SCIENCE IN PICS: Skeleton Shrimp on Whip Coral

Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 16, 2012 Last Updated: November 16, 2012
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Skeleton shrimps on a whip coral at Lembeh Strait in Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Matthew Oldfield)

Skeleton shrimps on a whip coral at Lembeh Strait in Sulawesi, Indonesia. (Matthew Oldfield)

Skeleton shrimp belong to the family Caprellidae, and are sometimes also referred to as ghost shrimp.

They have slim, thread-like bodies that make them hard to spot on the fine filaments of their seaweed or invertebrate hosts.

These shrimp are usually found in shallow waters living on eel grass or sessile animals in oceans around the world. A few species live at depth. They typically attach themselves to the substrate using their pereopods, which are gripping appendages.

Skeleton shrimp are omnivores, and eat a variety of food, including smaller crustaceans, planktonic algae, and detritus.

Generally they ambush their prey, waiting motionless until it passes by, although some use their antennae for filter feeding or to remove it from the sea bed.

Matthew Oldfield is a freelance photographer based in Bali, Indonesia, specializing in editorial and documentary images from both above and below the waves. He works primarily with charities, NGO’s, and other organizations working to conserve the environment, endangered species, and disappearing cultures.

Matthew is on Twitter @matthewoldfield. More of his photos can be found at

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