Saturday, December 17, 2011

World’s Most Beautiful, Colorful and Unique Shrimps

Here’s a list of peculiar, attractive and pretty shrimps.

Here they are … the colorful and beautiful ones…

Striped Bumble Bee Shrimp

One of the prettiest species of shrimps is the Striped Bumblebee Shrimp. The beautiful and colorful Striped Bumblebee Shrimp or Gnathophyllum americanum is a shrimp species that can be found in tropical bays, lagoons and reefs.

This brightly-colored creature with blue highlights usually grows to a length of 2.5 cm.  

Heterocarpus ensifer

Heterocarpus ensifer is a colorful deep-water shrimp species that is found in the Atlantic Ocean. Other subspecies of this beautifully colored shrimp can be found in the Pacific Ocean and around the Philippines and Indonesia.

Pederson’s Shrimp

Pederson's Shrimp or Periclimenes pedersoni is a type of cleaner shrimp. The lovely-looking specimen on the above picture was photographed in Bonaire, Dutch Antilles.

Fire Shrimp

Fire Shrimp or Lysmata debelius is a colorful cleaner shrimp species endemic to the Indo-Pacific region. Because of its beautiful appearance, it is popular in the aquarium trade, where it is known as the Blood Shrimp, Fire Shrimp or Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp.

Northern Cleaner Shrimp

The Northern Cleaner Shrimp or Lysmata amboinensis is a colorful omnivorous shrimp species which is widespread in the Red Sea and Tropical Indo-Pacific area. It scavenge and eat parasites and dead tissue making them safe and beneficial in salt water tanks since it clean both the tank and occasionally other fish within the tank.

Common Prawn

Although the Palaemon serratus is commonly called Common Prawn, it is actually a shrimp species. It can be found in the Atlantic Ocean from Denmark to Mauritania. It can be found too in the Black and Mediterranean Seas. It can live up to 5 years.

Cardinal Shrimp

The brightly-colored Cardinal Shrimp or Caridina dennerli is a small shrimp species that can be found in Indonesia. It grows to a length of up to 2.5 cm. It is popularly known as the 'Cardinal Shrimp' in the aquarium trade.

Pink Shrimp

Pink Shrimp or Pandalus borealis is a shrimp species found in cold parts of the Pacic and Atlantic Oceans. It is also known for a variety of common names such as Deepwater Prawn, Deep-sea Prawn, Great Northern Prawn, Crevette Nordique and Northern Shrimp.
It can live up to 8 years and lives at depths of up 1,330 m, usually on soft muddy bottoms, in waters with a temperature of 2–14 °.It can grow up to 16.5 cm. Pink Shrimp are hermaphroditic. They start out male, but after year or two, their testicles turn to ovaries and they complete their lives as females

Spotted Cleaner Shrimp

The Spotted Cleaner Shrimp or Periclimenes yucatanicus is a kind of cleaner shrimp that can be found in the Caribbean Sea. It lives in sea anemone and sways its body and waves its antennae in order to attract fish from which they eat dead tissue, algae, and parasites.

Here they are … the unique and weird-looking ones…

American Ghost Shrimp

The American Ghost Shrimp or Palaemonetes paludosus is a freshwater shrimp species from the Eastern United States. It is also commonly called the Eastern Grass Shrimp and Glass Shrimp. It can grow up to 2.5 cm long and largely transparent.

Australian Tadpole Shrimp

The Australian Tadpole Shrimp or Triops australiensis is a uniquely structured Australian species of Triops. It lives temporary pools of water in the arid regions of the Australian outback.

Cameroon Ghost Shrimp

The Cameroon Ghost Shrimp or Lepidophthalmus turneranus is a ghost shrimp species that lives off the coast of West Africa. It occasionally irrupts into dense swarms, one of which resulted in the naming of the country Cameroon. It can grow up to 14.5 cm long.

Longtail Tadpole Shrimp

The Longtail Tadpole Shrimp or Triops longicaudatus is a freshwater shrimp species that resembles a miniature horseshoe crab. It is characterized by an elongated, segmented body, flattened shield-like brownish carapace covering two thirds of the thorax and two long filaments on the abdomen. Triops refers to its three eyes, and longicaudatus refers to the elongated tail structures. It is found in freshwater ponds and pools, often in places where few higher forms of life can exist. It is one of the oldest animal species still in existence. It is also commonly called American Tadpole Shrimp or Rice Tadpole Shrimp.

Horseshoe Shrimp

The Horseshoe Shrimp or Triops cancriformis is an endangered tadpole shrimp species. It can be found in Europe. It can reach a length of 6 cm in captivity. In their natural habitat, it can grow up to 11 cm. This species is considered to be one of the oldest living species on the planet at around 200 million years old.

Artemia salina

Artemia salina is a very old brine shrimp species that does not appear to have changed in 100 million years. Adults have three eyes and 11 pairs of legs and can grow to about 1.5 cm in size.

Pestarella tyrrhena

Pestarella tyrrhena is an odd-looking crustacean that belongs to mud shrimps. It lives in burrows in shallow sandy parts of the seabed of Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. It can grow up to 7 cm and has been used as bait by fishermen for the last 200 years.

See also

Friday, December 9, 2011

Animals With the Toughest Teeth: Remarkable Wood-eating Creatures

The habit of eating wood by an herbivorous animal is called xylophagy. Animals that feed on dead wood are called sapro-xylophagous. These animals are among the animals with the toughest teeth on Earth. They could destroy and ea even the hardest wood in the world.

Here are the creatures with the toughest teeth.

Giant Panda

The above photo shows two Giant Pandas feeding on bamboo. Of course, bamboos are not wood but eating bamboo requires tough teeth in order to do so. So Giant Pandas are not wood-eaters.


Of all the fishes in the world, species of fish that belongs to the genus Panaque are among the fish with the toughest teeth. They are commonly called South American Armored Catfishes and range in size from small to medium. They are notable for being among the very few vertebrates that feed extensively on wood. These catfishes use their rasping teeth to scrape this from rocks.

These fish are also popular aquarium fish.  Panaque are the only fish that can eat and digest wood. These fish have particular adaptations to its wood diet include spoon-shaped, scraper-like teeth and highly angled jaws to chisel wood.


A Horntail is brown, blue or black with yellow parts in color and can grow up to 4 cm in length. Female horntails lay their eggs in trees by piercing the bark. The larvae bore into the wood and live in the tree for up to 2 years or more. Horntail is the common name for any of the 100 non-social species. They are also commonly called Wood Wasps.


A Shipworm is not a worm at all but an unusual saltwater clam with very small shells. It is notorious for boring into wooden structures that are immersed in sea water, such as piers, docks and wooden ships. Shipworms are sometimes called "termites of the sea" and are also often known as Teredo Worms.


Gribbles or Gribble Worms are any of about 56 species of marine isopod from the family Limnoriidae. They are mostly pale white and small that grows up to 10 mm in length. They are known for eating woods.

Bark Beetle

There are about 6,000 species of Bark Beetles and are known as major pests of forests in North America and Europe. The Coffee Berry Borer, a tiny bark beetle, is the major pest of coffee around the world. Bark Beetles attack and kill live trees. Most, however, live in dead, weakened, or dying hosts. Bark Beetles are ecologically and economically significant.


Termites are among the most popular and extremely destructive wood-eaters n the world. There are about 4,000 species of Termites. About 10% of the estimated 4,000 species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Their recycling of wood and other plant matter is of considerable ecological importance. Termites are sometimes called "White Ants", though they are not closely related to true ants.

See also

Monday, December 5, 2011

The World’s Most Colorful, Oddest-looking and Unique Crabs

 Do you eat crabs? Some crab species are among the most popular seafood in the world. Crabs vary in size, color and appearance. Here’s a long list of the most unusual, weird, freak-looking, colorful and pretty crabs. Animals with similar names like Hermit crabs, King crabs, Crab lice, Horseshoe crab and Porcelain crabs are not true crabs. Nevertheless, they are included on the list.

Red Spotted Guard Crab
The first crab species on the list is the beautiful and attractive-looking Red Spotted Guard Crab. It is scientifically named Trapezia tigrina, a beauty to admire and a uniquely colored crab species. 

It lives symbiotically with corals and it has been in existence since the Eocene period.

Blue Land Crab

Blue Land Crab is a colorful land crab species that can be found in tropical and sub-tropical estuaries and other maritime areas of land along the coast of Atlantic Ocean. It is scientifically named Cardisoma guanhumi. This crab can grow up to 11 centimeters in width and weigh over 500 grams. This nocturnal and cannibal feeds on leaves, fruits, insects and carrions.

Horned Ghost Crab

The Horned Ghost Crab or Ocypode ceratophthalmus is a unique crab species that lives in the Indo-Pacific region. It has a box-shaped body that grows up to 8 centimeters across the carapace. It is also commonly known as Horn-eyed Ghost Crab.

Pompom Crab

Pompom Crab is a cute crab species native to the Hawaiian Islands. Its scientific name is Lybia edmondsoni and inhabits depths of 0.30–30 m. This beautiful crab can grow up to 13 mm in width. The carapace sports unique polygonal patterns in yellow, brown and pink. It lives symbiotically with Sea Anemone. It is also known as Boxer Crab and is known in Hawaii as Kumimi Pua which means “inedible flower crab”.

Atergatis subdentatus

Atergatis subdentatus is a beautiful species of crab that can grow a carapace of approximately 6-8 inches across.

Capilius convextus

Carpilius convexus is a colorful crab species that lives in the Indo-Pacific from Hawaii to the Red Sea and South Africa.

Carpilius maculatus

Carpilius maculatus is a beautiful crab species with unique markings. It belongs to the genus Carpilius of the Carpiliidae family. The specimen on the above picture is on display at the national Museum in Prague, Czech Republic.

Red Rock Crab

Red Rock Crab or Cancer productus is a colorful crab species found on the western coast of North America. It can grow up to 20 cm in width and its coloration is diverse, often white, sometimes with red spots, or zebra striped.

Mouthless Crab

Mouthless Crab or Cardisoma crassum is truly a unique and colorful crab species. This terrestrial crab can be found in the coastal tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. The shell of this crab is purple-bluish, its legs are red and its main pincer is white.

Potamon fluviatile

Potamon fluviatile is a species of freshwater crab found in streams, rivers, ponds and lakes in Southern Europe. It can grow up to 5 cm and can live up to 12 years. It inhabits burrows and are aggressive, apparently outcompeting native crayfish.

Callinectes danae

Callinectes danae is a crab species that can be found in South America. The specimen on the above picture was taken from the Patos Lagoon Estuary, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Johngarthia lagostoma

Johngarthia lagostoma is a species of terrestrial crab that lives on Ascension Island where it is the largest native land animal. It grows to a carapace width of 11 cm and exists in two distinct color morphs – one yellow and one purple, with few intermediates.

Red Rock Crab

The Red Rock Crab or Plagusia chabrus is a marine large-eyed crab that lives in the southern Indian Ocean and Southern Pacific Ocean. It can also be found in Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa.

Calico Crab

The Calico Crab or Hepatus epheliticus is a beautiful crab species characterized by large red spots all over its carapace, legs and pincers. It is also commonly known as Dolly Varden Crab and Leopard Crab. It can be found in the western Atlantic Ocean in inhabits shallow waters.

Painted Ghost Crab

The Painted Ghost Crab or Ocypode gaudichaudii is a beautifully colored crab species that can be found on Pacific beaches from El Salvador to Chile. It is also commonly called Cart Driver Crab. It is red-orange in color with sandy dots across the back of the carapace.

Angular Crab

The Angular Crab or Goneplax rhomboides is a uniquely-shaped crab. Its name was taken from the angular shape of its carapace. It is also called the square crab although its shell is in fact more trapezoidal than square. This species is also known as the Mud-runner because it is capable to run away quickly when threatened.

Striped Shore Crab

The Striped Shore Crab or Pachygrapsus crassipes is a colorful small crab found on rocky and hard-mud shores of the west coast of North and Central America. It is also known as the Lined Shore Crab. Its carapace is square and can grow up to 5 cm.

Nimble Spray Crab

Nimble Spray Crab or Percnon gibbesi is a colorful crab species that can be found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and on the Pacific coast of North America. It is also commonly known as the Sally L:ightfoot Crab or Urchin Crab. It has been described as "the most invasive decapod species to enter the Mediterranean".

Purple Rock Crab

The Purple Rock Crab or Leptograpsus variegates is a colorful species of crab that can be found in southern subtropical Indo-Pacific region. This marine large-eyed crab grows up to 5 cm.

Guinotia dentata

Guinotia dentata is a freshwater crab species that belongs to Pseudothelphusidae family. It can be found in mountain streams in the Neotropics.

Ashtoret lunaris

Ashtoret lunaris is a beautiful crab species that belongs to the genus Ashtoret of the Matutudae family of crabs. The above picture of Ashtoret lunaris was photographed at Nagasaki prefecture, Japan.

Yellowline Arrow Crab

This freak and weird looking crab species is commonly known as Yellowline Arrow Crab. Its scientific name is Stenorhynchus seticornis. It is also simply called Arrow Crab. It has long and thin legs that grow up to 10 cm and its body is triangular with a carapace of up to 6 cm in length. They are commonly kept in reef aquariums to control bristle worm population.

Oyster Crab

The Oyster Crab or Zaops ostreus is a small, whitish or translucent crab species that lives inside the gills of an oyster or a clam. It uses the oyster for protection and lives on the food that the oyster gets for itself. It is found in oysters in the North Atlantic Ocean. The crabs are eaten as a delicacy.

Mangrove Tree Crab

Mangrove Tree Crab or Aratus pisonii is a crab species that lives in mangrove trees in tropical and sub-tropical parts of North and South America. It feeds mostly on the leaves of the mangroves and animal matter.

Bristly Crab

Bristly Crab or Pilumnus hirtellus is a small crab species covered in hair. It lives in shallow water and feeds on carrion. It is also called Hairy Crab.

Mictyris brevidactylus

The Mictyris brevidactylus is a unique crab species that is found in Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. It has a light blue carapace and scarlet jointed legs and will burrow into the sand when disturbed, in a corkscrew motion.

Warty Crab

The Warty Crab or Eriphia verrucosa is a weird-looking but colorful species of crab sometimes also called the Yellow Crab. It can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Atlantic Ocean. It can reach a width of 9 centimeters and a length of 7 cm.

Horsehair Crab

The Horsehair Crab or Erimacrus isenbeckii is a weird-looking crab species that can be found in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently used in the Japanese cuisine and is known in Japan as Kegani. It is also sometimes called Helmet Crab.

California Rock Crab

The California Rock Crab or Romaleon antennarium is a crab species that can be found on the western coast of North America. This unique crab has a fan-shaped carapace with eleven teeth to either side of the eyestalks. It is also commonly called Pacific Rock Crab.

Northern Kelp Crab

Northern Kelp Crab or Pugettia productus is a unique crab species that belongs to Epialtidae family of crab.

Northern Kelp Crab can be found along the Pacific Coast from southern Alaska to northern Mexico. It feeds on kelps, hence its common name. It can grow a carapace of up to 9 cm.

Sheep Crab 

Sheep Crab is a freak-looking crab species that belongs to the Majidae family of crabs. This crab with very long legs has exoskeleton covered with bristles to which the crab attaches algae and other items for camouflage. It is scientifically named Loxorhynchus grandis.

Pea Crab

The Pea Crab or Pinnotheres pisum is a small species of crab that lives as a parasite in clams, mussels, oysters and other bivalve species. This creature solely relies on its host for food, safety, and oxygen. Other hosts include sea urchins and sand dollars.

Scorpion Spider Crab

Scorpion Spider Crab or Inachus dorsettensi is a crab species generally found on loose substrates from 6 meters depth down to about 100 m. this crab can be found on the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean and also in the Mediterranean Sea. It is usually covered with sponge and grows to a carapace of 3 cm.

Sleepy Sponge Crab

Sleepy Sponge Crab or Dromia dormia, is athe largest species of sponge crab growing up to a carapace width of 20 cm. it lives is shallow waters across the Indo-Pacific region. This crab camouflages itself by carrying a sponge on its back, which it cuts to size with its claws, and then holds in place with its last two pairs of legs. It is also commonly known as Common Sponge Crab.

Calappa japonica

Calappa japonica is a unique-looking crab species that can be found in Japan.

Gandalf Crab

Gandalf Crab or Gandalfus yunohana is a species of crab named after the character Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. It is found on hydrothermal vents on the eastern edge of the Philippine Sea Plate south of Japan. It can grow up to 4.1 by 2.58 cm and lives at depths of 420 – 1,380 meters.

Sand Bubbler Crab

The Sand Bubbler Crab or Sand-Bubbler is a small species of crab that lives on sandy beaches in the tropical Indo-Pacific regions. These unique creatures form inflated sand pellets during low tide which are destroyed by the incoming high tide. It can grow up to 1 cm across the carapace and they are characterized by the presence of "gas windows" on the merus of the legs. Its scientific name is Scopimera globosa.

Long-legged Spider Crab

The Long-legged Spider Crab is a unique-looking species of crab that can be found in the Belgian Continental Shelf. This crab belongs to the Macropodia genus of the Inachidae family.

See also



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