Nestled snugly against the purple-spotted skin of a large anemone lies a 1 inch (2.5 cm) commensal shrimp, commonly known as a Pacific Clown Anemone Shrimp. Its transparent body is accented by black and white markings, with the caudal fin divided into five segments. Each fin segment has an orange patch outlined with dark coloration. This shrimp easily attracts a diver's attention due to its strikingly attractive appearance. It is usually found alone or in pairs lurking near the base of the host anemone or on the column, often covered by the extended tentacles.
This particular shrimp was sharing an anemone with some anemone fish, porcelain crabs and another, slightly smaller species of anemone shrimp, Periclimenes holthuisi (multiple references on this site; see the search page).
Shrimp of this species are obligate associates of sea anemones. To find out more about their relationship with anemones, read the abstract of "Costs and benefits of the symbiosis between the anemoneshrimp Periclimenes brevicarpalis and its host Entacmaea quadricolor" on the Marine Ecology Progress Series site.
Identification: Periclimenes brevicarpalis
another image of P. brevicarpalis
to Gallery II