Commensal Bryaninops gobies

For some reason certain animals are on the “cool” list that everyone wants to see and photograph and others are placed on the “not so cool” list and get ignored by most divers and photographers. Scarcity and cuteness seems to be two important factors determining the popularity of an animal. Despite not really ticking either…

Carrier crabs

The Aer Bajo dive sites are to me the essence of Lembeh diving. For me an optimal dive plan would include Aer Bajo on at least one dive every day! Sandy, somewhat silty slopes, initially giving the impression of not to many animals around, but always delivering something special. Furthermore, well into the dive, the…

Parasitism

Commensalism requires one animal, the host, to accept the presence of another, without receiving anything for it, which, in itself, is not very complicated from an evolutionary point of view. Mutualism requires one animal to give advantages to another while at the same time receiving benefits from the other. At first sight this probably seems…

Mutualism

Mutualisms are close, long-term relationships between two species where both species benefit from the relationship. Mutualisms can, just as commensalisms, be obligate or facultative. They can also be endosymbiotic, that is one species living inside another, or ectosymbiotic, which is one species living on the surface of the other. One relationship that during a long…

Symbiosis and commensalism

On my day job part of my time is used to teach ecology for undergraduates in biology. Maybe not such a surprise, many of the best examples of interactions between species that I use in my teaching come from marine ecosystems. This is especially true when dealing with symbiosis theory. Symbiosis means “together living”, and…