Sexing Neocaridina Freshwater Shrimp: A Guide to Identifying Males and Females

If you're a fan of freshwater shrimp, you may be interested in breeding them. However, before you can begin breeding, you need to be able to sex your shrimp.

Sexing Neocaridina Freshwater Shrimp: A Guide to Identifying Males and Females

If you're a fan of freshwater shrimp, you may be interested in breeding them. However, before you can begin breeding, you need to be able to sex your shrimp. While it can be difficult to determine the sex of some shrimp species, sexing neocaridina shrimp is relatively easy once you know what to look for. In this article, we'll provide you with a guide to sexing neocaridina freshwater shrimp, so you can start breeding them with confidence.


Blue Diamond Neocaridina are a rare color morph that many breeders have spent years developing this rare gem. 


What are Neocaridina Freshwater Shrimp?

Before we dive into sexing neocaridina shrimp, let's first discuss what they are. Neocaridina shrimp are a genus of freshwater shrimp that are commonly kept in aquariums. They are known for their bright colors, easy care, and ability to breed in captivity. Neocaridina shrimp come in a variety of colors, including red, blue, yellow, and green.

 To ensure a true color line, its best to keep each color morph in separate tanks. Many enthusiast will keep a skittle tank of assorted colors without the intent to keeping pure lines.


Why Sexing Neocaridina Freshwater Shrimp is Important

Sexing neocaridina shrimp is important if you want to breed them. It's essential to have a mix of males and females in your breeding colony, so they can mate and produce offspring. An ideal gender ratio for breeding is three females to one male, but as long as you have more females than males the colony will continue to grow well. Additionally, it's helpful to know the sex of your shrimp if you plan on selling or trading them.


Bloody Mary Neocaridina is the highest grade among the various red color morphs. The are red through and through, not only are they red on the outside, but there red on the inside too.


How to Sex Neocaridina Freshwater Shrimp

Now that we've established why sexing neocaridina shrimp is important, let's get into the specifics of how to sex them. There are a few key characteristics to look for when identifying the sex of neocaridina shrimp:

This Yellow Neon  Neocaridina is carrying eggs in her swimmerets under her skirt. When females are at this stage of the reproduction cycle they are considered "Buried". 


1. Size

In most cases, female neocaridina shrimp are larger than males. Females typically grow up to 1.5 inches in length, while males are slightly smaller, at around 1 inch in length.

 Females are generally larger with a broader body size, while males are smaller and slender.


2. Color

Some species of neocaridina shrimp have distinct color differences between males and females. For example, female red cherry shrimp are typically darker in color than males. However, this is not always a reliable method of sexing neocaridina shrimp, as some males can also be darker in color.

Female Neocaridina shrimp are generally more colorful than then mail counterparts. Thus, color grading is always determined by the color of the females, not the males.


3. Body Shape

Males and females have slightly different body shapes. Females have a wider, more rounded abdomen, while males have a narrower, more triangular abdomen. Additionally, females may have a "saddle" on their back, which is an indication that they are ready to mate.

Eggs can come in many colors such as yellow, green, and even light blue. 

Females will form a saddle on their back when they are ready to mate. This is visible in more transparent color morphs such as snowball neocaridina shrimp. 


4. Swim Legs

The swim legs, or pleopods, are another way to differentiate between male and female neocaridina shrimp. Males have longer, more pointed swim legs, while females have shorter, more rounded swim legs.

Female pleopods are more rounded in order to cup their eggs while moving about as well as to fan them for aeration. Male pleopods are straight and long.



Sexing neocaridina freshwater shrimp may seem daunting at first, but with a little practice, you'll soon be able to identify males and females with ease. Remember to look for differences in size, color, body shape, and swim legs. Once you can sex your shrimp, you can start breeding them and creating your own beautiful, colorful colonies.  If you are looking for Neocaridina Shrimp already sexed check out our Bredby: Aquatic Arts Shrimp for breeder pack availability. 

The Carbon Rili females depicted are great examples of a berried and non berried female. 



  1. How long does it take for neocaridina shrimp to reach breeding age? Neocaridina shrimp typically reach breeding age at around 4-5 months old.
  2. Do neocaridina shrimp need a special diet to breed? Neocaridina shrimp do not need a special diet to breed, but it's important to provide them with a varied, balanced diet 
  3. Can neocaridina shrimp breed with other shrimp species? No, neocaridina shrimp can only breed with members of their own species.
  4. How many males and females do I need to start breeding neocaridina shrimp? It's recommended to have at least 2-3 females for every male in your breeding colony.
  5. Can I sex neocaridina shrimp when they are still juveniles? Yes, you can sex neocaridina shrimp when they are still juveniles, although it may be more difficult to do so before they have reached sexual maturity.

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