‘Cleaner’ Pt. 2

‘Cleaner’ Pt. 2
Periclemenes pedersoni shrimp on Ricordea florida corallimorphs
Music, Video, and Aquarium
2010 Morphologic Studios

Here a 2 centimeter Periclemenes pedersoni shrimp is seen perched on its host colony of fluorescent orange Ricordea florida corallimorphs. Pederson’s shrimp are native to Floridian and Caribbean waters, and are found in symbiotic association with a variety of sea anemone and corallimorph species. Pederson’s shrimp live amongst the tentacles of these animals, immune from their sting. They act as ‘cleaners’ of much larger fish. The shrimp wave their antennae and swim in a characteristic swaying motion to signal that they are ‘open for business’. Fish seem to learn and remember the specific location of these ‘cleaning stations’, returning as needed for service. When not removing parasites from fish, these shrimp will forage for bits of food amongst its host’s tentacles and spend time preening itself, as can be observed in the video. Pederson’s shrimp form monogamous mated pairs that will live together on same host. These shrimp are quite territorial, fighting fiercely with its own kind if another Pederson’s shrimp tries to take up residence on its anemone or corallimorph. If an ‘unmated’ shrimp tries to take up residence too close to an established territory, the invader will usually be dissuaded through threat displays and physical harassment.

Pederson’s shrimp are closely related to the spotted cleaner shrimp (Periclimenes yucatanicus) featured last month.

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