Hello once again! Hope everyone is safe and healthy. Today we like to further elaborate on the classification of Stardust and its family, you can find Part 1 here. Before we go further, this article is prepared by Ethan. Ethan have been working with us for quite a while now and he is one of the veterans in Stardust shrimps and we got him specially to share his experience here today.
Personally the Galaxy family is one of the most fascinating breeds of shrimp available on the market for some time now with endless possibilities for different pattern mutation to emerge as well as new colours.
Currently, in the galaxy shrimp family there are 3 main base colours(Black, Red & Yellow). Many have come to us to further understand more and also clarify on the different terms used by different hobbyist.
So today let's discuss about this topic in detail, the different criteria you should look out for before making your purchase on these beautiful shrimps.
Galaxy Pinto & Galaxy Fishbone
Galaxy pinto shrimps are the most common mutation widely available everywhere and would fall at the bottom of the galaxy family pyramid. Due to the rarer nature of obtaining a fishbone pattern, the Galaxy Fishbone would be placed on a higher grade compared to the galaxy pintos.
Firstly, you’ll need to understand the basic traits of a galaxy shrimp to be able to move on to differentiate the higher end mutations like the Stardust and Boa shrimps.
As a start, there would be 2 main traits to look out for, one being facial spot and the other would be back pattern.
The name galaxy given to them is solely due to the white dots on their face, representing the stars/planets/moon that brightly lit our skies at night. The number of facial spot would determine the grade of a galaxy shrimp, the more the better. The size of the facial spot can be both small or big, it really comes down to personal preference.
Zebra back - This back pattern will consist of a few stripes of white masking(normally 5 white stripes) followed by their base colour(eg. black), just like the animal you see in the zoo or at a road crossing.
Cape back - This back pattern looks exactly like what superman wears, except it is not red in colour. Covering more than 50% of the shrimp’s body, it can come in white, yellowish off white, red, blue and even gold. This back is often classify as Boa shrimp which we will touch on as we move along.
Fishbone pattern - Have you seen the shape of a fishbone, especially after finishing your nasi lemak? Yes, that same pattern that is just copied and pasted on the back of your shrimp. Similar to the Zebra back pattern except that it has an extra back line running down from the tip of the head till the end of the tail.
Thick Fishbone pattern - Yes, there are even two different types of fishbone pattern, the earlier fishbone mentioned would be the thin fishbone. The thick fishbone is often times confused with the cape back pattern as they look very alike, but there are minute differences. The cape back would be rather straight across the endings, while the thick fishbone will have uneven endings at the tip of each bone, and may also have some small gaps between which bone.
Being able to distinguish between the many back pattern will definitely help you in sieving out potential untruthful sellers trying to earn a quick buck. Now that we have learned the basics, let's go into classifying the shrimps.
Just like the countless stars in a milky way, the Stardust shrimp will be filled with many spots across its face and body. Traits to look out for:
Facial spots - Good amount of small facial spots must be present (minimally 8 spots or more)
Body spots - Good spread of spots across the whole belly of the shrimp, often times the arrangement of the body spot can greatly affect the overall appearance of the shrimp as well as the price of it.
Fishbone pattern - Also a must have for stardust shrimps.
Spider legs - Yet another criteria that we cannot forgo.
Skirting(bonus to have) - Looks just like the bottom outline of a skirt, the white masking will outline the shape of each carapace plate, which make the pattern pop even more.
You must be wondering how the BOA shrimp got its name, it is actually taken from the BOA snake because of the reflective iridescent colour on the snake’s scales. Traits to look out for:
Facial spots - Large chunks of spots encompassing the whole face of the shrimp, with higher coverage(minimally 70%) results in higher grading of a BOA shrimp.
Cape or thick fishbone back pattern - Specially named for BOA. When selecting a high grade BOA shrimp, breeders will also look out for the colour of the back pattern. Currently there are white base, blue base and golden base.
Spider legs - A must have
Body spots(bonus) - Body spots on a BOA is a plus point to have and it often reflects in terms of higher prices.
The galaxy family is rather intertwined with each other, such that some offspring(especially juveniles shrimps) from BOA or Stardust shrimps will look rather similar to one another. It all boils down to the different breeding and culling method used for each mutation. This also tells us that, especially when you are paying a premium price, try getting it from more reputable sources or demand for more information about the shrimp.
Shrimps with such high variations are also recommended to be purchased when they are mature at around 1.6cm onwards. A beautiful juvenile might not turn into one when it grows older. Vice versa, an ugly juvenile might turn beautiful as it turns older.
The blue based trait also usually appear only when the shrimp reaches adulthood.
Recently there has been some misunderstanding amongst the galaxy family shrimps where the shrimp will hit certain criteria while containing traits of another. While some breeders decided to give fancy names to it, we beg to differ. Strictly speaking, if you were to follow a shrimp competition standard, Stardust and Galaxy fishbone shrimps will fall under the Galaxy fishbone category, and BOA shrimps will be in its own BOA category.
Thank you for reading up till this far, hope you’ve learn a thing or two on how to differentiate the different traits amongst the galaxy family. Feel free to ask me any questions about this article through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.