© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved.
Pederson's Cleaner Shrimp (Periclimenes pedersoni) in a Corkscrew Anemone (Bartholomea annulata).
These shrimp lure fish with their antennae so they can comb the fish's body in a "cleaning" process, picking off parasites and dead tissue. Many fish will even let them clean the inside of their mouths. These shrimp form relationships with anemones, especially the Corkscrew Anemome. The anemone allows the shrimp to live within its tentacles for protection, and in return receives scraps from the shimp's meals. These shrimp have transparent bodies with beautiful blue and purple markings.
The shrimp subfamily Pontoniinae inhabit coral reefs, where they associate with certain invertebrates such as sponges, cnidarians, mollusks and echinoderms. This group includes cleaner shrimps as well as parasites and commensals. They generally feed on detritus, though some are carnivores and hunt tiny animals.
Belize Barrier Reef, Ambergris Caye, Belize.