The body is transluscent, the rear part of the back has 2 broad bands of greenish brown. One nipper is larger than the other and both are greenish brown, especially on the tips, underside is colourless.
It lives in estuaries and mangrove swamps, to 24 m depth. It has elaborate self-made burrows up to 30 cm deep.
Feeds on organic detritus.
In Japan (where it has been introduced from NZ) this shrimp shares its burrows with a small gobie (fish), in NZ it does not.
Miya, Y. 1995. Four Species of Alpheus from Intertidal and Shallow Water Mudflats in the Sea of Araike, Kyushu, Japan (Crustacea, Decapoda, Alpheidae). Bull. Fac. Liberal Arts, Nagasaki Univ. 35 (Spec Iss) p 271-288.