Video of Fire Urchins in Anilao

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The fire urchin, Asthenosoma varium, is a dangerous sea urchin. It is characterized by a fiery coloration and by globular swellings beneath the tips of it's thousands of venomous spines. It can infict a very painful sting.

Various crustaceans form commensal relationships with the fire urchin to protect themselves from predators. Coleman shrimps, Periclimenes colemani, usual live in pairs on top of the fire urchin. The female is larger than the male. Zebra crabs, Zebrida adamsii, and urchin shrimps, Allopontonia brockii, are often found near the bottom of fire urchin. They feed on organic matter on the substrate as the sea urchin moves. This type of symbiotic relationship benefits the shrimps and crabs but not the host urchin.

Allopontonia iaini is a synonym of Allopontonia brockii.

I shot this footage at Anilao in the Philippines while diving with anilao PHOTO hotel and with Crystal Blue Resort on their annual Critterfest workshop. Thanks to dive guides and critter spotters Ivan, Obet and Jomel.

Thanks to zero-project for the music track, Gothic, from the album Darkness falls, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

The video was shot by Nick Hope with a Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I used an Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens and 60mm f2.8 macro lens.

Nick Hope