Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis)

Presence of the Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) in the Sea of Kalba, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean

By : Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf

Reference Article : Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf (2017). Presence of the Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) in the Sea of Kalba, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 156, December 2017, pp. 1-17. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

On Friday 31.03.2017, PADI Dive Instructor Ola Mostafa Khalaf managed to shoot magnificent photos of the Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from the Car Cemetery Sea Ground, 20 meter deep in the Sea of Kalba, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean.

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

الروبيان الجنسي ذو اللون البُرتقالي والبُقع البيضاء معروف بهذا الإسم لأنه يقوم بأداء رقصات " مُثيرة " غير معهودة ، وذلك بتحريك المنطقة البطنية عالياً والتلويح بها (وكأنه غير مُهتم) ، وذلك من أجل التمويه أو تخويف الحيوانات المُفترسة . وهذا الروبيان يعيش في المُحيطين الهندي والهادي ، ويتواجد بين الطحالب والأعشاب البحرية وشقائق النُعمان البحرية والتي يختبئ بين لوامسها ... الصورة من تصوير غواصة الأعماق والمُحيطات عُلا خلف من على عُمق 20 متراً في بحر كلباء ، خليج عُمان ... 31.03.2017

The Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) is a distinctive orange coloured shrimp with a number of large white spots, ringed in blue. The common name is coming from its unusual dance, which involves holding its abdomen up in the air (like it just doesn’t care) and waving it all around. This behaviour is done for camouflage or warning. It lives between algae, sea grasses and sea anemone, gaining protection in the same manner as Clownfish ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf in the Kalba Sea on a depth of 20 meters ... 31.03.2017… http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

Thor amboinensis, commonly known as the squat shrimp, sexy anemone shrimp or sexy shrimp, is a species of shrimp found across the Indo-West Pacific and in parts of the Atlantic Ocean. It lives symbiotically on corals, sea anemones and other marine invertebrates in shallow reef communities (Wikipedia).

The Sexy or Squat shrimp, Thor amboinensis is a small, spotted shrimp found in shallow coral reef areas throughout Bermuda, the Caribbean and the Indo-Pacific region. Thor amboinensis is one of the most common species of shrimp seen throughout the Indo-Pacific, but is rarely seen in Bermuda or the Caribbean. These shrimp are distributed with respect to available host habitat. Thor amboinensis shares a symbiotic relationship with several species of anemones by living within their tentacles. Some Squat shrimp have even been observed providing cleaning service to Mantis shrimp, Lysiosquillina lisaThor amboinensis is sometimes nicknamed the sexy shrimp due to its tendency to vibrate its abdomen while walking. Even though Thor amboinensis is a very commonly sold decapod in the aquarium industry, it is still poorly understood (Ruzanski & Wood).

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

Taxonomy
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea Class: Malacostraca
Subclass: Eumalacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Pleocyemata
Infraorder: Caridea
Superfamily: Alpheoida
Family: Hippolytidae Species: Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888 (Ruzanski & Wood).

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

Description

Thor amboinensis is a small shrimp growing to a length of about 13 millimeters (0.5 in). It is an olive brown colour with symmetrically placed white patches edged with thin blue lines. It characteristically carries its abdomen curved upwards with its tail fan above its head (Wikipedia).

Thor amboinensis are usually less than 1.3 cm in size (Boyer, 2002). Being a member of the Hippolytidae family, these shrimp have short-stalked eyes that are not covered by their carapace (Sterrer, 1986). The rostrum is well developed and does not overreach the eyes or expand ventrally (Sterrer, 1986). Thor amboinensis are a deep brown color with bright white splotches outlined in blue. The abdomens and tails of these shrimp typically arch upwardly towards their heads (Boyer, 2002; Ruzanski & Wood).

Habitat

Squat shrimp are found on anemones in shallow waters throughout the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific. These shrimp, although sparse are also located in Bermuda among inshore patch reefs to the terrace reefs (Sterrer 1986). Thor amboinensis lives protected from predators within an anemone’s tentacles which serve as protection and food for the shrimp, while the host anemone is unaffected (Wirtz 1997, Boyer 2002).  
These shrimp are typically found in groups within a single anemone (Khan et. al. 2004). Within host anemones, Thor amboinensis feed primarily on mucus-covered tentacles and on the planktonic organisms that are trapped upon them (Guo et. al. 1996). Thor amboinensis has been found on the Carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni), Club tipped anemone (Telmatactis cricoides), the Adhaesive anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum) and the Stinging anemone, (Lebrunea danae), as well as several other anemone species (Guo et. al. 1996, Sterrer 1986; Ruzanski & Wood).

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

Ecology

Thor amboinensis forms a commensal relationship with another invertebrate, usually a shallow water sea anemone or mushroom coral. The species most often used as host in Bermuda include the carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni), the stinging anemone (Lebrunia danae) and the adhesive anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). One or several shrimps live among the tentacles of their host, feeding on the tentacle tissue and on the mucus-trapped planktonic particles adhering to it. In the BahamasThor amboinensis forms part of an assemblage of symbiotic invertebrates associated with the anemone Lebrunia danae. Each shrimp, crab and brittle star inhabits its own part of the sea anemone and Thor amboinensis is found hidden deep among the pseudo-tentacles (Wikipedia).

To avoid predation, Thor amboinensis relies on host anemones to keep them sheltered from predators. The shrimp select their host by visual distinction and chemical cues (Van den Spiegel et. al. 1998). In one study of crustacean symbionts in anemones in Madeira and the Canary Islands, Thor amboinensis was the most common shrimp found (Wirtz, 1997; Ruzanski & Wood).  
Thor amboinensis does not commonly interact with other species; however, it is not unusual for many Squat shrimp to congregate on a single anemone (Khan et. al. 2004). When Thor amboinensis was kept in an enclosed aquarium environment with other organisms, it showed no hostility towards its own species or other aquarium dwellers. Vibrant camouflage colors are displayed on Thor amboinensis’ body to blend in with its environment. Squat shrimp are found typically in shallower waters with little wave disturbance (Wirtz, 1997; Ruzanski & Wood).  
Thor amboinensis uses sexual reproduction to produce larvae. After intercourse, the female shrimp holds the fertilized eggs until they are ready to hatch before releasing them into the water column. Thor amboinensis larvae are vulnerable, slow-growing and require ample protection during maturation. Thor amboinensis displays sexual dimorphism with the females being significantly larger than the males (Van den Spiegel et. al., 1998; Ruzanski & Wood).  
In the wild, the diet of the Squat shrimp consists of the host anemone’s mucus-covered tentacles and the planktonic organisms trapped upon them. However, when kept in saltwater aquariums, they consume algae and brine shrimp (Khan et. al 2004; Ruzanski & Wood).

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

Life Cycle

The female Thor amboinensis carries the fertilised eggs under her abdomen until they are ready to hatch. The zoea larvae pass through several stages and, before undergoing metamorphosis, are attracted by both chemical cues in the water and visual cues which cause them to settle near potential host anemones. Researchers found that the larvae of Thor amboinensis were generalists, being attracted by and accepting several different species of anemone as hosts. In some experiments they had a preference for the species of anemone from which the parent shrimp had been collected (Wikipedia).

Distribution

Though it is named for Ambon or Amboyna Island, one of the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, Thor amboinensis has a pan-tropical distribution being found in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Madeira and the Canary Islands (Wikipedia).

Aquaria

Thor amboinensis is a popular species for marine aquaria. Sexy shrimp are often kept in groups of three or more, due to their small size, a quality that also makes them popular nano reef inhabitants. They will readily host in any anemones present in the aquarium and if an anemone is not available, may host in certain types of coral. Sexy shrimp will scavenge for meaty food scraps, like mysis shrimp, clam, and other prepared fish foods. If a host cnidarian is present, they may feed on the host's mucous (Wikipedia).

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

Recent Research
Research by Khan et. al. (2004) using three shrimp: the Holthuis cleaner shrimp, Periclimenes holthuisiPericlimenes brevicarpalis (no common name) and Thor amboinensis to display the spatial distribution of symbiotic shrimps on the sea anemone, Stichodactyla haddoni. It was found that all the shrimp highly depended on the anemones for shelter and food and preferred the outer tentacles of their hosts (Khan et. al. 2004). This preference could be due to the increase in food availability (Khan et. al. 2004). This information is important to know about the shrimp in order for them to survive if their host is lost (Ruzanski & Wood).

In order to determine what type of anemones Thor amboinensis selects for its hosts, Guo (1996) performed an experiment on host selection using symbiotic shrimp and anemones. The data revealed that Thor amboinensis exhibited no specific preference in anemones, however, it was inferred that the shrimp were able to chemically and visually select their host (Guo 1996). Many shrimp displayed a chemical reaction to an anemone of a particular species (Guo 1996). This result was inferred because none of the shrimp in the experiment were able to locate their host anemone with vision alone, but all of the specimens were able to locate their host with both visual and chemical cues (Guo 1996). Many shrimp also displayed a chemical attraction to an anemone of a particular species (Guo 1996; Ruzanski & Wood).

Wirtz (1997) researched crustacean symbionts of the sea anemone Telmatactis cricoides in Madeira and the Canary islands. Thor amboinensis was the crustacean symbiont found most frequently in all the tested anemones (Wirtz 1997; Ruzanski & Wood).  

Increasing interest in maintaining salt water tanks has heightened the demand for collectable aquarium fish and invertebrates (Calado et. al. 2006). A recirculation system on shrimp breeding was studied by Calado et. al. (2006) to improve the aquaculture of Thor amboinensis and other marine decapods (Ruzanski & Wood).

Commercial Importance
Thor amboinensis is popularly sold around the world for use in personal aquariums because of its beauty, abundance, and easy maintenance (Calado et. al 2006). The Squat shrimp is considered one of the most heavily collected marine ornamental decapods (Calado et. al. 2006). Because of its popularity, it is important to ensure that this species is not over-collected (Ruzanski & Wood).

Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) from a depth of 20 meters in Kalba Sea, Gulf of Oman ... Photo by PADI Dive Instructor Ola Khalaf … 31.03.2017. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp

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Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2012). Fauna Palaestina – Part Two. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 1983 – 2009 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Zwei. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 1983 – 2009. ISBN 978-9948-16-667-2. 1. Auflage / First Edition : July 2012, Shaaban 1433 H. 208 Seiten / Pages (Arabic Part 120 Pages and the English Part 88 Pages). Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Jerusalem, Palestine. http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunapalaestinapart2.htm 
Khalaf-von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2013). Fauna Palaestina – Part Three. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 2005 – 2012 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Drei. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 2005 – 2012. ISBN 978-9950-383-35-7. Erste Auflage / First Edition : July 2013, Shaaban 1434 H. 364 pages (English Part 350 Pages and the Arabic Part 14 Pages). Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Jerusalem, State of Palestine. http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunapalaestinapart3.htm 
Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2013). Garra rufa wadiqana Khalaf, 2013: A New Freshwater Doctor Fish Subspecies from Wadi Qana Nature Reserve, Salfit Governorate, State of Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 103, July 2013, Ramadan 1434 AH. pp. 1-25. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://palestine-fishes.webs.com/palestine-doctor-fish 
Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2013). † Macropomoides palaestina Khalaf, 2013 : A New Coelacanth Fish Fossil Species from the Anthracothere Hill in Al-Naqab, Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 107, November 2013, Muharram 1435 AH. pp. 30-38. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://quastenflosser.webs.com/macropomoidespalaestina.htm 
Khalaf-von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2014). Fauna Palaestina – Part Four. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 1983 – 2014 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Vier. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 1983 – 2014. ISBN 978-9950-383-77-7. Erste Auflage / First Edition : July 2014, Ramadan 1435 H. 456 Pages (English Part 378 Pages and the Arabic Part 78 Pages). Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine. http://fauna-palaestina-part-1.webs.com/faunapalaestina4.htm 
Khalaf-von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2014). † Macropomoides palaestina Khalaf, 2013 : A New Coelacanth Fish Fossil Species from the Anthracothere Hill in Al-Naqab, Palestine. In: Fauna Palaestina – Part Four. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 1983 – 2014 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Vier. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 1983 – 2014. ISBN 978-9950-383-77-7. Erste Auflage / First Edition : July 2014, Ramadan 1435 H. pp. 126 - 138. Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine. 
Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2015). Plants and Animals unique to Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 125, May 2015. pp. 1-18. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://flora-fauna-palestine-2.webs.com/ 
Khalaf-von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Norman Ali Bassam (2015). Fauna Palaestina – Part Five. Zoological Studies in Palestine between 1983 – 2016 / Fauna Palaestina - Teil Fünf. Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 1983 – 2016. ISBN 978-9950-383-92-0. Erste Auflage / First Edition : July 2015, Ramadan 1436 H. 448 pp. (English Part 304 Pages and the Arabic Part 144 Pages). Publisher: Dar Al Jundi Publishing House, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine. http://fauna-palaestina-books.webs.com/

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2016). Haywanat Falastin (Fauna of Palestine) حيوانات فلسطين . Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 144, December 2016, pp. 1-18. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (In Arabic). http://animals-of-palestine-2.webs.com/fauna-of-palestine-arabic 

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Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf (2017). Presence of the Yellowish-Orange Spotted Chromodorid Nudibranch (Risbecia pulchella [Hypselodoris pulchella] Rüppell & Leuckart, 1830) in the Sea of Fujairah, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 154, October 2017, pp. 1-19. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/ 

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf (2017). The Semi-Striated Arminid Nudibranch (Dermatobranchus semistriatus Baba, 1949) : First Record from the Sea of Fujairah, Gulf of Oman. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 155, November 2017, pp. 1-15. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/dermatobranchus-semistriatus 

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Prof. Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa & Ola Mostafa Esmail Mostafa Khalaf (2017). Presence of the Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis de Man, 1888) in the Sea of Kalba, Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea, Indian Ocean. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. ISSN 0178 – 6288. Number 156, December 2017, pp. 1-17. Dubai and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. http://marine-life-uae.webs.com/sexy-shrimp 

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