Above you can see a fascinating video of squat Urchin shrimp and below you find some basic information about this tiny shrimp.

The squat Urchin shrimp, known in scientific circles as Gnathophylloides mineri, is quite a fascinating invertebrate that many aquarists would often look over, or even never see.

This fascinating little creature is only milometers in length, and it survives in its own little world, not seeming to care about how the rest of the Sea Urchins live. These Sea Urchins actually live ON TOP of other Sea Urchins!

The Squat Urchin Shrimp is incredibly tiny, often never reaching more than 6mm in length, and it often orients itself parallel with their hosts spines, which not only protects it from becoming lunch for some other sea critter, but also makes it nigh on impossible to see, some would even say it’s effectively invisible to the naked eye. Colonies of these little guys often have numbers ranging from a few to a half dozen will share the same host Sea Urchin. Not only does it seek protection from its hosts spines, it actually feeds on them, proving once again just how successful this tiny creature is at surviving. This is a rather odd kind of parasitism, as it does not have any ill effects for the host.

The Squat Urchin Shrimp also will take every chance they get to feed upon the detritus that the host sea urchin picks up off the ocean floor on it’s travels.