Shoutout to this crimson crustacean and its genial genus of 30+ species of incredible North Pacific invertebrates.
This little one was found about 40 feet deep on a blade of red algae atop the sprawling shale beds of Monterey’s Del Monte Beach. Heptacarpus shrimp are fairly common, but often difficult to find and photograph. Their glorious garb makes them exquisitely camouflaged for Monterey Bay’s colorful reefs.
If kelps are like trees and sculpins are like lizards on the reef, then Heptacarpus shrimp and their crustacean kin are like the myriad insects tucked away in every nook, toiling away at their very shrimportant work without being much noticed, and, upon closer inspection, holding unto themselves a world of wonder.
This Shrimp Week, we encourage you to head out into your environment to seek out those tiny cryptic critter neighbors, be they aquatic or land-based, so that we may all show them a little appreseaocean. 🦐❤️