The blind shrimp and the macaroni goby | NAD-Lembeh Resort
While the shrimp burrows into the sand and builds a home for them both, the goby fish repays the (almost blind) shrimp by warning him when a. Some symbiotic relationships are mutually beneficial while others are blatantly one-sided. A small goby fish and a snapping shrimp are an unusual but special pairing. The shrimp is blind but has capabilities such as digging using its powerful claws. They use teamwork to accomplish one of their major goals, safety. My favorite example is the pistol shrimp and the goby fish. The goby fish has a life-saving skill in its relationship talent. in nature has some way to ensure its survival, but they all have their own ways of reaching that goal.
When the shrimp wants to get out of the burrow the shrimp first extends one of the antennae out of the opening, contacting the fin of the goby. If the coast is clear, the goby wiggles its fin in a certain way, telling the shrimp that it can come out. As long as the shrimp is outside the burrow, its antenna will be touching the gobies fin.
Goby with partner shrimp How about nighttime, then? During the dark hours, he goby cannot see much. The burrow then turns into more of a trap than a refuge, as many of the small eels hunting on the sand can also penetrate the burrow, thus capturing both the goby and the shrimp. Luckily the shrimp and the goby have a solution for that.
Outside the burrow entry there are always small pebbles scattered. When dusk falls, after the goby has retreated down into the burrow, the shrimp uses these pebbles to close the burrow, Thus, with the burrow entry securely closed, the couple can spend the rest of the night in safety.
As a byproduct, when the clownfish expels fecal matter the sea anemone takes them in as nutrients. You Are the Host The opposite happens when one partner benefits but the other is not affected. This relationship represents one host and a parasite.
For instance, if a small animal lives atop another such as African oxpeckers that live on hippos backs, the small animal gains protection and the large partner is referred to as a host. Now they are known to be more like vampires—birds that suck blood out of open tick wounds. In all fairness, the tick is eaten and perhaps the extra picking the bird does makes the wound heal faster but the oxpecker is more a parasite than a helpmate. An odd factoid is that oxpeckers issue a hissing scream if they are startled, like a danger alarm—do you think that makes an extra aid for the host?
The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp
They are in a family comprising starfish, sea urchins, feather stars and sea cucumbers. Feather stars look like tall plants and move by walking on their long arms, all the while trapping tiny plants and animals that float in the water.
Sometimes, the riders have a similar color to blend in with their host. Another more common example of this host and rider is the tick. While it attaches itself to a dog and feasts on its blood, the dog can become sick and the dog gains no benefit from this attachment. Obviously, it is only good for one partner. A definite parasite with no benefit to the other—no mutualism here.
Organic fertilizers and industrial symbiosis
Do No Harm Another play on the symbiotic relationship is with what scientists call commensal. Existing observation did not have an answer for this question. But how could I look inside the burrow? 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.Yasha Goby and Candy Stripe Pistol Shrimp's Symbiotic Relationship!
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. 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.