E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Hippolyte clarki Chace, 1951
Kelp Humpback Shrimp
Family: Hippolytidae

Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15345)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Hippolyte clarki in British Columbia
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Species Information

This species is a member of the 'broken-back shrimp' because the tail is sharply flexed and is bent upwards (McClory and Gotthardt 2005). These authors provide the following description for this species: "A small, slender-bodied marine shrimp. Color usually bright green, but may also be brown or reddish. Shell is thin and smooth-surfaced, walking legs (pereopods) are typically transparent. Third segment of the abdomen protrudes dorsally at its posterior margin into a distinct hump. The well-developed rostrum (head carapace) slopes upward to a three-pointed tip and carries 2-5 spines along its upper edge and 1-5 spines below (O’Clair and O’Clair 1998)."



General: This species is associated with eelgrass (Zostera marina) and kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana and Macrocystis pyrifera) beds (McClory and Gotthardt 2005).

Diet: The diet of this species is unknown, although it may graze on algae, similar to other species in the genus (McClory and Gotthardt 2005).

Predators: Known predators include juvenile rockfish (Sebastes spp.)


McClory and Gotthardt (2005) provide the following habitat information for this species: “Shallow subtidal and lower intertidal zones, where eelgrass occurs along protected shores, in lagoons and bays on soft substrate, and where kelp beds occur along protected shores as well as exposed rocky points on rocky substrate. Clings to kelp and eelgrass leaf blades; a study of giant kelp in California found H. clarki more abundant within the canopy of kelp fronds than in bottom holdfasts, understory algae or other adjacent habitats (Coyer 1984).” Ricketts et al. (1992) indicate that this species is found in quiet waters where it may be found under rocks and in crevices during the day, and swimming in large numbers at night in among the eelgrass.



Global Distribution: Prince William Sound, southcentral Alaska, along Pacific coast south to Baja California, Mexico (O’Clair and O’Clair 1998).

BC Distribution: Unavailable.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-06-12 7:22:55 AM]
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