Goby and blind shrimp relationship counseling

Mutualism:Goby fish and shrimp by DANIEl BARROSO on Prezi

goby and blind shrimp relationship counseling

shrimp goby - this is a shrimp-goby, he pairs up with blind shrimp called pistol shrimp and becomes it's eyes. A shrimp and green goby fish have a mutualistic relationship .. Online Aqurium Shopping: Secrets, Advice And Tips You Need. Details of the shrimp-goby mutualism differ a little bit depending on which pistol shrimp Alpheus djiboutensis (Alpheidae) in artificial burrows. The symbiosis between gobies and pistol shrimp is one of the many that can occur in our marine aquariums. In the goby and pistol shrimp symbiosis, both.

The shrimps belong to the pistol shrimps of the genus Alpheus, shrimps that often dig burrows. The gobies, in contrast, have excellent vision, and, furthermore, have their pelvic fins extended as a pedestal. In the relationship between the shrimp and the goby, the Alpheus shrimp digs a burrow, which is used as shelter by both the shrimp and the goby. In turn, the goby spends its day outside the opening of the tunnel, resting on its extended pelvis fins, and keeping carefully watch over the immediate area, alerting the shrimp when danger comes to close, resulting in the shrimps retreat into the burrow.

Goby with partner shrimp The goby-shrimp relationship is an example of what is called an obligate mutualism.

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These gobies are never found without their shrimp partners, and, conversely, the partner shrimp are never found without their goby partners. As far as I know, coral reef areas and their immediate surroundings offer by far the most examples of such interspecies symbiotic relationships essential for both species survival.

The real cool thing about the shrimp-goby symbiosis is that the shrimp and the goby go one step further in their coevolution than most other species pairs. The goby is capable of communicating levels of danger to the shrimp. Thus, the shrimp sometimes respond to signals from the goby by working closer to the burrow opening, sometimes by working in the actual burrow opening, and sometimes by totally retreating into the burrow itself. This quite detailed interspecific communication is very rare in nature, at least when invertebrates such as shrimp are parts of the interaction.

Goby with partner shrimp The actual method of the communication between the pair is performed by contact of one of the very long antennas of the shrimp to the posterior dorsal fin of the goby. 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. 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.

goby and blind shrimp relationship counseling

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.

goby and blind shrimp relationship counseling

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.

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp

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.

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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.

goby and blind shrimp relationship counseling

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. 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. In one instance, after cutting, the shrimp lost the algae due to the currents in the tank. But the unexpected happened: The goby immediately took action and grabbed the Caulerpa with its mouth.

That moment, the shrimp lost antenna contact with the fish and quickly rushed backward to the entrance. The goby transported the lost food to the entrance and spit it out into the entrance of the burrow where the shrimp was waiting. The fish was actively feeding the shrimp! I tested this observation and pulled algae off the rocks. When the fish was in the entrance of the burrow, I threw a 1.

goby and blind shrimp relationship counseling

The goby directly approached it while it was still floating in the water column, collected it and brought it to the burrow. That collecting behavior could be induced up to five times repeatedly. The shrimp handled the algae inside the burrow in the meantime.

I could never observe that the shrimp were keeping algae in certain parts of the burrow. There was not a special storage chamber for algae pieces.

Instead the algae pieces were pushed around, and the shrimp fed on them here and there. After some days, the algae disappeared completely. Breeding in the Burrow While the reproduction of the shrimp is not spectacular, that of the gobies bears some peculiar aspects.

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp

Close to mating, the male and female gobies start a wild circular dance in an extended side corridor of the burrow. They stimulate each other head to tail, which causes sand and gravel to fall from the ceiling.

The gobies can successfully mate only when the shrimp are healthy and have hard tests. The female does not go back to the breeding chamber—the male fish is the only one to care for the eggs. Usually, he moves the approximately 2, eggs which can easily be done, as the eggs are attached to each other and form a bundle by moving his pectoral fins backward and forward. He swims around the eggs once in a while, which supplies oxygen to the eggs.

Oxygen is low in chambers deep in the sand; only intensive care will keep them oxygenated.