Weekly Photo Challenge – Details

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp

Of course I’m going to post an underwater macro shot for this challenge! Here’s a Pederson Cleaner Shrimp dancing on a brain coral head. These guys are tiny – about an inch long and I love the challenge of photographing them.

Pederson Cleaner Shrimp are often found in small colonies of two or three individuals. They’re called “Cleaner Shrimp” because they clean fish in a symbiotic relationship, removing parasites and microorganisms from the fishes mouth and face.

I love seeing fish parked a a “Cleaning Station” where the fish will open its mouth and a group of shrimp with crawl into the cavern and clean the fishes tongue, teeth and gills. When they’re done, they crawl back out and the fish swims away. If I gently place the back of my hand near them, they will also crawl onto my hand and clean it!

To learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

24 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Details

  1. Amy says:

    And, of course we love your underwater macro shot. 🙂 Incredible capture of this tiny creature in such a detail. Great take on, Cathy!
    How fascinating, these shrimp help clean the fishes tongue, teeth… 🙂 Do they live in a deep sea?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Hi Amy,
      These shrimp live on coral reefs in more shallow waters. I’ve seen them on shipwrecks as deep as 100 feet, but I’ve also seen them in very shallow reefs around 15 feet. Mostly, they seem to hang out between 30-60 feet and always on coral reefs.
      Cathy

      Liked by 1 person

  2. susielindau says:

    Gorgeous shot! Love the tiny details.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an amazing photo and concept: underwater(one day when i am big)! I placed a post of the avian version a few weeks ago https://abriejoubert.wordpress.com/2016/06/25/an-inconvenient-partnership/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marsha says:

    Wow! that is fascinating! What a great shot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] LargeSelfWeekly Photo Challenge – Details […]

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  6. lisazmfa says:

    Lovely! Like underwater jewelry.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing looking critter! Great capture. I imagine they must be tricky to catch in focus.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. […] LargeSelf Weekly Photo Challenge – Details […]

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  9. seabluelee says:

    What a delicate little thing, and oh, that blue! So beautiful. There is such amazing color in the right light underwater. It makes me wonder what the creatures themselves perceive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      I too wonder what they perceive, Leon. They do have eyes, which seem to be looking right at me, when I’m photographing them. And there definitely is some level of intelligence in those tiny bodies. They are very focused on their jobs as the dental hygienists of the reef!

      Like

  10. Amy Reese says:

    Simply amazing. They look so delicate. Beautiful shot, Cathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very cool shot of some industrious do-gooders, Cathy. They sound like they’re the dentists of the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy Ulrich says:

      Thanks so much, V. These cleaner shrimp could definitely be labelled the dentists (or at least dental hygienists) of the sea. They quite bold in cleaning diver’s hands as well. I didn’t mention in the main post that they also attract the fish to their cleaning station by vigorously waving those white antennae. It’s one way that I find them for photographing!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    Outstanding details …. and I imagine the underwater world has shown you details you haven’t seen before. Well done, Cathy!

    Like

  13. Such gorgeous colors and detail here, Cathy! I’m watching a lot of finding Nemo (in 15 minute increments) with my grandson, and I love Jacques, the cleaner shrimp; he cracks me up. As you can see, I’m trying to catch up on the wonderful posts I’ve missed, and your photos are always top of my list. They make my day!

    Like

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