Stenopodidea coral shrimps

The stenopodidean shrimps are generally small, spiny shrimps characterised by having three pairs of cheli-peds of which the third pair is the largest. Four species of stenopodidean are known from the GBR of which the red and white banded coral shrimp, Stenopus hispidus (Fig. 23.3A), is the largest and most familiar, reaching about 75 mm in length. Banded coral shrimps live in mated pairs in deep, rock or coral crevices and on the underside of overhangs. They are also known as 'fish cleaners'. Pairs of S. hispidus attract fish to their 'cleaning station' by waving their long, white antennae. Large fish approach the cleaning station, where the shrimps 'pick-off' dead skin and parasites. Other stenopodideans on the GBR include other species of Stenopus and the 15 mm Microprosthema validum.

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