Bryozoan Snapping Shrimp


It’s always exciting to find a critter underwater that you haven’t seen before, and even more exciting when it’s “undescribed”.

Ambon (Indonesia) has some fantastic critter diving and I had heard that living in Bryozoan Coral were some critters that had not been seen before. Bryozoan is a ‘moss’ marine animal that looks, in this case, like lace. Divers often mis-identify it as nudibranch egg ribbons, but it is in fact hard, like a hard coral.

I was very thrilled when I was looking hopefully at a piece of bryozoan and found these elusive Snapping Shrimp, the first I had ever seen. It took a while to work out how to film them, as I did not want to damage the Bryozoan. After watching the shrimp for a while, I realized that there were two (or maybe three) of them, and that they had a ‘routine’, where they would briefly come out of the centre of the bryozoan, through one of several ‘folds’, before disappearing back into the heart of the bryozoan.

Size: approx 1cm long.
Location Ambon.

I hope that divers will start to look for these in other locations. so far they are known only around Ambon.

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