Monday, May 19, 2014

Creature Feature #212: Emperor Shrimp

Emperor Shrimp are a tiny - less than 2cm long - crustacean widely distributed across the Indo-Pacific. He forms a commensal relationship with a host, such as a nudibranch or sea cucumber. Scurrying along this larger creature, he feeds on its waste products whilst also keeping it clean of parasites. He is an omnivore and a detrivore. If danger threatens, he will scurry beneath his larger host, or bury himself in the substrate. Emperor Shrimps have found their way into marine aquariums, but very little seems to be known about them and they are very reliant on the presence of a potential host species.

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