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Stomatopod Images

Photograph by Linda Cline

Living 'La Vida Loca': A mutualistic relationship between a stomatopod and two banded shrimps

Look closely at the left foreground of this perfectly composed and beautifully colored spearer and you can see two equally colorful banded shrimp. According to the author of this image, there were two shrimps hanging around the burrow of this mantis in Lawadi, Papua New Guinea.

Living 'la vida loca'? Perhaps not, as Dr. Roy Caldwell notes that mutualistic associations between mantis shrimps and cleaner shrimps are not that uncommon, with the big 'uns getting a thorough cleaning and their miniscule counterparts getting a free meal.

Linda Cline reports that Rob Van der Loos, who operates the MV Chertan (in Milne Bay, PNG) says that the two banded shrimp have been living with this mantis for some time now. They stay in the burrow with the mantis during the day and come out at night. They are probably cleaning him, as Dr. Caldwell noted above.

Linda first took a pic of this critter in 2001. The pic above was taken in April/May 2002.

Linda Cline's very cool site has many nice looking mantis shrimp pics hidden among the other images of sea life. Visit her site to find out more!

Web Site Author: A. San Juan
Site Created February 3, 1998
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