Scientific name: Lysmata seticaudata
Common name: Monegasque shrimp, silk tail shrimp
It has the appearance of a shrimp with the characteristic large black eyes, the long red antennae and the drawing of the body, with narrow longitudinal white bands on a red background. Their bodies are differentiated into two parts: the first includes all the vital organs and the abdomen is segmented (7 segments), strongly muscled and ends in a tail. Between the eyes they have a kind of crest that gives them protection in the most dorsal part of the head. The first pair of legs are modified and end in small black clamps. They have three pairs of walking legs.
In the Mediterranean; from the French Atlantic coast to the Canary Islands, passing through the Azores and Madeira. It presents nocturnal activity and is found in sea meadows and on the rocky coastline, a characteristic inhabitant of caves and cavities, where it can be found in small groups or large formations. Photophobic species that immediately retreats to the most hidden corner of the caves in which it inhabits when feeling minimally disturbed. It is dedicated to cleaning the body of moray eels, conger eels and blennies with which it frequently shares shelter.
It feeds on small crustaceans and has deworming habits. It is a scavenger. Sometimes it acts as a cleaning shrimp, frequently associated with conger eels and moray eels.
The females lay their eggs between May and June, although in Spanish waters - warmer - this fact can last until September. The clutch is carried by the female on her abdomen. Larvae hatch from these eggs and slowly take on the shape of their parents after about 30 days. This species is known to be able to change sex: it is male during the first year of life and then becomes female. It is believed that it can live up to 5 years.
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