Pistol shrimp discovered in Cornish waters

by Owen James

The tiny pistol shrimp are barely bigger than a coin

The tiny pistol shrimp are barely bigger than a coin

Pistol shrimps have been found in British waters. The tiny shrimps, which can apparently make a sound as loud as a gunshot, are being kept at the Blue Reef aquarium in Newquay.

They originally hail from the Mediterranean, but according to a report in the Telegraph, the shrimp were picked up by crab fisherman off the coast of Cornwall, where they’re thought to have established themselves.

Blue Reef aquarium curator Mark Slater explains:

Only a handful of this type of shrimp has ever been recorded in UK waters although their numbers do appear to be on the rise because of rising sea temperatures.

The fisherman brought in a bucket and I started to hear this cracking noise as if someone was popping bubble wrap.

It wasn’t until we unloaded the bucket that I realised the sound was coming from the shrimps snapping their claws together.

Tropical pistol shrimp are well-known to reef aquarium keepers, who get their first heart flutter when they here popping come from inside their fish tanks. The shrimp, which sometimes arrive hidden in live rock but are also bought to live with symbiotic gobies, are generally harmless, unlike the higher-profile (and harder to spot) mantis shrimp, which also hitchhike in via live rock, and which will kill any fish small enough to catch and eat.

Read the Ultimate Secrets To Saltwater Fish And Invertebrates.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

fish 11.15.08 at 6:09 pm

I can only imagine my own heart flutter at the sound of bubble wrap popping in my fish tank or even a gun shot. Even better would be keeping a strait face trying to tell someone not to tap on the glass resulting in them ducking for cover at the sound of gun shots.

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