March Critter of the Month:
Banded Cleaner Shrimp
After our recent (awesome) dives at Rottnest, we decided to feature the Banded Cleaner Shrimp as our Critter of the Month for March.
Banded Cleaner Shrimp are easily spotted by their long white “feelers” and their red and white stripes. They are quite beautiful to photograph, and to look at!
They are also very clever: they have the ability to chop off their own limbs if attacked. Just like crabs and lobsters, they molt their skins as they grow. Any lost limbs are replaced with new ones when they molt.
Male/female pairs set up cleaning stations under ledges and at the entrances to caves, where they pick parasites off the backs and mouths of visiting fish. The females are always much bigger than the males.
You can see Banded Cleaner Shrimps all year round at Rottnest Island or the Marmion Marine Park – always check under ledges to see if you can spot these little guys!