Types of Red Cherry Shrimp

Most Freshwater Cherry Shrimp originated from Taiwan. Today we will help you understand the Grading of ‘Red Cherry Shrimps’ and how they are graded.

Most of the fish keepers and shrimp keepers around are not even aware of the type of ‘Red Cherry Shrimp’ that they have within their aquarium, all they know is that they have a cherry shrimp. However, there are studies done that can help any fish-keeper or shrimp-keeper to Identify their ‘Cherry Shrimp’ and how they can be graded from lowest to highest.

Some of the common types of ‘Red Cherry Shrimps’ include; ordinary red cherry, sakura red cherry, low-grade red fire, fire red cherry, bloody mary, kanoka sakura red cherry and red rili shrimp.

Ordinary Red Cherry Shrimp

This variety can be considered to be the lowest grade of cherry shrimp.

Ordinary Red Cherry Shrimp

It comes right before the ‘Red Sakura Shrimp’. These guys tend to have a ‘Very Ordinary Red Colour’ which is hardly visible. But they have a hint of red seen throughout the body, unlike any other wild shrimp which helps us identify them does ordinary red cherry shrimp. 

The eggs and the saddle are highly visible.

Sakura Red Cherry Shrimp

Sakura cherry shrimp have ‘Red colour’ throughout their body, but more intense.

Sakura Cherry Shrimp

But, it has an equal amount of transparent patchiness throughout the body. Most of the body is red except for the lower part. Their eggs tend to be more transparent in colour or spotted or stripped.

The eggs and the saddle are clearly visible under normal light.

Low-grade Red Fire Cherry Shrimp/High-grade Sakura Cherry Shrimp

These Cherry shrimps are absolutely red and their colour can be identified from a distance. the intensity of the red colour is comparatively deep. Nonetheless, you can still see translucent or orange tints on their body or shell.

Their legs are mostly red with very little spotting in colour, the males tend to be lighter in colour when compared to the females well the females have a higher colour grade. 

The eggs and saddle are visible but only under regular lighting.

Fire Red Cherry Shrimp

This grade of shrimp is entirely red.

Fire Red Shrimp

The red fire shrimp tends to have a very intense red colour variant but however, but the females tend to be better quality in colour than the male.

The intensity of the colour is extremely deep, carapace and abdominal tend to be red without any holes or spots of translucence in the body. The legs are red as well

The saddles and eggs are barely visible under regular lighting.

Painted Fire Red Cherry Shrimp

This variant is completely solid in terms of colour and does not have any sort of translucent or transparent patches within its body.

Painted Fire Red Shrimp

This variety of Red Cherry Shrimp is considered to be one of the most expensive Cherry Shrimp available due to its highest grading among the Cherry Shrimps, deep red colouration, and vibrant body, that makes the shrimp stand out completely when Against the background plants, substrate, and hardscape.

They are almost opaque and fully covered with red colourations. The abdominal and caprice sections of the shrimp will be deep red without any spots. The legs are also completely red and opaque. 

The saddle on the eggs can be seen only through the shell in the presence of special aquarium lighting.

Bloody Mary Shrimp

They come under the red neo-caridina but have a distinct look. Unlike any other cherry red shrimp that have their colouration on the shells, bloody Mary shrimp tend to have a semi-transparent shell but at the same time have a deep red colour tissue within. Bloody Mary is considered to be one of the most recent varieties of cherry red shrimp let us come from Taiwan.

Their colour is extremely deep, and intense with Crimson red spots. Their carapace and abdominal section have an intense colour without any kind of spots of translucence. 

The eggs and the saddles can be seen visible through special aquarium lighting.

Kanoko Sakura Red Cherry Shrimp 

The word ‘Kanoko’ resembles a baby deer. These shrimps tend to have a highly red colouration that is opaque, but at the same time, they have black spots on the back of the shell just like that of a baby deer. Their eggs are black-coloured as well. 

Their legs are red and opaque, while their abdominal section is covered with black spots on top of the red. 

Their eggs and saddle are visible only under special aquarium lighting

Red Rili Shrimp

These Shrimps are unique compared to the other red cherry shrimp because their entire body colour is transparent to white with red patches.  The females are of better colour quality than the males.

The more transparency in the red patches results in a better quality of Red Rili Shrimp.

Their eggs and saddles are mostly transparent and can be seen under normal lighting.


The higher the grading of the red cherry shrimp, the better is their colour. There could be various grades of Red Cherry Shrimp and colouration that might fluctuate from dark deep red to a paler colouration. Their Price in the market depends upon the colour grading as well.

Nonetheless,  the female shrimp always happen to be more colourful compared to the male red cherry shrimp.  I suggest checking out my article on A Simple Guide To Cherry Shrimp Care to be ready to set sail on your shrimp-keeping journey!

Is it okay to Keep different grades of red cherry shrimp together?

Yes, you can keep different grades of cherry shrimp together but you need to keep in mind that they will breed and the chance of the offspring being of a lower grade is substantially higher. If kept together over several generations chances are that the more dominant gene i.e. that of the lower grade will take over until almost all the shrimp are of the lower grade. You might from time to time get fire reds and even Rili red. 

All the shrimp above the ordinary cherry red shrimp and rare in the wild and are actually man-made. This is done by selective breeding.

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