Here in Lembeh we have no shortage of special creatures. Today we are going to discuss the special shrimp of Lembeh.
Lembeh is known for the small stuff and it really doesn’t get much smaller than some of these little shrimp!
Not all shrimp need to be super tiny to be special. For example, the shrimp pictured is one of the biggest shrimp we find here. This is officially titled the ‘Long Nose Rock Shrimp’ this little character is commonly referred to as the ‘Donald Duck Shrimp’ due to its long beak. These shrimp always bring a smile to a divers face and they are relatively common around these parts. They make for a fantastic photo subject and at 3cm they are big enough to focus on without too much trouble!
The largest special shrimp we find in Lembeh are the Mantis Shrimp. Peacock mantis shrimp win the award for most colourful shrimp with every colour of the rainbow being displayed across their body. Even their eggs are bright pink if you are lucky enough to find one carrying them. Another big Mantis shrimp is Lisa’s Mantis or the Golden Mantis. These large shrimp live in deep holes in the sand and tend to only have their heads poking out. While reaching 30cm and easy to photograph you should be careful if you are trying to take pictures of Mantis Shrimp. They can be either punchers or spearers. Punchers are known to have cracked glass in an aquarium so they would have no trouble damaging your macro lens!
Fan favourite shrimp include Squat Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Emperor Shrimp, and Spiny Tiger Shrimp.
The Squat Shrimp’s behaviour has resulted in divers giving them affectionate nicknames. For want of a better description, you find these orange and white shrimp ‘wiggling’ side to side around anemones. ‘Twerking’ shrimp, ‘dancing’ shrimp and ‘party’ shrimp are just a few of the names we have heard people referring them as.
Emperor Shrimp can be found most commonly on a sea cucumber. This symbiotic relationship provides protection and a habitat for the shrimp while he crawls up and down eating the algae and parasites which collect on the sea cucumber. If you are really lucky then you will even get to see these shrimp on top of a Nudibranch as well!
Spiny Tiger Shrimp live among coral and sponges and tend to be quite shy, hiding their striking pattern away from prying eyes. If you can find one then their constant movement makes getting a picture quite tricky!
Possibly the most sought after shrimp is the beautiful but elusive Harlequin Shrimp. The shrimp live in broken coral and rubble, in little crevices. These lovely blue and white shrimp may look nice and innocent but they have a dark secret. They are sea stars worst nightmare. Halrequins are known for their ability to sever a leg of a starfish. The cop it off its host, carry it back to their lair to feast on the amputated leg!
The smallest of the special shrimp we find in Lembeh is the Hairy Shrimp. Coming in at a staggering 6mm these little shrimp are incredibly difficult to spot and also to photograph yet our guides seem to be able to find them no problem! It may look like just a piece of dust or algae floating in the water but on closer inspection, you can see their eyes looking back at you!
With these and many more to see you should come on over to Lembeh and see how many of these special shrimp you can find!