On Whips and Stingers

Date January 6, 2010

commensal shrimp
What kind of stuff is crawling about on whips and stingy things? Pretty amazing stuff apparently!
Here’s a collection of images shot by Hantu Blog volunteers, of the beautiful and tiny creatures that find shelter in the whip corals and stinging “leaves” of hydroids. (Above: Commensal shrimp on whip coral)
ovulid 3ovulid 2
Above: Two varieties of Ovulids or Allied cowries, blend perfectly into the colour and texture of their host coral whip.
ovulid 1mollucs
Above (left-right): Ovulid on whip coral, and a brilliantly-coloured mollusc on a hydroid.
Above (left): Maybe you see it, maybe you don’t. That’s exactly the idea that this tiny filefish has as it sticks close to the colony of ascidians, sponges, and hydoirds. (right) A tiny Doto sp. nudibranch may escape most predators on the delicate fronds of a hydroid, but it doesn’t escape the keen eyes of our volunteer dive guides!
Above: Detail of an allied cowrie on a whip coral.
It is very apparent that our divers were having a field day with these allied cowries! An assortment of them in different shapes and sizes were found on whip corals all over the reef!

To see more pictures visit the Hantu Blog Gallery

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