The Skeleton Shrimp is a rare animal whose scientific name is Liropus minusculus. Although the Japanese skeleton shrimp (Caprella Mutica) is also spoken of.
It is a very striking, strange and special rare crustacean, of which very little is known since it was recently discovered. So unfortunately the research and information collected about this species is very limited.
Characteristics of the Skeleton Shrimp
This rare crustacean is characterized by a structured and varied anatomy. It was nicknamed “skeleton shrimp” because of the strange shape of its body that resembles that of a skeleton, that is, it does not have much meat.
It is a hardy species as well as being the smallest crustacean in its genus.
The female measures 2.1 mm and the male just over 3.3 mm, so they are not at all easy to detect due to their tiny size, almost invisible to the human eye.
Where do they live?
This rare animal, which for many turns out to be intriguing, was discovered on Catalina Island (California, United States) in 2012.
It is not possible to say even if that is its place of origin since it is a very territorial and invasive animal, that is, it can reproduce quickly anywhere in the oceans where it decides to stay and repopulate territories very easily.
They are mainly found in structures such as rafts and crop cages.
Thanks to some researches I can deduce that it is a species that also comes from Japan, but recently it has been detected in different points of Aurora in Pontevedra (Galicia).
Skeleton Shrimp feeding
It is not yet clear what its main power source is.
It may vary depending on where they are and what their chances are. Although these rare little animals will do their best to feed, breed and stay.
Skeleton Shrimp reproduction
We mentioned earlier that the skeleton shrimp is a new species that is not even 10 years old yet, so the world does not know much about it yet.
As far as reproduction is concerned, little is known, but some research suggests that they reproduce exclusively sexually.
In addition, the speed with which they fill the waters is an indication that their reproductive process is extremely fast.
Do they have known predators?
The skeleton shrimp is not edible to humans or other animals. Therefore, it has no known predators.
In fact, rather than being threatened in the waters, skeleton shrimp (especially Japanese) are often considered a threat. Why?
It is a species that reproduces very easily having the ability to repopulate any place in the oceans, no matter if this is its natural habitat or the one it is used to.
This makes it a very effective and independent invader.
This ability to adapt to any place, becomes a threat to species that are already in those places for decades.
The reason is this: in order to survive they need to eat but the skeleton shrimp and their rapid reproduction and invasion take away that right.
You could say that in the territory where they decide to stay, they automatically become the owners of the waters, making life difficult for other species.
Because of this problem that has arisen in several areas, researchers and scientists have created plans to exterminate them and take them out of the waters completely.
These plans were intensified when they discovered that more than 300 specimens are housed in one square meter.
Many researchers have approached entities such as the Marine Environment Study Group (MESG), which is in charge of these procedures, asking for all the help necessary to stop the proliferation of this species before the damage to the waters becomes even more serious.