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Winning photo is a great souvenir from a dive trip to Gorontalo.
Miguel’s Diving Guest with Winning Photo
Congratulations to Suzannah Browning! This tall blonde member of Singapore’s Free Flow Divers entered its first underwater photography competition. We just learned that a photo she took while diving here with friends over last Chinese New Year holidays won Overall Winner. The photo shows two pregnant Sarasvati shrimps, one of the new species available in Gorontalo. If you have a copy of FiNS magazine‘s September/October 2005 issue, turn to page 59.
Sarasvati – a New Shrimp Species
The Sarasvati shrimp is actually one of the new species found in Gorontalo. Dr. Okuno published the original research on this shrimp in 2002. He named it Periclimenes sarasvati. Specimens came from the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Miguel’s Diving had just opened diving two years previously. At that time, we had no winning photo to share with the researcher.
Hosts for the Sarasvati shrimp
Like other Periclimenes shrimp species, the Sarasvati shrimp lives in association with certain corals and sea anemones. They are called hosts. Japanese divers, who assisted in the original research, found this shrimp on Anchor coral (Euphyllia ancora) and Spotted bubble coral (Euphyllia divisa). Although Miguel’s Diving staff can verify these two hosts, both of those corals are very rare in Gorontalo. Additionally, we have discovered the shrimp on colonies of an orange Euphyllia coral.
Research also indicates that Tenacled mushroom coral (Heliofungia actiniformis) is another host. We can verify that this is another place to look for this shrimp. However, the most common host in Gorontalo for the Sarasvati shrimp is the Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica). This was the host for Suzannah’s winning photo.
Colorful and Friendly
Since Periclimenes sarasvati is a cleaner shrimp, it must be friendly! It has a symbiotic relationship with fish. That means the relationship between fish and shrimp is mutually beneficial. Sarasvati shrimp will wait patiently on their host. When a passing fish pauses over the cleaning station, the shrimp goes to work. It will inspect the fish’s body for parasites. Once its pincers pull a parasite off the fish, the shrimp will eat it. A hungry Sarasvati shrimp will rock its body side to side in an attempt to attract a candidate for its cleaning services. Sometimes, it will clap its pincers together.
When divers in Gorontalo see a fish hovering over an anemone or Tenacled mushroom coral, that is a good sign that Sarasvati shrimp are at work.This is the time to get your camera ready for a winning photo.
Divers can easily see the distinctive marking of Periclimenes sarasvati. This shrimp has white and blue/purple markings on its translucent body. Its abdominal hump features a white saddle marking that is edged in blue/purple. Its eyes are red and white. In the winning photo, the shrimp is clearly carrying pink eggs under her abdomen.
For your chance to take a winning photo of the beautiful Sarasvati shrimp, please book your dive trip with us.