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pelagic larvae in salp id

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#1 grech



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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:57 AM

I found this little guy in very shallow water over the reef in Cirkewwa, Malta at night. It seemed to be some sort of crustacean larvae living in a salp 'shell' and he used his little tail to propel himself around at a good speed.

Any idea what it is?

(sorry for the blurry shots but it was only around 1cm long, transparent and moving way too quick for my little compact cam to focus well!)

larval crab in salp.jpg larval crab in salp 2.jpg larval crab in salp 3.jpg

#2 Alex_Mustard


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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:23 AM

Something like an Parathemisto amphipod.


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#3 Tom_Kline


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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:00 PM

From your second shot it looks like a Phronima. Here is a pic of a freeze-dried specimen I collected in the Gulf of Alaska. When it was fresh it was transparent. The mouth parts move a bit like that of an alien from the Alien movies. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phronima

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#4 grech



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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:57 AM

bingo, thanks Tom, google brought up a bunch of pics under that name which looked just like it. Creepy little guys....