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The snapping shrimp Alpheus armatus has been observed in the laboratory and field to defend its host, the anemone Bartholomea annulata from intrusion by the polychaete Hermodice carunculata. Laboratory experiments showed that the polychaete partially consumes and
kills anemones which do not have the associated shrimp, and that the shrimp does defend the anemone from such predation. Field observations indicate that anemones which lack this associated shrimp are more likely to disappear and this suggests that the defensive behavior of the snapping shrimp
substantially contributes to the survival of the anemone. The advantage to the anemone of this association probably generates selective pressures on the anemone to aid in the maintenance of the association.
The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.