Various small marine critters like worms, crabs, brittle stars or shrimps are found living among the arms of the Crinoid or Feather Star but one of the more interesting critters is the Crinoid Shrimp. It is cryptic as it is so well adapted that it has the same markings and coloration of its host the Crinoid which it lives in commensal relationship.
This tiny commensal crustacean that live camouflaged and hidden among the feathery and colourful arms of the crinoid seek shelter and protection from the host against predators. The scientific name of this crinoid shrimp is Hippolyte catagrapha. It can grow up to 3cm in length and comes in many colours and markings depending on the host, the Feather Star in which it lives.
Crinoids are marine animals and come in two forms. Those that are attached to the sea bottom with a stalk are called Sea Lilies whereas the un-stalked crinoids are called Feather Stars or comatulid.
These brightly coloured commensal shrimps of the crinoids can be found in shallow reefs and where crinoids or Feather Stars are found.
The crinoid shrimps are distributed throughout Indo-Pacific oceans. These photographs of the Crinoid shrimps were taken in Bunaken dive sites.
This marine critter the Crinoid shrimp is popular with divers and underwater photographers and also a good subject especially for macro-photographers.
These photographs were taken with a +15 macro lens and strobes and some with the use of scuba lamp.
Hope you like this critter and look forward to taking photos of them.
Have a great dive experience and dive safe always!