Akath Fan Shrimp Species in Hesli | World Anvil

Akath Fan Shrimp

The Akath Fan Shrimp is a peculiar shrimp found in the raging fresh water rivers of Hesli. They are primarily located in the Akath delta, but can be found in <various other rivers>. What they need most is a strong current and a rocky riverbed to stand proud with their little fans to catch food. While some think these shrimp are edible, it is highly advised not to eat them as they have dangerous toxins that could kill any humanoid within a day.  
Dadda! Dadda! Look! It has mini fans! What is it?
That's an Akath Fan Shrimp, sweety.
Ooooooh, can we take some home for dinner? They look delicious!
No, honey, we cannot. These shrimp are poisonous.
Awww, why?
Because they don't want to get eaten by us.
— A conversation between a child and her father

Basic Information


The Akath Fan shrimp looks much like a normal shrimp, but is much larger. An adult Akath Fan shrimp can grow up to 15cm (6 inch) in length. They have six strong legs with tiny hooks which allows them to cling onto the rocks as they stand full in the current of the water. Their tail is as thick as a human finger. If they need to escape from predators, they can use their tail to propel themselves away from a potentially nasty situation.   However, their most noticable feature are their fans. The shrimp has four of them. These fans look like miniature brushes with fine hairs. Food gets caught in the hairs and which they then put it in their mouth to munch on the plankton.  
Proudly in the current by Sh4d0wPh03n1x
  To protect themselves, these shrimp store toxic waste from their food into their exoskeleton. Any predator that tries to eat them gets a mouthful of the toxins in the system and won't be hunting for long. Humanoids have tried to eat the shrimp as well, and that didn't end well either. When cooking the shrimp, the toxins from the exoskeletons get soaked up in the meat. Some have tried to peel the shrimp before cooking them, but that resulted in direct contact with the toxins. Overall, these Akath Fan shrimps let others know clearly that they don't want to be eaten, regardless of who you are.

Growth Rate & Stages

The Akath Fan Shrimp grows fairly slow. Every stage of growth requires the shrimp to moult. This process is very energy consuming for the shrimp and makes them very vulnerable.   When the shrimp reaches the size of its exoskeleton, it will create a new one underneath its current shell. Once fully developed, the moulting process starts roughly within a week. When the time to moult comes, the shrimp finds a spot to hide to avoid predators. Then, it cracks its current exoskeleton and crawls out of it. Once out, the shrimp absorbs a lot of water swelling them up to their new size. At this point, the new exoskeleton is very soft which is perfect for fitting the swollen shrimp and terrible for protection. It rewuires a bit of time to harden, so it can protect the shrimp fully again. This entire process can take up between one and three days.   As the shrimp gets older, it takes longer for them to grow fully into their new shell. Therefore, they don't moult as often. In the first three years, they moult roughly every three months, and after that they moult somewhere between six to nine months.

Ecology and Habitats

In order to gather food, these shrimp need a rocky place with a lot of current. Therefore, high current rivers are preferred spots for these shrimp. The Akath Delta provides most of these spots for them. They can cling to the rocks while holding their fans out to catch plankton and other little pieces of food. These high currents are also what have made these shrimp bigger and studier in size, because they have to avoid getting swooped away.

Additional Information

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

While the Akath Fan shrimp have eyes, they are not the primary sensory organ. It allows them to see different colours, but they cannot see the difference between friend or foe with it.   Instead, they have two big antennae that are as long as their body. They can put in nearly all directions allowing them to sense everything around their body. These antennae are very sensitive and allow the shrimp to "see" in the rivers.  
Oh uh... Hello! o// by Sh4d0wPh03n1x
Table of Contents
The Akath Fan Shrimp fully blue by Sh4d0wPh03n1x
Scientific Name
Atya Gabonensis
10 years
Average Length
10 cm (4 inch)
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
The Akath Fan shrimp come in many different colours. They are mostly known for their bright blue exoskeletons, but also come in shades of black, white, red, brown, purple, or even multicoloured. Why some are very blue is still unknown and actively investigated by students and professors from Morach University.
Geographic Distribution
The Akath Fan Shrimp a few days after molting, its blue colour is coming back by Sh4d0wPh03n1x

Cover image: Hesli Banner by ShadowPhoenix


Author's Notes

The Akath Fan Shrimp from Hesli actually live on Earth! They are known as African Fan Shrimp or Vampire Shrimp. Most of the information in this article is accurate. The only thing not accurate is the toxicity of the shrimp, in real life they're completely harmless.
All images are from my tank at home! I have two of them, so if you want to know more about them follow the link or ask me in Discord.

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Aug 8, 2021 11:13

I like these little guys. Some questions, are they fresh or salt water? You seem to indicate both. What color are they? I'm dying to know for some reason. How does the toxin work? Is it also a poison they use for defense, or literally just a part of their body?

Aug 8, 2021 11:16

:o How did I forget to write down their colour?! They are blue! Well, they're known for being blue, but they have a range of colours really. Another thing to expand upon. :3 I have no idea yet how the toxin works, but I guess I'll figure that out today!   Thank you for the questions and reading!

Plans are brewing for this WorldEmber. See what I'm up to this WorldEmber in Computer Adventures!
Aug 8, 2021 15:34

Fun little critters! Though what I am wondering the most is how those pesky humanoids are using them to murder each other? :P

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!
Aug 9, 2021 12:36

Thank you! ^^

Though what I am wondering the most is how those pesky humanoids are using them to murder each other?
— You!
Now that is an interesting train of thought that I'll steal for my world, if you don't mind of course. :3

Plans are brewing for this WorldEmber. See what I'm up to this WorldEmber in Computer Adventures!
Jul 31, 2023 10:57 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Do not eat the babies! <3 I always love reading articles about shrimpies. :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Aug 2, 2023 17:59

Thank youu! ^^

Plans are brewing for this WorldEmber. See what I'm up to this WorldEmber in Computer Adventures!