Swarming Bumblebee Shrimp
Gnathophyllum americanum

Once is a while you come across something underwater that just blows your mind!! This was one of those times.

Bumblebee Shrimp are one of the rarest shrimp. They are much desired as a photographic subject for this reason, as well as being beautiful subjects. Usually you find one or two (always exciting) and they tend to be quite small, normally less than 1cm.

We get to see Bumblebee Shrimp here on a fairly regular basis. They usually live, in Ambon, on sea cucumbers. They are always a challenge to film or photograph, as they are rather small, very shy and like to hide.

So I was shocked, literally shocked, when my guides showed me a sea cucumber they had found with over 10 huge Bumblebee Shrimp! It was a dream come true….not only were they all large specimens, around 1cm to 2cm in length, but they also seemed to be completely fearless, running up and down the cucumber, completely oblivious to my presence.

I’ve done a lot of muck diving over the last five years, 1000s of dives, and this is the first time I have ever seen such a congregation of Bumblebee Shrimp. I didn’t know it was possible to see this many big ones together. It was another very special dive in Ambon

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