Posted by: glennandert | 8-September-2008

Peppermint Shrimp

No, this is not a recipe. 🙂

Peppermint Shrimp are nocturnal, protecting themselves from predators by staying out of sight most of the time. However, at night when most of the predators are napping, this shrimp forages looking for a meal. I’ve read that they do this by sifting the sand for small bits of food.

The easiest way to find these guys during a night dive is to turn off all the lights except for a small one. The remaining light will reflect off the eyes of the shrimp. Of course, when it comes time to take a photo, you have to turn on the big lights again, and poof Mr Shrimp is gone. The only technique that has worked for me is to turn on the big lights, go in trigger happy, and hope that one of the shots in those first 3 seconds comes out OK. This one did.

They are a popular inhabitant of aquariums. They will apparently clean up investations of aiptasia anemones, and make a good tank janitor. Unlike some other species of shrimp, they don’t eat coral. They apparently breeding readily in tanks, so it dosen’t hurt to find out they are so popular.

These are not big shrimp. They tend to be about the size of your baby finger. So this shot is slightly larger than life size.

I don’t know what the two bristle like appendages are on the top of its body. I’ve seen a number of photos of Peppermint Shrimp during my research, and have not seen any other photos with these appendages. Might I have the wrong species? My nephew tells me this is a Peppermint Shrimp, and he hasn’t failed me yet! This is one of the few creatures that I’ve not been able to find in Wikipedia.

This shot was taken on the wall outside of the reef around the lagoon at Mana Island, Fiji, a place I’ve written about in earlier posts.


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