystal Red Shrimp QUICK Features Guide
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