Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Research Article

Spatial distribution of symbiotic shrimps (Periclimenes holthuisi, P. brevicarpalis, Thor amboinensis) on the sea anemone Stichodactyla haddoni

Ritindra N.  Khan a1c1, Justine H.A.  Becker a1, Andrea L.  Crowther a1 and Ian D.  Lawn a1
a1 Department of Zoology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Article author query
khan rn   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
becker jha   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
crowther al   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lawn id   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


This study investigated the spatial distribution patterns of three shrimp species, Periclimenes holthuisi, P. brevicarpalis, and Thor amboinensis on the sea anemone Stichodactyla haddoni in the laboratory. Anemones were partitioned into five zones (mouth, inner tentacle, outer tentacle, upper column, and lower column), and shrimp distribution on these zones was determined. Regardless of species, significantly higher numbers of shrimps chose outer tentacles (>40%) over other zones during daytime. Such distribution might be attributed to their feeding practices as these crustaceans clipped and ate parts of the outer tentacles. Periclimenes holthuisi also showed varying temporal distribution patterns on their hosts. At night when anemones contracted their tentacles, shrimp moved in significant numbers from the outer tentacle region either to the column or off the anemones. Shrimps returned to the tentacles during daytime when anemones expanded their tentacles. Thus, spatial and temporal distribution of shrimps depend upon their feeding activities and degree of anemone expansion.

(Received March 3 2003)
(Accepted November 28 2003)

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