The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp
Symbiotic relationships between marine creatures are fascinating to Here are three examples of symbiotic sea life that you might see on your next dive: where fish like certain wrasse, gobies and shrimps provide a service. Real world example: The shrimp is able to expect predators and. the Goby fish has a place to hide from predators. Sharks pair with fish, fish with shrimp and shrimp with sea of electric eels, here are seven of the most radical symbiotic relationships from the.
Symbiotic relationships occur in both marine and land animals. There are three main types of such relationships: Mutualism—describes a relationship between both partners benefit from the interaction. Commensalism—a relationship in which one partner benefits while the other is unaffected. Parasitism—a negative relationship where one partner benefits at the expense of the other. Countless symbiotic relationships exist within marine ecosystems.
Here is a list of some of those most commonly witnessed by scuba divers. This is a friendship for the ages. NOAA Clownfish and Anemones The relationship between clownfish and sea anemone is a perfect example of mutualism, where both organisms benefit from teaming up together. Clownfish make their homes among the poisonous tendrils of the sea anemone, where they are provided shelter, protection and a place to hide from potential predators.
In return, the anemone benefits by consuming the waste of the clownfish and the scraps of food that naturally fall by the wayside as the clownfish eats. Anemone also remain vibrant from the constant aeration generated by the movement of the clownfish. Barnacles on a gray whale in Hare Eye Lagoon, Mexico.
Ken-Ichi Ueda Barnacles and Whales Barnacles have worked out a good deal with whales, mainly humpbacks, reaping great rewards from attaching themselves to the belly or backs of the whales.
Barnacles are filter-feeders, relying on plankton that they filter through feather-like appendages that extend through holes in their shells. An added benefit is protection from predators, as only the most courageous of predators is likely to attack a whale. For the most part, the whale remains unaffected—they can support the weight of thousands of barnacles at a time. 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.
Symbiotic Sea Life
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.
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 Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp
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.
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. Instead the algae pieces were pushed around, and the shrimp fed on them here and there.
Symbiotic Sea Life
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. 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.
Giving and taking is incredibly developed in this symbiosis and likely evolved under the influences of the harsh environment with limited access to shelter and food. Reproductive success depends on the activity of the partners.