Sea Whip Goby (Bryaninops sp.)
El Nido, Philippines
Bryaninops are members of the Gobiinae subfamily - these are known as true gobies. It is the most widespread and most diverse of the subfamilies under Gobiidae, containing around 2000 species and 150 genera.
This beautiful image displays a four-way assocation between creatures:
The hermit crab is associated with the soft coral (with its polyps retracted). The hermit crab is also associated with an episymbiontic anemone - the snail shell provides a home to both animals. Image captured by the Little Hercules ROV at 422 meters depth on ‘Site K’, explored July 11, 2010 during the INDEX SATAL 2010 Expedition.
Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010.
Giant Clam mantle by Samantha Craven
The mantle of the Giant Clam is home to zooxanthellae, dinoflagellate algae whose metabolic products provide nutrition to the animal. The algae are also responsible for the vibrant colours of the mantle tissue (similarly with coral polyps).
The Giant Clam is much sought after for it’s meat, a delicacy in many parts of SE Asia but intense harvesting has contributed to significant population declines that result in it’s listing as ‘Vulnerable’ to extinction by the IUCN.
Cleaner Shrimp (Urocaridella antonbruunii) and Coral Grouper (Cephalopholis miniata)
Cleaner shrimp form mutualistic relationships with many fish species. The shrimp eat parasites off the fish, even venturing deep inside the mouth to do so. Amazingly, the fish getting cleaned never attempt to eat the shrimp.
An Emperor Shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) on its host nudibranch (Mexichromis multituberculata), Seraya, Bali
False Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) by Sam Craven
The Flashlight Fish : Photoblepharon palpebratus
It is a nocturnal fish of the Indo-Pacific with bioluminescent organs under its eyes that serve to attract prey and help it evade predators.
The bean-shaped photophores under their eyes contain bioluminescent bacteria, which live with the fish in a symbiotic relationship. The photophores glow in the dark, attracting zooplankton and small fish, on which the flashlight fish feed.
The (oh-so-cuddly) Teddy Bear Crab
© Ivan Choong
This charismatic crab is much sought after by underwater photographers. Note the small anemones attached to claws for feeding and defense.
Mating Pteraeolidia ianthina’s.
Adult Pteraeolidia are able to consume and harvest microscopic dinoflagellates that were in a previous symbiotic relationship with Pteraeolidia ‘s food, Hydroids. The nudibranch farms these zooxanthellae within its own digestive diverticula.
It is those symbiotic dinoflagellates that give the species such a variety of colours, from brown to blue and purple. Juveniles of the species are white, having not incorporated any zooxanthellae yet.
Spotted Porcelain crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) by Paul Sutten