The colourful Harlequin Shrimp is a rare and fantastic species that can be found on any dive in Lembeh! These great shots were captured by our guests Keiko, and Victor and Lynn.
There are two variety under the genus Hymenocera. The Hymenocera picta, which can be found in the central and East Pacific regions and the Hymenocera elegans, which is found in the Indian Ocean and West Pacific. The colouration of thees two are slightly different. The Harlequin Shrimp, Hymenocera elegans, here in Lembeh are predominately white with brown and purple circular markings, ringed in blue.
Harlequin Shrimp like to reside in pairs, usually one male and one female and, if not disturbed, they can live in the same area for their entire life. The female is slightly larger than the male and will grow to approximately 5 centimetres in length. The diet of the Harlequin Shrimp is Starfish. In fact, this is all they eat. What is awesome about this is that they also like to dine on the dreaded Crown of Thorn Starfish! Unfortunately there are probably not enough Harlequin Shrimp on the planet to devour and eradicate this vermin of the ocean, but they are helping!
Humans are this Shrimps main predator. Due to their beautiful appearance, they are in huge demand in the aquarium trade. The other threat to their existence is also reef and coral damage by bleaching and human intervention.
Other critters spotted this week were the Painted Spiny Lobster, the Golden Mantis, Coconut Octopus, Kubaryana’s Nembrotha and lots and lots of other amazing critters! Afternoon dives on Lembeh have proved to be the place to be if you want to see Blue Ringed Octopus. Our guests, Ray and Colleen spotted one on each dive at sites such as Police Pier, Pantai Parigi and Pulau Abadi.
Our guests this week came all the way from China, the UK, the USA, Germany, Finland, Switzerland and Canada.