This shrimp measuring only 3 to 5 centimetres is named after the noise made by its prominent claw. It uses this claw which measure half the shrimp size to feed and protect itself. To hunt its prey the pistol shrimp snaps the claw shut to create a cavitation bubble, that generates acoustic pressures which travel as fast as 60 miles per hour. If its claw gets removed, its other claw, the smaller one, grows up and to replace the first one, then another small claw appear on the broken stump. This is a formidable weapon which is powerful enough to kill or stun fishes and even break shells.
Like many shellfish, shrimp pistol has very poor eyesight, to compensate it shares its hole with a goby, touching the goby branches to ensure its presence. If they feel they are in danger, the pair immediately take refuge in the hole.
The pistol shrimp mostly feed on other shrimps, little fishes or crabs.