The Venus' flower basket (Euplectella aspergillum)SKU: 306
The Venus' flower basket (Euplectella aspergillum) is a hexactinellid sponge in the phylum Porifera inhabiting the deep ocean. In traditional Asian cultures, this particular sponge (in a dead, dry state) was given as a wedding gift because the sponge symbiotically houses two small shrimp, a male and a female, who live out their lives inside the sponge. They breed, and when their offspring are tiny, the offspring escape to find a Venus' flower basket of their own. The shrimp inside the basket clean it and, in return, the basket provides food for the shrimp by trapping it in its tissues and then releasing wastes into the body of the sponge for the shrimp. It is also speculated that the bioluminescent light of bacteria harnessed by the sponge may attract other small organisms which the shrimp eat. In Japan they symbolise the idea "till death us do part".Euplectella lives in commensal relationship with certain shrimps. It is given as a *precious marriage gift* in Japan, symbolising the idea ‘‘till death us do part’’*.