Wet Life / 15 April, 2012
Emperor shrimp | An invertebrate with flamenco ancestry
On a warm nocturnal dive I came across this emperor shrimp. With its flattened antennal scales, that give a characteristic “duck- bill” appearance, as well as having purple legs and claws this shrimp is easily identified. Looking as if dressed in a sequined Andalusian flamenco dress, its reddish orange body is covered in uniformly distributed contrasting white spots. Its colouring frequently depends on the host with which it lives commensally in this case one of the largest known nudibranchs, the spectacular sea slug known as the Spanish dancer, Hexabranchus sanguineus, whose literal meaning is: "six gills blood coloured".
First Prize Winner. Underwater World category. MML 2012 - Memorial Maria Luisa.