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Diversity 2019, 11(11), 213;

Interesting Images
The Spotted Cleaner Shrimp, Periclimenes yucatanicus (Ives, 1891), on an Unusual Scleractinian Host
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales (FCEyN), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP)—Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas (CONICET), Laboratorio de Biología de Cnidarios (LABIC) (FCEyN), Rodríguez Peña 4046, Mar del Plata CC 1260. 7600, Argentina
Molecular Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology Laboratory, Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Senbaru 1, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, Senbaru 1, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
Unidad Multidisciplinaria de Docencia e Investigación en Sisal, Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM, Puerto de Abrigo, Sisal, Hunucmá C.P. 97356, Yucatán, Mexico
International Chair of Coastal and Marine Studies in Mexico, Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M at Corpus Christi, TX 78412, USA
Laboratorio Nacional de Resiliencia Costera (LANRESC), Sisal, Hunucmá C.P. 97356, Yucatán, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 November 2019 / Published: 12 November 2019
The spotted cleaner shrimp, Periclimenes yucatanicus (Ives, 1891), forms symbioses with sea anemones that may serve as cleaning stations for reef fishes [1]. This Caribbean palaemonid shrimp has usually been reported in symbiotic association with several species of actiniarian hosts, such as Condylactis gigantea (Weinland, 1860) and Bartholomea annulata (Le Sueur, 1817), or even with some corallimorpharians and a scyphozoan jellyfish [2]. During a field survey at Alacranes coral reef (26 June 2016; 22°27.14’ N, 89°45.79’ W; 13 m depth) on the Campeche Bank, Yucatán Peninsula, México, two spotted shrimps were observed swimming and walking above the polyps of the head coral Montastraea cavernosa (Linnaeus, 1767). Because none of the usual hosts of P. yucatanicus were detected nearby, we hypothesize that the shrimps were using the scleractinian coral as a host. Some other shrimp species commonly associated with actiniarians were previously reported to be living on stony corals, such as Ancylomenes holthuisi (Bruce, 1969) on Heliofungia actiniformis (Quoy and Gaimard, 1833) in New Guinea [3], and Periclimenes rathbunae Schmitt, 1924 on Dendrogyra cylindrus Ehrenberg, 1834 in Curaçao [4]. The observation (see Figure 1) of Montastraea cavernosa hosting Periclimenes yucatanicus is the second report of a palaemonid shrimp in association with a scleractinian coral in the Atlantic Ocean. The ecological implications of this association are unknown but could be related to a low local availability of usual hosts.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, R.G.-M., A.G., F.H.A.; investigation, A.G.; writing—original draft preparation, R.G.-M., A.G., F.H.A.; writing—review and editing, J.D.R.; project administration and funding acquisition, N.S.


This research was funded by grants to NS from the Harte Research Institute (Biodiversity of the Southern Gulf of Mexico) and CONABIO (NE018; Actualización del conocimiento de la diversidad de especies de invertebrados marinos bentónicos de aguas someras [<50 m] del sur del Golfo de México). We thank to José Luis Tello-Musi (UNAM) for his helpful assistance during field work.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Figure 1. (a) Two anemone shrimps Periclimenes yucatanicus (arrows) on the scleractinian coral Montastraea cavernosa. (b) P. yucatanicus dorsal side. Scale bars: 1 cm.
Figure 1. (a) Two anemone shrimps Periclimenes yucatanicus (arrows) on the scleractinian coral Montastraea cavernosa. (b) P. yucatanicus dorsal side. Scale bars: 1 cm.
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