14 June 2010

A shrimp that looks like a snail shell

A tiny shrimp, Vercoia interrupta, only about 6 or 7 mm long, seems to have evolved to resemble a snail shell in its superficial, external appearance (Anker, 2010).

Photo of live Vercoia interrupta (by Guido Poppe) from Anker (2010).

Anker notes that the shrimp “remarkably resembles a dead and encrusted cerithiid shell, more specifically that of Cerithium rostratum G.B. Sowerby II, 1855, which is common in the area”. New sightings of this species, previously known only from southern Japan, come from the central Philippines.

Thanks to the reader Andrew Broome for bringing this paper to my attention.

Anker, A. 2010. A second finding of Vercoia interrupta Kim & Fujita, 2004 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Crangonidae), a remarkable shrimp imitating dead snail shells. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 58:27-30. pdf


Anonymous said...

Fascinating. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Aydin. As the authors say, it strongly resembles a dead shell inhabited by a hermit crab! I certainly would have been fooled by it. Very interesting.

Susan J. Hewitt

Harry said...

That is so cool.