National Geographic : 1977 Mar
CONDUCTORS with multiple batons, cleaner shrimp on the rim of a Verongula gigantea wave antennae to attract fish. Groom-and clean specialists, the shrimp scavenge tiny food particles from the fish and trim away their diseased or injured tissue. A cleaner shrimp once even snipped a blister from the finger of a scientist diver. Another species of shrimp actually lives inside a deep-sea sponge. Entering the sponge as a larva, the shrimp soon grows too large to escape and spends the rest of its life inside, dining on the sponge's flesh. Happily the sponge manages to regenerate tissue faster than its boarder consumes it. Nearly transparent, a triplefin fish blends with the shiny mucus of Mycale (lower right). The mucus is thought to help the sponge repel pore-clogging sediment. Callyspongia fallax (below), one of the Caribbean's most colorful sponges, branches out from a bed of coral.