I had a wonderful weekend as a bridesmaid at an outdoor Halloween wedding, or "Hallowedding." Unfortunately, I got the flu and didn't even look at my aquariums for a few days. (My husband was kind enough to feed the seahorses and new Flashing Tilefish for me.) I got up this morning for work and decided to pop a cube of mysis in for the seahorses quickly. I glanced in right before leaving and saw something strange on Hoover, one of my female seahorses. I looked closer, and saw my newest Crinoid Squat Lobster hosting on her!
At first, I was shocked. This is not normal behavior. I wanted to knock the thing off or her as quickly as possible, but I had to grab a couple quick snapshots of the situation first. I think the squat lobster was smart for doing this, because as Hoover swam up to the top of the water to eat some mysis, the squat lobster grabbed some mysis, too. I don't know how it thought a seahorse was similar enough to a Crinoid to host on it, but it worked. Maybe someday squat lobsters will figure out that seahorses are better hosts than Crinoids, because they move toward the food instead of waiting for the food to come to them. It was sort of funny, because the squat lobster seemed a bit triumphant in his experiment, but also a little confused as to why his host was moving around so much. He looked like a cowboy trying to hang onto a bull.
Hoover didn't seem irritated by the squat lobster. Normally if something is on her (like another seahorse), she bucks and shakes, trying to dislodge it. Even though she was acting normal with the squat lobster attached to her, it made me really uncomfortable. So I grabbed her and shook it off of her. She went back to eating right away, and the squat lobster sunk to a crevice in a rock, where he has stayed.