Wheelers watchmen goby and pistol shrimp relationship

IMO, randall's shrimp goby looks nicer than a wheeler's. . I'm about to attempt to add a Yellow Watchman Goby and Tiger Pistol Shrimp and hope my 6 I've read some mixed opinions about encouraging the symbiosis. The symbiosis between gobies and pistol shrimp is one of the many that can occur in our marine aquariums. In the goby and pistol shrimp symbiosis, both. Shrimp-Gobies are little fish widespread along tropical and sub-tropical seas This is an example of obligate relationship: this goby share his burrow only with consider the goby just like a "watchman" for the shrimp, or on the contrary the.

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Gobies And Pistol Shrimp

The couple pairing is necessary for the survival of both, as life is hard alone. Natural enemies like Lizardfish, Jackfish, Sandperches and some other predators like snake eels have been observed sometimes successfully hunting Shrimp-Gobies.

It's a chicken-and-egg debate if is the goby first to find the shrimp, or the shrimp that finds the goby: Apparently gobies find their partners mainly using their visual ability, while chemical signals seem to have a prevalent role from the shrimp's point of view: This relationship can begin shortly after the goby settles from planktonic life, when the little fish is almost 1 cm long.

When the sexual maturity is reached, normally a pair male-female of gobies shares the same burrow together with a pair of shrimps. A Black-Rayed Shrimp-goby Stonogobiops nematodes hovering out of his burrow where a shrimp Alpheus randalli keeps removing sand.

Species belonging to the genus Stonogobiops have a swim bladder, feature not very common in the Gobiidae family. Not every Shrimp-Goby shows nice colors: On the contrary, his fellow shrimp Alpheus sp. In this case a pair of Alpheus ochrostriatus share the burrow with Broad-Banded Shrimp-Goby Amblyeleotris periophthalma.

It's almost impossible to distinguish the sex of the shrimps without bringing them out of the water, anyway sometimes even male-male or female-female pairs have been observed. When the pair it's formed, the process of building the burrow starts and, depending on the substrate and on the species of shrimp, could be short and branching, or long and deep, as it has been observed sometimes in some aquariums where the shrimp decided to build his house nearby to the glass.

The activity of the pair during the day is quite intense: The goby, aside from his watchman duties, is busy in catching his food mainly zooplankton. Most gobies just lay down on the sand waiting, while some others hover on the top of the hole. The pair activity normally is reduced in the late afternoon, and in some cases during the night the shrimp closes the burrow entrance as a further protection against night predators. Watchman Goby More than different goby species belonging to almost 20 genera are officially already described, but probably many other are still waiting to be discovered, especially in the Coral Triangle area Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines an Papua New Guinea.

The symbiosis has been observed with up to 30 different species of pistol-shrimps, mainly of the genus Alpheus. Even Cryptocentrus is a successful genus and it's distinguishable for the bigger head and some other anatomical features. Ctenogobiops and Vanderhorstia are quite diffused all around tropical Indo-Pacific waters, but few species have been official described until now.

One genus particularly loved by aquarists, Stonogobiops, includes few species all with swim bladder that allows them to hover motionless few centimeters on the top of the burrow entrance.

Shrimpgobies in the wild feed on zooplankton mainly. Quite often a couple of gobies inhabits the same burrow, where the female lays the eggs. They are territorial fish even if the territory is not very large and in the same area it's possible to find several couples. They are not very good swimmer of course, but can be very fast. House-maid Shrimp All the shrimps living in association with a goby belong to the Alpheidae family genera Alpheus or Synalpheus.

They are even called "Snapping Shrimps" or "Pistol Shrimps" for their ability to produce a loud snapping sound using their larger claw. I have been able to make some new observations with an interesting tank setup. First I will tell you the history of studying this particular symbiosis, then I will let you know how you can set up a tank specifically for viewing this symbiosis, and then I will relate my new findings.

A Scientific History Luther, when he was a junior scientist, managed to catch a goby and pistol shrimp pair and put them in a small fish aquarium after they had been discovered during a expedition of the Red Sea. Indeed it took a lot of time until these peculiar couples were back in scientific focus. It was again in the Red Sea, and the same species of fish and shrimp that came to the awareness of biologist Ilan Karplus in the s and s.

He and his associates studied how these animals communicate, their territorial behavior, the dynamics of building the burrows and the distribution of the different species. Observing them in nature by diving was difficult at best; scientists could lay down in front of the burrow entrances until their air ran out.

It took a long time to observe them because any disturbance caused them to stay inside the burrow for hours. Everyone who has tried to take pictures of them in nature is aware of this. Today we know that the symbiosis between gobies and pistol shrimp is an evolutionary model of success. The majority of these are found in the Indo-Pacific and adjacent regions. There are goby generalists that live together with different shrimp, but there are also specialists living with just one species Karplus et al.

Species differ concerning the distribution of their partners, their age and sort of substrate different gobies prefer finer or more coarse sediment.

Shrimp leave the burrows only during daylight in company with the gobies. Shrimp or gobies never lived alone in a burrow, and the minimum count was a single shrimp and a single goby.

More often, a couple of gobies and a couple of shrimp were found in one burrow. To observe the association in aquaria was another approach to find out more. The partners had to find each other in a Y-shaped testing channel, either by optical or olfactory abilities. The shrimp did not show any optical orientation at all, but the gobies did.

Gobies could differentiate potential partner shrimp by sight Karplus et al. If unsuitable partners were presented in experiments, the gobies stayed away.

In reverse, the shrimp found their partners by smell. There was interest from the beginning about what the burrow looked like, but all that was visible from outside was the entrance.

Wheeler's Shrimp Goby - nickchinlund.info

The tubes were filled with sand before the experiment started. After the shrimp excavated the tubes, the partnership could be viewed. This setup, however, appeared too artificial to me. Yanagisawa even poured resin into burrow openings in the wild. The burrows went down as far as 1.

The burrow often divided, and the tunnels extended into chamberlike structures. Larger coral rubble pieces or skeleton parts of sand dollars were integrated into the burrow. My Observations These trials to find out more about the burrow system just fueled my interest to find out what was really going on inside.

Among marine aquarists, it was not even known that couples of shrimp and couples of gobies naturally live together. Most aquarists were happy to have one shrimp and one goby in their tank combined.

Where and how would they reproduce? Existing observation did not have an answer for this question. But how could I look inside the burrow? I noticed that the shrimp tended to build their burrows along the bottom glass of the tanks. Steady beating of the abdominal appendages pleopods kept the bottom glass free of sediment. So I set up a gallon tank on a high rack, enabling me to sit below and to observe them through the bottom glass of the tank. The frame of the rack just held the tank around its circumference.

To reduce any potential negative impact from light below, I covered my observation chamber with a black curtain. I took videos or pictures with just a little light that I could switch on.

Both species were caught and imported in larger numbers together from Sri Lanka. Amalgamating the couples of fish and shrimp was not an easy task. If same sexes are in a small tank, it often ends in severe trouble—the shrimp are able to kill each other in an aquarium. Therefore I kept them as far apart as possible in separate tanks until I could identify the sexes of the shrimp female shrimp have a more broad abdomen and more broad pleopods.

I also kept the young gobies separated. By changing the partners in one tank, I could easily find out if two specimens would go together, which is the indication for different sexes. In the next step, I brought both couples together in the observation tank. I kept the interior of the tank simple: The shrimp started building the burrow immediately after I introduced them in a little cup and directed them into a gap I made under a piece of live rock. Then the fish were added. It did not take longer than an hour, and the double couple was together.

During the next days, the burrow grew.

Wheeler's watchman goby and candy cane pistol shrimp | TCMAS Forums

The shrimp transported all excavated material and pushed it outside the burrow. They used their claws to push the sand like a little bulldozer. This astonishing skill can only be performed if the goby is out to guard their safety. When the tunnel system grew, the partner behaved differently under subterranean conditions.

The narrow space in the burrow causes them to squeeze their partners against the burrow wall. The fish tend to wiggle through the burrows with force and no hesitation toward their crustacean partners.

Due to the action, parts of the burrow system would often collapse. A fish buried under sand stays there without panic the shrimp can smell it and waits until the shrimp digs it out and begins to repair the burrow.

The main way into the burrow can be up to 2 feet long during the first days of excavation. Soon after, side ways are constructed, which can be as short as 2 inches. They can be driven forward and later form an exit to the surface, or they are extended to form a subterranean chamber. Repeatedly, I could observe the shrimp molting in these chambers.