Cleaner shrimp and fish relationship

Symbiosis between Moray Eels and Cleaner Shrimp by Jake Blankenship on Prezi

cleaner shrimp and fish relationship

Cleaner Shrimps and Moray Eels have a mutualistic relationship. Cleaner shrimp also clean other species of fish like groupers and pufferfish. Cleaning symbiosis occurs when, after brief communication between By approaching and touching the client, cleaner fish make it clear that. One picture I found shows two red cleaner shrimp (another species) walking This relationship between cleaner shrimp and fish is a good.

cleaner shrimp and fish relationship

Hawaii's scarlet cleaner shrimp grow to about 2. Researchers believe the brandishing of these distinct feelers is a location signal. When a fish spots these white whips waving from a hole, it swims over for a cleaning. A common picture in books and on calendars shows one of these colorful shrimp working busily inside the wide-open mouth of a large moray eel.

This cleaning looks like a dangerous occupation, but it isn't. Fish allow cleaner shrimp to crawl over their bodies and inside their mouths and gills because of parasites. Small crustaceans called isopods and copepods, and certain worms, attach themselves to fish wherever they can. These parasites live off their hosts and can cause considerable damage, including infections. This relationship between cleaner shrimp and fish is a good example of symbiosis, also called mutualism, in which different species benefit from their interaction with one another.

In this case the fish get rid of parasites and dead tissue, and the shrimp get meals. Other shrimps on Hawaii's reefs also offer cleaning services. The red-and-white banded coral shrimp also called barber pole shrimp provides the same assistance as its scarlet cousin, only at night. An equally beautiful but less common cleaner is the flameback coral shrimp. All these shrimp bear red markings, which may also act as a signal to fish.

Craig didn't invent the practice of letting a cleaner shrimp roam in his mouth. Our dive master, I later learned, showed him the location of the shrimp and the way to attract it.

I am reminded by my speedy spouse that by being poky, I nearly missed the whole thing. But he missed playing with the garden eels. Puffins, selkies and the Loch Ness monster. I noticed that the shrimp tended to build their burrows along the bottom glass of the tanks.

Steady beating of the abdominal appendages pleopods kept the bottom glass free of sediment. So I set up a gallon tank on a high rack, enabling me to sit below and to observe them through the bottom glass of the tank.

The frame of the rack just held the tank around its circumference.

Symbiosis: Shrimp and Goby

To reduce any potential negative impact from light below, I covered my observation chamber with a black curtain. I took videos or pictures with just a little light that I could switch on. Both species were caught and imported in larger numbers together from Sri Lanka. Amalgamating the couples of fish and shrimp was not an easy task. If same sexes are in a small tank, it often ends in severe trouble—the shrimp are able to kill each other in an aquarium.

Therefore I kept them as far apart as possible in separate tanks until I could identify the sexes of the shrimp female shrimp have a more broad abdomen and more broad pleopods. I also kept the young gobies separated. By changing the partners in one tank, I could easily find out if two specimens would go together, which is the indication for different sexes.

In the next step, I brought both couples together in the observation tank. I kept the interior of the tank simple: The shrimp started building the burrow immediately after I introduced them in a little cup and directed them into a gap I made under a piece of live rock.

Then the fish were added. It did not take longer than an hour, and the double couple was together.

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp

During the next days, the burrow grew. The shrimp transported all excavated material and pushed it outside the burrow. They used their claws to push the sand like a little bulldozer. This astonishing skill can only be performed if the goby is out to guard their safety. When the tunnel system grew, the partner behaved differently under subterranean conditions.

Cleaner shrimp

The narrow space in the burrow causes them to squeeze their partners against the burrow wall. The fish tend to wiggle through the burrows with force and no hesitation toward their crustacean partners. Due to the action, parts of the burrow system would often collapse. A fish buried under sand stays there without panic the shrimp can smell it and waits until the shrimp digs it out and begins to repair the burrow.

The main way into the burrow can be up to 2 feet long during the first days of excavation. Soon after, side ways are constructed, which can be as short as 2 inches. They can be driven forward and later form an exit to the surface, or they are extended to form a subterranean chamber.

cleaner shrimp and fish relationship

Repeatedly, I could observe the shrimp molting in these chambers. This happens during the night every two to four weeks. The next morning, I would find exuviae close to them, and the female was carrying eggs on her abdominal legs if the shrimp are in good condition, molting and egglaying coincide. The shrimp cut the exuviae into pieces and transported them out of the burrow as soon as their new test hardened.

Hatching of the zoea larvae seems to happen overnight, which makes sense to avoid predators as long as possible. The currents caused by the beating of the pleopods must pump the eggs out of the burrows, where they become a part of the plankton. The shrimp are omnivorous and collect large pieces of frozen fish positioned close to the entrance of the burrow.

cleaner shrimp and fish relationship

They collect the food and transport it immediately into the burrow, where they feed on it. However, outside they can also be observed eating algae growing on rocks. The shrimp directly gnaw with their mouth pieces on rock where algae is growing. Even more fascinating was that I found parts of the algae Caulerpa racemosa inside the burrow system, though it grew more in another edge of the tank.

It took some time until I could observe that the shrimp cut these algae with their claws if they get access to it.

However, that can only happen when fish and shrimp are on a coexcursion outside the burrow. In one instance, after cutting, the shrimp lost the algae due to the currents in the tank.

But the unexpected happened: The goby immediately took action and grabbed the Caulerpa with its mouth. That moment, the shrimp lost antenna contact with the fish and quickly rushed backward to the entrance. The goby transported the lost food to the entrance and spit it out into the entrance of the burrow where the shrimp was waiting. The fish was actively feeding the shrimp! I tested this observation and pulled algae off the rocks. When the fish was in the entrance of the burrow, I threw a 1.

The goby directly approached it while it was still floating in the water column, collected it and brought it to the burrow. That collecting behavior could be induced up to five times repeatedly.

The shrimp handled the algae inside the burrow in the meantime. I could never observe that the shrimp were keeping algae in certain parts of the burrow. There was not a special storage chamber for algae pieces. Instead the algae pieces were pushed around, and the shrimp fed on them here and there.

After some days, the algae disappeared completely. Breeding in the Burrow While the reproduction of the shrimp is not spectacular, that of the gobies bears some peculiar aspects.

Close to mating, the male and female gobies start a wild circular dance in an extended side corridor of the burrow. They stimulate each other head to tail, which causes sand and gravel to fall from the ceiling. The gobies can successfully mate only when the shrimp are healthy and have hard tests. The female does not go back to the breeding chamber—the male fish is the only one to care for the eggs. Usually, he moves the approximately 2, eggs which can easily be done, as the eggs are attached to each other and form a bundle by moving his pectoral fins backward and forward.

He swims around the eggs once in a while, which supplies oxygen to the eggs. Oxygen is low in chambers deep in the sand; only intensive care will keep them oxygenated. The male goby protects the eggs against a potential predator in the burrow: