Spending time under water, we learn so much about the animals we care about. We even discover animals that we never heard of that live among the exact same coral that we have in our tank at home. The Bubble Coral Shrimp, Vir philippinensis, is a relative unknown species in the aquarium hobby although a very widely common symbiotic shrimp living together with Bubble corals of genus Plerogyra or Physogyra.
Bubble coral shrimp are transparent with purple thin line on legs, make it a very sexy looking crustacean. Its antennae are dark red and it’s often what we notice first part of the bubble coral shrimp sticking out of the coral, allowing it to be spotted. Bubble Coral Shrimp often live in pairs in one protected corner of the coral. Very discrete during the day, Vir philippinensis move along the coral mostly at night.
Vir philippinensis grow to about an half inch long, and sometime, are so small that they’re practically invisible to the naked eye. If you are going to pair a bubble coral shrimp with its natural host, they should be exclusively reserved to the healthiest, biggest, long lived and acclimated coral colonies as there is a risk that it could be too stressfull to handle for new small colonies. Feeding the coral regularly will probably provide enough food for the shrimp too.
Even though pretty common, Vir bubble coral shrimp probably fall off the coral during collection, and are never collected due to nonexistent demand, but they could be a great addition to your large healthy bubble coral.