Red Cherry Shrimp Hatching
Photos by Peter Maquire
Photos courtesy of Peter Maguire
Peter Maquire from London was kind enough to share these photographs with us. He managed to catch one of the most unphotographed behaviors of the Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp Hobby: the hatching of a shrimp from an egg. In this case it was the Red Cherry Shrimp. Seeing this event in person is extremely rare. Capturing it on camera is definitely something special. Capturing photographs of Red Cherry Shrimp breeding has been achieved by many, photographs of newborn Red Cherry Shrimp babies as well, but not a real time Red Cherry Shrimp hatching. It happens in a matter of seconds.
Due to the small size of the Red Cherry Shrimp baby the quality of the photographs is low. However, given the importance of the photographs I would say these are some of the best photos anywhere of such a unique event. The quality of what was taken far surpasses any qualms due to the lack of quality of the actual photograph.
Photos are in chronological order. Each sequence contains a photo that shows the actual shot, the other highlights the hatching in the same shot. The hatching occurs within seconds, yes seconds. Click each photo for a larger image.
Photo One: Here you can see the egg first appear with the eyes beginning to emerge. The egg is being released from the brood at the end of the tail. Somehow the female knows that an egg is hatching and will actually "kick out" the egg/hatchling.
Photo Two: The hatchling is then released from the brood and the nearly transparent tail of the hatchling begins to emerge. You can still see the yellow of the egg still attached to the hatchling.
Photo Three: The tail further emerges as does the rest of the hatchling. I am sure that if we could get a more detailed shot we would see other parts of the hatchling emerging as well. This all takes a matter of seconds.
Photo Four: Finally the fully emerged baby shrimp latches onto a piece of moss. Notice the yellow egg is completely gone as the baby is officially on its own. One cool thing to notice is that the eyes do not eppear fully developed. The eyes are actually bulging/bloated. Perhaps the newborn shrimp is unable to see for a certain period of time until the eyes develop completely. It would be interesting to document the full development cycle of a baby to adult with the same shrimp.