Ryan Photographic - Stenopodidae - Boxer shrimp
The family Stenopodidae contains 41 species in 3 genera. Although they look like shrimp or small lobsters, they are neither. Some stenopodids are cleaner shrimp, advertizing their guild with the typical long white antennae of that lifestye. Stenopus hispidus is the best known and possibly the mostly widely spread species, being found in all the world's tropical and subtropical waters.
Other boxer shrimp live in an apparently obligate relationship with glass sponges (Hexactinellidae). They enter the sponge as tiny juveniles and remain there for the rest of their lives. In Japan, glass sponges with the dried remains of boxer shrimp inside them are sometimes given as wedding gifts - the symbolism is obvious - together forever - but of course there is an alternate interpetation ...
Stenopus hispidus Banded coral shrimp
Stenopus hispidus Banded coral shrimp pair Belize
Stenopus hispidus Banded coral shrimp, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua IMG_0487
Stenopus hispidus, Cleaner shrimp, Taveuni, Fiji-4780