Pacific Cleaner Shrimp Scampi, Anyone?

A cleaner shrimp does what cleaner shrimp do best in its new aquatic home.

Pacific Cleaner Shrimp ( Lysmata amboinensis ). Via Lonnie Huffman/Wikipedia
Pacific Cleaner Shrimp ( Lysmata amboinensis ). Via Lonnie Huffman/Wikipedia

One of the newer inhabitants in our reef tank is a cleaner shrimp, affectionately known as Scampi (don’t worry, we have no plans on cooking him).

I got a little surprise a few days after Scampi joined the fish family. My hand was dangling close to the shrimp as I worked in the tank. He must have been sad that none of my fish were requesting his “services” because he hopped on my hand and started cleaning away! If you’ve never had your hand “cleaned” by a cleaner shrimp, it’s a really strange picking or plucking feeling. If you’ve ever experienced a manicure, it’s a bit like having your cuticles trimmed. It’s not an entirely unpleasant sensation, but after a minute or so I always get the heebie jeebies and yank my hand back.

Anyway, my fiancé just got a new camera with video capability, so I thought we’d test it out on the tank (of course!). Check out Scampi cleaning my hand, followed by a brief video of feeding the tank. Enjoy!

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