Monday 24 August 2015

Bongo Shrimp

Image: Rickard Zerpe
Phyllognathia ceratophthalma
It's the Bongo Shrimp! So named because it's a shrimp that... bongo.


Image: Rickard Zerpe
I don't know why it's called a Bongo Shrimp.

Sure is pretty, though!


They're also known as Spiny Tiger Shrimp, and that makes a lot more sense!

Check out all those crazy spikes and spines! Even their eyes are on long, spiny stalks. And what about the colours? Bongo Shrimp are a ghostly, translucent white with lots tiny white spots, orange splodges and blue dots. What a delight!

You know what they kinda look like? They kinda look like Harlequin Shrimp! That's not a surprise since they are in fact related. Both of them belong to the Hymenoceridae family and they even seem to be the only species in there. That's a lot of space for them to stretch their legs and claws.

Bongo Shrimp are found in the western Pacific region. They're smaller than Harlequins, reaching only 2.5 cm (1 in) long, and they have slightly less ghoulish feeding habits.

Video: liquidguru

While Harlequins drag starfish to their lair to butcher and eat them alive over the course of what could be several days, Bongos are more humble in their quarry. They feed on brittle stars, small ones that they can consume top to toe right there and then. It's not great for the brittle star, but at least it's over reasonably quickly.

You may well live an entire life without anyone ever asking whether you'd prefer to be eaten alive by a Bongo or a Harlequin, but at least now you can provide an informed answer should the need arise.


Crunchy said...

Every time I come here, I get the answer to one of life's great questions. Bongo Shrimp, please!

Joseph JG said...

And now you can say that with your eyes wide open. Glad I could help!