Emperor shrimp and sea cucumber relationship advice

Invertebrate Fun: Emperor Shrimp | The Blenny Watcher Blog

emperor shrimp and sea cucumber relationship advice

The type of relationship Imperial Shrimps have with Sea Cucucumber is a commensalism symbiotic relationship. This means that one organism. Imperial shrimp and large sea cucumbers. The imperial shrimp hitches a ride on the cucumber until it gets to a good souce of food and then leaves the cucumber . Emperor shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) on the skin of a sea cucumber. The emperor This type of relationship is called commensalism, a type of symbiosis.

This is especially true when dealing with symbiosis theory.

Imperial Shrimps and Sea Cucumber by ariel wainer on Prezi

It is reserved for animals or plants of different species, but the exact definition is under some discussion. I will use it in its general sense, including obligate the different species need each other and facultative at least one species affects the other species, but the interaction is not essential for either.

Used in this sense, symbiosis includes commensalism, mutualism and parasitism. Emperor shrimp feed on the bypassing substrate and do not harm their sea cucumber host, gaining protection by living on the unpalatable sea cucumber.

Emperor Shrimp - Reef Central Online Community

Commensalism describes the relationship between two organisms where one organism benefits without affecting the other. Many such examples are found in marine environments. One likely example is the small porcelain crabs residing on soft corals.

The porcelain crabs get a perch to sit on and protection among the arms of the soft coral, while the soft coral is unaffected. Porcelain crab on Dendronephtya soft coral Another example would be the gobies that live on many other animals in the sea, often changing colour to closely resembling their host. It is more common to see a single emperor shrimp on a host, but if you keep an eye on the host you may spot a second shrimp hitching a ride. When there are two shrimps on a single host, they will often fight over who gets the best foraging turf — which is usually either around the mouth, or the anus.

Should any potential predators appear, the shrimp will simply disappear underneath its host, or in other hard to reach places, such as between the branchial plumes of a dorid nudibranch.

emperor shrimp and sea cucumber relationship advice

It not only gets protection from its giant host. The emperor shrimp will also benefit as it does not need to hunt for food — instead, as the host moves and eats, it churns up sand, and the food is practically handed to the shrimp! Although the emperor shrimp is considered a commensal shrimp, there is evidence to suggest that they will eat parasites and fungus from their hosts, which actually means that they form a mutualistic relationship where all parties involved benefit from the relationship with their host, rather than a commensal relationship.

What does an Emperor Shrimp Eat?

Invertebrate Fun: Emperor Shrimp

Emperor shrimps are both carnivores and det ritovoreswhich means they survive on a diet of other animals as well as feeding on decaying organic material. When their host moves over the sea bed, they will churn up the sand, revealing a plethora of microscopic organisms both dead and alive for the emperor shrimp to feed on. Interestingly, they have also been observed feasting on the eggs that are released when their host sea cucumber is spawning.

emperor shrimp and sea cucumber relationship advice

If you take this into account, there could be a valid argument to say that that the relationship is also slightly parasitic. Emperor shrimps are a great example of the grey area between the different symbiotic relationships.

Where can I Dive with Emperor Shrimps? Because their hosts do not have a fixed location unlike anemone shrimp, for exampleemperor shrimps can move around the dive sites, and even leave them completely. While they can be spotted over sloping walls, such as Lekuan III, their hosts tend to live over sand and muddy flat bottoms, so you have a much better chance of spotting them while muck diving on the gentle slopes of the North Sulawesi mainland.

The majority of the time we spot them during night divesas most of their hosts are nocturnal, including almost all sea cucumber species, as well as the Spanish Dancer nudibranch. Photographing Emperor Shrimps Luckily for photographers, emperor shrimps are usually quite easy to photograph because their hosts are slow moving and not at all bothered by divers.

You may find the little shrimp tries to hide from you, but there are not so many hiding places on a sea cucumber, so if it does disappear, you just need to wait close to the host for a few minutes and it will come back out. It is important that you never try to touch either the host or the emperor shrimp, as doing so may severely harm either one — sea cucumbers have very fragile skin, and gently poking a 1cm shrimp could easily kill it. Even if you cause it no harm, it is likely to be scared and will go deeper into hiding, which will ruin the encounter for you and the rest of your group.

Due to their size, you will need to have either a DSLR with a good macro lens attached recommended either 60mm or mmor if you are shooting with a compact, you will need a macro wet lens or a dioptre attached. The resort itself is a quiet and idyllic oasis, the food was outstanding, but it's the fishes that will have me coming back. The dive crew were some of the friendliest folk I have met. Always smiling, and so happy.