Tuesday 5 March 2013

Whip Coral Shrimp

Image: PacificKlaus
You should know by now: you can't be the coral in a coral reef without getting completely covered in... things.

Image: Roland & Sonja
Whip Coral Shrimp are a whole bunch of tiny shrimp that hang out on Whip Corals.

Image: sheraca
They come in about as many colours as the corals they hide in, so the camouflage is pretty expert. And being only around 1 cm (0.4 in) long, they're VERY hard to find.

Image: prilfish
Dasycaris zanzibarica
If you look closely, you can see that some, like Dasycaris zanzibarica, have one claw significantly bigger than the other. Like, 2 whole millimetres longer or something.

They have a wide diet, including the same tiny plankton the coral eats, algae and the coral's own, itchy parasites.

Image: tom demeyer
It's a match made in heaven...

Image: prilfish
Pontonides unciger
A really weird heaven.


Crunchy said...

Is a heaven without parasites really a heaven at all?

Yes. Absolutely.

Joseph JG said...

Well, that depends on whether you're a parasite or not.

Tut tut Crunchy, for your lack of empathy!

TexWisGirl said...

very cool.

MarkD60 said...

I'll have to keep an eye out for them next time I dive, whip corals everywhere here!

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: No doubt!

@MarkD60: Good stuff! And good luck in finding the little beggars!