The Harlequin Shrimp was first scientifically described in 1852. The Harlequin Shrimp has a white body with large light blue spots. The males are slightly smaller than the female.
These are small shrimps, typically 2-5cm in length. It has large claws which are for show only; it does not use them for hunting.
These beautiful shrimps have a very specific diet: starfish. Upon finding their prey, they will overturn it to dine on the starfish’s delicate tube feet. Occasionally they take whole starfish many times larger than themselves. Even the huge Crown-of-Thorns, which has almost no natural enemies, is not safe around these guys. Some adults also feed on sea urchins.
Harlequin shrimps detect their prey using scent. The male and female shrimp overturn the starfish together to disable it. Working as a team, one shrimp methodically snips suction-tube feet from each arm of its prey. Meanwhile, its partner grabs an arm-tip and backs up like a tractor, gradually pulling the sea star over onto its back. This allows them to feed on its delicate tube feet starting at the tips and working inwards. Sometimes they will take the starfish into a dark recess where they can continue to feed for several days. Some even feed the starfish prey, keeping it alive so that they can dine on it later.
Their extraordinary coloration may serve as a warning to possible predators. It is thought that the shrimps incorporate toxins from their prey, making them bad tasting or potentially dangerous to eat.
As shrimp and other crustaceans grow, their exoskeleton does not grow with them and they must form a new exoskeleton to match their new size. During the period between molts they also repair themselves. If an antenna, leg or claw is lost new ones will grow and become evident after molting. It may take more than one molting period to fully repair any damaged or lost limbs.
Harlequin shrimps are fairly rare. When they encounter a mate, they stay together for life forming monogamous, often territorial, pairs. They mate shortly after the female’s molt. The female produces between 100 and 5,000 eggs per season which she tends and cleans until they hatch. The last one seen was around the Phi Phi islands at the dive site “Southern Tip”.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to breathe underwater? Can you see yourself glide over the reef between fish and corals and the whole sea come to greet you?
Any day our professional Kon-Tiki instructors can introduce you to Scuba Diving to see if you like it. During the boat ride our PADI instructor will give you a theory lesson in diving. You learn the basics you need to dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Professional diving instructor. One thing you’ll learn is that you really can breathe underwater and whether you like doing that or not.
Nothing beats that feeling of being under water for the very first time. It takes a little getting used to, but after a few minutes of adjustment, most first timers realize how easy scuba diving really is. As this is not an actual PADI scuba certification, during the Discover Scuba Diving experience you’ll learn how to use scuba equipment in shallow water and get a quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world.
Plus, you can get credit! If you like the Discover Scuba Diving program so much you want to continue, we can continue to your PADI Open water certification.
What you waiting for? Sign up today for your next holiday here in Thailand? Weather it is a Koh Lanta, Phuket, Khao Lak or Krabi, it is all the same fun.
Racha Yai and Racha Noi are two small islands just south of Phuket. They can be reached within one and a half hour from Chalong Pier where all dive boats leave from, for daily diving & snorkeling adventures!
The two islands consist of a ton of small bays, with the bays on Racha Yai imaginatively named Bay 1, Bay 2, all the way up to Bay 5. The bays of Racha Noi are a bit more imaginative, Marina Bay, Banana Bay, South Bay etc. All of them given the name because of characteristics, which makes each bay distinct, from one and other. Both these islands offer some great visibility and there is always somewhere we can scuba dive.
For instance Marina Bay, is often refer to as the “Bay of surprises” because you never know if you are going to find a beautiful new Nudibranch, a camouflaged Octopus or maybe a giant Manta Ray! This makes scuba diving at Racha Noi super interesting, even when you’ve dived the sites several times, (it’s like a box of chocolate, you never know what you gonna get) All the bays on Racha Noi are good for all scuba divers out there, with depths ranging from 4-40+ meters. This mixed with corals of all sorts and marine life that are there for your enjoyment makes Racha Noi a super location for your first introduction to the underwater world as a beginner or first timers visiting the dive sites of the Andaman Sea.
The bays of Racha Yai are a little bit different from the bays at Racha Noi. Here the bays are a little bit shallower, but this gives us some beautiful light on the seabed and it’s perfect for long dives with your underwater camera. One of the nice touches of Racha Yai is our two small wrecks just on the outside of Bay 1, these wrecks rest at 16-23 meters, so everybody can join in for a dive here. This dive will end inside the bay in 5 meters of water, among the corals, and the light from the sun playing on the sandy bottom.
That is diving at Racha Noi and Racha Yai! Contact Kon-Tiki Phuket if you are interested in diving these dive sites.