JOHANNESBURG – A tiny shrimp equipped with large, candy-striped eyes to ward off predators has been discovered in South African waters, the University of Cape Town.
“The vivid ringed patterns are thought to be there to make the eyes appear to belong to a much bigger creature, and hence to scare off predators,” the university said.
The “stargazer mysid” was well-known to divers, but it was not until diver Guido Zsilavecz brought samples to the university that it was realized that the species had never been documented by marine biologists, UCT spokeswoman Kemantha Govender said in a statement.
The findings were published in the international journal Crustaceana.
Prof. Karl Wittmann published the findings in the journal and the shrimp which measures a mere 10 to 15mm long has been named Mysidopsis zsilaveczi, after the diver.
It is officially named Mysidopsis zsilaveczi after Guido Zsilavecz, the underwater photographer who discovered it.
Zsilavecz also recently found a new type of nudibranch, a soft-bodied sea slug, around Cape Town, a city situated at the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic oceans.
A regular shrimp have eyes like insects that looks towards different directions at once. The look that it is gazing upward is actually just an illusion because shrimps do not have pupils and irises. Experts suggests that the unusual marking on its body just appeared as part of its evolution to protect itself against predators. The eye markings also make the shrimps appear larger. Apparently, the eye markings you see on shrimps are also available in some species of moth.
“It’s amazing that we’re still finding so many new species in heavily dived waters such as False Bay, right on our doorstep,” Griffiths said.”
Newly Discovered “Stargazer Mysid” Shrimp In South Africa 10-15mm Long.