Portrait of an Alien

Portrait of an Alien

People have not been very original when naming this species. Nor have they been very consistent either. Because this shrimp has long, thin arms ending in red claws it has been named: Thin-arm Shrimp, Long-arm Shrimp and Red-scissor Commensal Shrimp. Since most of its body is completely see-trough it is also known as Ghost Shrimp, Glass Shrimp, Transparent Commensal Shrimp and Invisible Shrimp. Even the scientific name it is not entirely unequivocal. Is it Cuapetes or Periclimenes tenuipes?
Anyway, I do not think this mother-to-be has any sleepless nights over how she is called; she has obviously more important things on her mind right now, like protecting the eggs she is carrying….
Cuapetes (or Periclimenes) tenuipes individuals are free-living on sandy bottoms or in holes. Sometimes they are found on sea anemones and sponges. Presumably looking for food as they feed on parasites, algae and plankton.
Apparently they sometimes live together with mantis shrimps as well as these predators are found sharing their hole with one of these tiny aliens.

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