Harlequin Shrimp – Dinner Time
Hymenocera elegans

When we first found this particular pair we didn’t have any guest divers with us, so it gave me the chance to spend some quality time with them. They had a fresh starfish and had just started eating it. As I’ve said before I love shooting macro as you can see details that would otherwise pass you by.

So the Harlequins have one adapted pair of legs that end in sharp needle-like points. They jab these into the starfish to loosen up the flesh, then use the tips to rip small pieces off. Then then transfer the tiny bits of starfish into their mouth parts. It is something I certainly hadn’t witnessed before and it is very interesting to watch.

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