Symbiotic Sea Life
Symbiotic relationships between marine creatures are fascinating to observe, and for some grouper at cleaning station Here are three examples of symbiotic sea life that you might see on your next dive: In return, the porcelain crab and anemone fish then keep anemones clean, and the anemone fish. Symbiosis is defined as interactions between two or more species of animal. Cleaner Shrimps and Moray Eels have a mutualistic relationship. Cleaner shrimp also clean other species of fish like groupers and pufferfish. Cleaner fish are fish that provide a service to other species by removing dead skin and The cleaning symbiosis is an example of mutualism, an ecological interaction that benefits both parties involved. However, the cleaner fish may sometimes cheat.
For this removal, many fish turn to the cleaner wrasse to get the job done. Reef Brief is a weekly column published in the San Pedro Sun The cleaner wrasse, one of species of wrasse, is found along coral reefs worldwide and usually choose a home along the reef that is popular among fish to set up its cleaning station.
At this location, various fish literally line up and wait to be "cleaned" by the wrasse. This is one of the few cases in which varying species of fish actually inhabit the same space without becoming territorial or aggressive with each other. It's clear that these fish have one thing on their mind when they line up at the cleaning station: Easily distinguished by a bright blue and yellow band, the cleaner wrasse makes an effort to advertise its services by performing a dance.
Likewise, when a fish wants to be "cleaned" it sends specific signals to the wrasse, such as keeping its body stationary, while spreading its fins and gills and opening its mouth.
If the wrasse picks up on the signal it will begin the cleaning process on its customer, which is usually a larger fish. Cleaning consists of the wrasse swimming over the entire body of its customer, eating parasites from the fins and gills. The wrasse will even go inside the mouth and clean between the teeth of its customer. Interestingly enough, the wrasse is rarely injured or eaten by the other fish; the wrasse vibrates its fins while cleaning to remind its customer of its presence.
Moreover, the cleaned animal will frequently defend the cleaning station and its cleaners from attack by would-be predators. 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.
Symbiotic Sea Life
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.
Symbiosis between Moray Eels and Cleaner Shrimp by Jake Blankenship on Prezi
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. 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.15 INCREDIBLE Mutual Animal Relationships
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. 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.
The male goby protects the eggs against a potential predator in the burrow: In fact, the shrimp couple never gets access to the fish eggs. The male goby is busy guarding the eggs during this period and rarely leaves the burrow.
- The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp
If he does leave, he closes the breeding chamber with sand. He pushes sand into the entrance of it with his head or tail. When he comes back, he just wiggles through the pile of sand to come back to the eggs.
After seven to 10 days depending on temperature or perhaps oxygen supply the larvae are ready to hatch. Hatching always happened at night with my fish, and by morning the larvae had all left the burrow, probably guided by the light.