Alpheus digitalus (Pistol Shrimp)
The common name of this brightly colored shrimp is Pistol shrimp and its scientific name is Alpheus digitalus. The pistol shrimp is apart of the phylum Arthropoda and the order Decapoda. These little pistol shrimp belong to the family, Alpheidae, which contains over 600 species. Most snapping shrimp dig burrows and common inhabitants of coral reefs, submerged seagrass flats, and oyster reefs.
Explanation of the shrimp and how it shoots!
These little fighters can stun much larger prey than themselves, who would think they could possibly have friends? Well, they do. Good thing for the goby fish, they are not preyed upon by the pistol shrimp, but live in a symbiotic relationship together.
Goby Fish (goby fishes)The small little shrimp digs its way through the sand to build a burrow. The burrow is tended by the pistol shrimp and the goby provides protection to the burrow by watching out for danger. If both the shrimp and fish are away from the burrow the shrimp maintains contact with the goby by using it antenna. The goby has better vision in the relationship, might as well be a marriage, so the goby uses its vision to watch for danger and if there is any it alerts the shrimp of danger using a characteristic tail movement. They both retreat together into safety of their shared burrow. This has been studied and observed in coral reef habitats.
This is filmed in a tank, but still displays their symbiotic relationship
The pistol shrimp uses this adaption for both communication and hunting. When feeding the shrimp hides (burrow) and sticks out it antennae to determine movement. When it does it slowly inches outward, pulls back its claw, and FIRES, releasing a shot of hot, pressure filled bubbles to stun the prey. The shrimp then pulls it into the burrow to feed.
And I thought only humans can shoot, guess I was WRONG!