Lysmata seticaudata

The shrimp Lysmata seticaudata is a species belonging to the class Malacostraca, order Decapoda, family Lysmatidae and genus Lysmata. This genus of species consists of 48 species among which we find Lysmata seticaudata. We will find this species of shrimp in the waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. It lives at depths between 4 and 60 meters, where it can be found among vegetation or on rocky bottoms hidden in cracks and hollows, as it is a species that avoids direct light.

The total length of the specimens of Lysmata seticaudata, counting the extension of its antennae, reaches a maximum of 6-7 cm, the body being between 3 and 4 cm long. The body is organized in two regions, the cephalic region where we find large black eyes between which there is a spiny crest that gives it some protection, as well as a pair of modified appendages that end in small clamps, three pairs of leg-like appendages and several pairs of antennae. The second region is the abdomen and is formed by 7 segments and ends in a tail. The coloration of Lysmata seticaudata is red with longitudinal bands of white.

As previously mentioned, Lysmata seticaudata is a photophobic species and therefore, it is a species that is especially active at night and during the day we will find it in shady places. It is common for specimens of Lysmata seticaudata to establish curious relationships with specimens that we would not imagine at first, such as Muraena helena and/or Conger conger, which they deworm and clean. Such is the degree of trust established between these species of Anguiliformes with Lysmata seticaudata, that the latter will even clean the mouths of these other two species.

The feeding of Lysmata seticaudata can be considered to be scavenging, feeding on any organic debris it finds, and mainly on the parasites it eliminates from the species it deworms.

The reproduction of this species occurs during the months of May to September, when the females, once the eggs are fertilized, move them to the lower part of the abdomen where they are transported and aerated until hatching.