Observation of the Week, 12/24/15

This Periclimenes sagittifer shrimp seen by scubale in Italy is our Observation of the Week!

Alessandra (aka scubale), is a photographer and divemaster in Italy who discovered SCUBA diving in 2007, and her eyes were opened. “Before that,” she says, “I could not imagine how many amazing creatures inhabit the sea.” Although she loves all of nature, it is to the sea which she feels she “deeply belongs,” and always carries a camera with her when she can, to show others “how many wonders can be observed in nature.” Not content with just observing and exploring nature, Alessandra helps protect it by biking or taking transit, collecting waste and trash when diving or at the beach, and does her best to avoid products which are harmful to the environment. 

One of her favorite places to dive is off of Italy’s Tremiti Islands. “The wealth of fish species and plants of the marine park, the striking shape of the seabed make the underwater panorama of rare beauty, making it ideal for scuba diving,” she says, and it was off of Capraia, one of the five islands of the archipelago, where she found the Periclimenes sagittifer shrimp pictured above. Alessandra “remembers perfectly” looking for shrimp within the undulating tentacles of an anemone when “my eyes moved sideways. This allowed me to notice it while it was moving out of the anemone, walking on the rock.”

The Periclimenes sagittifer shrimp is one of many species in the Periclimenes genus, members of whom live symbiotically with other sea creatures. Some are known to live with sea cucumbers, corals, and even nudibranchs, but the majority live within sea anemones, making them difficult to find. Cool fact - while it’s impossible to know why this shrimp was off its host, P. sagittifer and other anemone-hosted shrimp must leave their anemones each time they molt, as they’ll temporarily lose their mucus-based protection from the anemone’s stinging cells!

“I think we know too little of nature and we do not have enough respect for it,” says Alessandra. And although she’s only recently begun to upload her observations to iNaturalist, she plans on continuing to add more, “for mutual enrichment of knowledge and to sensitize others to find out how many and what wonders inhabit this special world...nature is the best thing we have and we always have to respect it and cherish it.”

- by Tony Iwane

Posted by tiwane tiwane, December 28, 2015 06:40

Comments

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Great job on these observation of the day's this year, Tony! :)

Posted by sambiology over 4 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks Sam, it's been fun learning about the breadth and passion of iNat's users!

Posted by tiwane over 4 years ago (Flag)

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