Category Archives: Crabs & Shrimps – Arthropoda

Don’t take me home…

Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are often seen as a “throwaway pet” that live only for a few months even with good care, but some species such as Coenobita clypeatus, can live up to 30-40 (updated) years in their natural habitat.

The Caribbean hermit crab, Coenobita clypeatus, also known as the soldier crab, the West Atlantic crab, the tree crab, and the purple pincher (due to the distinctive purple claw), is a species of land hermit crab native to the Caribbean basin. Adults burrow and hide under the roots of large trees, and can be found a considerable distance inland. As with other terrestrial crabs, they utilize modified gills to breathe air. Their shell helps maintain the humidity necessary for gas exchange to function.

Etymology
Ceonobita – Greek then Latin = “member of a communal religious order,” “a cloister brother,” “a convent,” from Greek koinobion “life in community, monastery,” from koinos “common” + bios “life”. Living away from others – as a Hermit
clypeatus – Latin clypeus = ‘armed with a shield’

Think of this little song every time you hold a hermit crab and your wishes will come true.

I'm just a poor crab, nobody loves me!
He's just a poor crab from a poor cast!
Spare him his life from this monstrosity!
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah!
We will not let you go.
Let him go!
Bismillah!
We will not let you go.
Let me go!
Will not let you go.
Let me go!
Never, never let you go
Never let me go, oh.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Oh, mama mia, mama mia
Mama mia, let me go.
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me.

Adapted from Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

This Orangutan also lives in a Bubble

Orangutan Crab in Bubble Coral, Achaeus japonicus in Plerogyra sinuosa
Orangutan Crab in Bubble Coral, Achaeus japonicus in Plerogyra sinuosa

Orangutan Crab Achaeus japonicus
“orangutan” comes from the Malay words “orang” (man) and “(h)utan” (forest).  Hence, “man of the forest,” and these crabs really seem to look like their Terra-based namesakes. Not only do they resemble Orang-utans with their hair, but they also seem to sway their front legs from side to side in a very good imitation of an this great ape!!
It is frequently, but not always, found in association with the bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa

Etymology:
japonicus – Latin, literally ‘Japanese’
The Achaeus Greek  – Ἀχαιοί, were one of the four major tribes into which the people of Classical Greece divided themselves (along with the Aeolians, Ionians and Dorians)

Where is Adam?

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp on Crinoid
Ambon Crinoid Shrimp on Crinoid

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp – “Laomenes Amboinensis sp group”
Trying to identify which species of shrimp this is has proved to be more difficult then I desired. It has become a field of rabbit holes. Each time thinking that I found it it turn out No. I only have one photo of this fellow. To date, nine valid species are known in this genus and they show a wide diversity of morphological features such as shape of cornea and eyestalk, chelipeds and dactyli of ambulatory pereiopods, coloration and host specificity. Although many underwater photographs of these colorful shrimps are available in guide books, magazines and internet, there are rather few taxonomic reports on the species of this genus and most species only have limited confirmed geographical records. Moreover, it is highly likely that more species are present in Laomenes.

Etymology:
In Greek mythology Laomenes is a son of Heracles and Oreia, daughter of Thespius, king of Thespiae, and Megamede; during his hunt for the lion of Cithaeron to free Thespiae from this scourge, Herakles stayed with Thespius for 2 months, as a result all 50 daughters of Thespius and Megamede bore him a son each (except the oldest, who produced twin boys); Laomenes was one of these 51 boys.
 Ambon Island is part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia +ensis, Latin denoting origin

This is the true color of the shrimp and the crinoid host. I have decided to name him “Skinny Adam L”.

It is a lighter shade red than Maroon 5.

Jon B, jason B said “for crinoid out loud that is a bad joke”.

Shortpouch Pygmy Pipehorse and friends

Shortpouch pygmy pipehorse - Acentronura tentaculata
Shortpouch pygmy pipehorse – Acentronura tentaculata

Shortpouch pygmy pipehorseAcentronura tentaculata
Like a combination of seahorse and pipe fish: their tail is prehensile and used for anchorage, winding itself around pieces of algae or seagrass. However, the front part of the body is typical pipefish, with the head and body held in line rather than bent through and angle like seahorses. There is sexual dimorphism and the males are somewhat larger and more robustly built than the females. Because they are so small, the brood pouch is also large in proportion to the body, giving the males a somewhat more seahorse-like appearance than the females which have the typical slim linear form of pipefishes.

Skeleton Shrimp – Caprellidae family – amphipods. Females carry large number of transparent eggs inside the brood pouch (located on her abdomen) until they hatch.

Etymology:
Acentronura: Greek, a = ‘without’ + Greek, kentron = ‘sting’ + Greek, oura = ‘tail’

Pookey the pygmy pipehorse gathers his skeleton shrimp friends around to retell the great story of the day that Jon descended down from the waters above. Jon was dressed in a dark fake skin that was stretched very tight. Attached to each of his rear appendages were awkward rubber fins. His blue eyes were concealed behind a layer glass. A great hissing sound followed by a rumble of bubbles escaped from around Jon's mouth in a rhythmic pattern. Hssssss blublublublublublub Hsssssss blublublublublublub! He carried in front of him a great contraption that flashed a very bright light from the orbs at the end each of its antennas - one on each side of a single unblinking eye. Jon stayed only a few moments peering into this contraption and pointing that mysterious eye to and fro. FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub…..FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub. FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub. Then, Jon swam off at a great speed. It was indeed a marvelous day.

Life among the Bubbles

Bubble Coral Shrimp - Vir philippinensis
Bubble Coral Shrimp – Vir philippinensis
Bubble CoralPlerogyra sinuosa

Bubble Coral ShrimpVir philippinensis
Like all coral associated shrimps, the limit between, parasitism and mutual symbiosis, is pretty thin. Probably that the shrimp, in exchange of food and shelter, helps fight off some small parasites, such as flat worms, coral eating nudies, some sponges or algae that would compete with the corals. or even clean the coral off any detritus, sand…

Bubble CoralPlerogyra sinuosa
The vesicles resembling bubbles up to 1 in in diameter. These enlarge during the day but retract to a certain extent during the night to expose the polyps and their tentacles. It obtains most of its nutritional needs from the symbiotic dinoflagellates that live inside its soft tissues including the walls of the vesicles. These photosynthetic organisms provide the coral with organic carbon and nitrogen, sometimes providing up to 90% of their host’s energy needs for metabolism and growth. Its remaining needs are met by the planktonic organisms caught by the polyps at night.

Etymology
Vir – from Latin ‘man’
philippinensis –  Means “from the Philippines”
Plerogyra Plero from Latin ‘almost’ + gyra, alteration of Greek gŷros ‘circle’ or ’round’
sinuosa – Latin ‘winding’

Hardest hitters on Earth.

Not Muhammad Ali – The Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Peacock Mantis Shrimp - Odontodactylus Scyallarus
Peacock Mantis Shrimp – Odontodactylus Scyallarus

Peacock Mantis ShrimpOdontodactylus Scyallarus – a smasher, with club-shaped raptorial appendages. An active hunter, it prefers gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves, and will repeatedly smash its prey until it can gain access to the soft tissue for consumption. It is reported to have a “punch” of over 50 miles per hour, this is the fastest recorded punch of any living animal.

Here is an interesting read about their clubbing arms:

The stomatopod dactyl club: a formidable damage-tolerant biological hammer. The dactyl clubs exhibit an impressive set of characteristics adapted for surviving high-velocity impacts on the heavily mineralized prey on which they feed. Consisting of a multiphase composite of oriented crystalline hydroxyapatite and amorphous calcium phosphate and carbonate, in conjunction with a highly expanded helicoidal organization of the fibrillar chitinous organic matrix, these structures display several effective lines of defense against catastrophic failure during repetitive high-energy loading events.

Mantis Shrimp Eyes are also Highly unique in the animal kingdom.
Its specialized eyes can pick up several types of light, including infrared and ultraviolet, and its color vision tops ours. It can also see a type of polarized light that no other animal is known to be able to detect. The key to the extraordinary vision is in the structure of its eyes, which consist of six rows of numerous smaller eyes called ommatidia. It is the way the way light-sensing cells in some ommatidia are arranged. They sit at just the angle to convert circularly polarized light (CPL)–a type of light wave that travels in a spiral–to a form that other cells underneath can detect.

Etymology:

  • Odonto from Greek “having teeth” and Greek daktylos “finger, toe”
  • Scyllarus from Greek skyllaros, kyllaros “hermit crab” + -idae

Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner Shrimp

Renate Khalaf's Cleaner Shrimp - Urocaridella renatekhalafae
Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner Shrimp – Urocaridella renatekhalafae

Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner ShrimpUrocaridella renatekhalafae – a clear cleaner shrimp in the family Palaemonidae. It was identified as a species new to science in 2018, and was named in honor of the discoverer’s mother, Renate Khalaf.

Two important notes:
1. Shows that not everything you see has been identified yet
2. That you can name thing for your mom.

Etomology – Oura Greek meaning “tail” and Latin Carid meaning “crustacean”

Spotted Porcelain Crab

Spotted Porcelain Crab, Neopetrolisthes maculata

Spotted Porcelain Crab –  Neopetrolisthes maculata, lives as commensal in large sea anemones. Sitting among the stinging tentacles and filtering planktonic food from the currents.

Entomology Neopetrolisthes – neo Greek for “new”, petro – Latin & Greek for “rock”, olisthes – L & G for “slippery”
Entomology Maculata comes from the Latin root macula, meaning “spot, stain”

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp a master class in camouflage

Amboinensis Crinoid Shrimp - Periclimenes amboinensis
Amboinensis Crinoid Shrimp – Periclimenes amboinensis

Ambon Crinoid Shrimp or Feather Star ShrimpPericlimenes amboinensis – Hiding among the arms of the crinoid this little shrimp wondered if I could see him.

Small in size, between 1 – 1.5 cm, they can be highly variable in colors – Yellow, White,Black,Blue,Orange,Green,Brown and in combination of colors, all depending on the host Crinoid that it lives on, for camouflage.

Crinoids, also known as “feather stars” or comatulids are harmless, colorful creatures. They are among the most ancient and primitive of ocean invertebrates. Crinoids are Echinoderms (Phylum Echinodermata, meaning “spiny skin”). To feed, they extend their arms to catch bits of plankton or detritus (waste matter) passing in the current, making them “suspension feeders”.

Etymology of amboinensis Means “from Ambon” the island in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia.

Etymology of Crinoid – Greek word krinon, “a lily”, and eidos, “form”