This was probably my favorite encounter on my recent dive trip. Although this trip marked my first real attempt at macro photography, I quickly found it to be more gratifying then wide angle, particularly on this trip. It allowed me to slow down, and really spend time observing very small sections of the reef. Coral reefs are incredibly complex and diverse ecosystems and although they occupy less than 0.015% of the total area of the planet's oceans, these communities contain greater than 25% of the ocean's biodiversity. There is so much life that it is really difficult to comprehend the vast scale, even when you're face to face with it.
The Pederson Cleaner Shrimp, protected by its symbiotic living situation within a sea anemone, will perform an alluring kind of dance by waving their antennae and swaying their bodies back an forth. This display is used to attract fish, often several times their size, in need of a cleaning. Upon arrival, the shrimp will pluck parasites and dead tissue from the fish. As I was swimming by, tiny movement caught my eye. Moving in for a closer look I saw this beautiful, tiny shrimp, no longer than an inch, waving it's antennae vigorously, and moving side to side, trying as hard as it could to get me to stop by for a checkup.
Pederson Cleaner Shrimp (Periclimenes pedersoni) and Giant Caribbean Sea Anemone (Condylactis gigantea) - Bonaire National Marine Park