A Symbiotic relationship

There are many wonderful fish and a vast amount of marine life around Koh tao and a lot of them come in pairs. Its easy to spot a pair of butterfly fish, banner fish or Angelfish flitting around the reef, but if you look a little closer and a little further down, in the sand, you can always find one of the most interesting relationships under the sea, One a shrimp and the other a fish, called a Goby shrimp.
The shrimp who builds a burrow in the sand surrounded by shells has very poor eyesight so cannot see any potential danger coming to destroy its well built home or take a quick bite. On the other hand the Goby shrimp has very good eye sight and is in need of a home.
These gobies are sometimes known as “watchmen gobies” or “prawn gobies” as they are seen guarding the entrance to the burrow keeping in contact with the shrimp, the shrimp using its antennae, and the goby flicking the shrimp with its tail when alarmed giving the shrimp a warning of approaching danger, so in turn the goby gets a safe home and a place to lay its eggs.
I often spend time watching these two on the sea bed, there are so many big schools of fish swimming around the reef that its nice to pay attention to the little things.

Russell Nicholson

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