California Peppermint Shrimp - Lysmata Californica

Shrimp are abundant in the harbor but during the day they are good at hiding from predators in tight dark places. The California Peppermint Shrimp are considered ‘cleaning shrimp’ because they have developed the courage and trust of other animals, such as fish, and will climb on them, and carefully eat parasites who are hitchhiking. This is one of the great examples of the underwater ecosystem as a dynamic community full of complex cooperative relationships. We’ve barely begun to uncover these types of relationships between species. As divers with our loud bubbles and threatening size, we often miss the subtle interactions that go on in our absence. Imagine the countless interactions a busy shrimp has with other animals every day.