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Shrimps and Cleaners – Reef Life of the Andaman – Part 21

Shrimps and Cleaners – Reef Life of the Andaman – Part 21

Description

In this video we look at how different types of shrimp feed, and how some shrimp and fish clean a host fish in a mutually-beneficial symbiotic relationship.

First we see a pair of harlequin shrimp, Hymenocera picta, feeding on a velvety sea star, Leiaster speciosus, at Koh Ha in Thailand’s southern islands. The small shrimps feed exclusively on starfish.

We then encounter a peacock mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus, attempting to smash an oyster with its claws which have evolved into powerful clubs.

Skunk cleaner shrimps, Lysmata amboinensis, form mutual symbiotic relationships with marine creatures such as giant morays. The shrimps clean the larger host so the so the shrimp keeps itself fed while the host keeps itself clean and healthy. We even see a skunk cleaner shrimp cleaning a scuba diver’s teeth!

Cleaner wrasse perform a similar role. We see bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, cleaning the mouths of variable-lined fusiliers, Caesio varilineata, at Koh Bon and Koh Tachai, and cleaning inside the gill of a starry puffer, Arothron stellatus, at Staghorn Reef on Racha Yai island. We also see bicolor cleaner wrasse, Labroides bicolor, cleaning a teira batfish, a yellowspotted trevally and a giant moray eel.

Finally we examine how the cleaner’s attentions are not always welcome. A honeycomb moray, Gymnothorax favagenius, is irritated by a rock cleaner shrimp, and a blackspotted puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, is annoyed by cleaner wrasse. One even bites a pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis. It could be that these fish are false cleanerfish, Aspidontus taeniatus, a sabre-toothed blenny which has evolved to mimic the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, but actually feeds off the flesh of its hosts.

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