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Posts posted by Leslie

  1. Hi Linda -- Thanks so much for posting this! It's quite rare to get photos of living scaleworms in this particular family. Polynoidae is a good guess as that's the largest family with hundreds of known species but there are several other families including the sea mice (Aphroditidae) where the scales are hidden under the "fur". This one belongs to family Acoetidae (= Polyodontidae in older books). You've got the head in focus which is how I can tell it's family Acoetidae - the eyes are on long stalks. Only some genera of acoetids have this feature. It's most likely to be a species of either Acoetes or Polyodontes. How large was it? A few of them get up to a meter in length.


    I really like that you got a bit of the tube in the second photo. They have specialized glands which produce long fibers; these are combined with mucus & sediments to build thick felt-like tubes. They rarely leave home, preferring to ambush other critters from the safety of their tubes.


    Cheerios, Leslie

  2. Hi Frank -- It appears to be a eulimid or pyramidellid snail. Many species in both families are predators on echinoderms, sticking the proboscis through the skin in order to suck out body fluids. They're so small that they really don't hurt their prey unless there are hundreds of snails on one animal. Some species however have adapted to a parasitic way of life & live semi- or fully-permanently attached to the prey, either on the surface or internally.

  3. Fantastic video (of course I always love any & all worm vids). :-)) It is a polychaete - those lateral rows of hairs are the bristles that give the group their latin name (poly = many, chaete = bristle) & common name (bristle worms). It's just that it's moving too fast for the annulations to show. I'm pretty certain it's family Glyceridae, genus Glycera. Some species do swarm to spawn. They're called bloodworms & in south Australia, around Adelaide, there's an annual bloodworm run where fishermen go out at night to catch as many as possible. They preserve the worms for use as bait throughout the year.



  4. Crabs will eat anything. I've seen a video of one dropping his own claw, picking it up, and eating the meat out of it.


    Now a general question to anyone who's ever seen one of these blue porcelain crabs. I'm curious to know if it's always on pink or red barrel sponges? Is it ever on anything else? (and having a dive guide place it on black sand for contrast doesn't count!)

  5. It's a still undescribed species of porcelain crab in the genus Aliaporcellana. Judging by the amount of photos I've seen it's not rare and it's normally found on that pink sponge.


    I'm more interested in the brittle star. Do you have any pictures showing the central disk or a high-res image of the arms?

  6. I forwarded your image to Lindsey Groves, our museum's collection manager of molluscs. Here's his response:


    "Definitely not an Opalia (FYI, O. chacei has been synonymized with O. borealis). It is most likelyEpitonium montereyensis, which Jim called E. indianorum in the Light’s Manual revision in 2007 (pl. 367E). Epitonium tinctum would be a best second best guess. The tiny specimen to the left of the large epitoniid is too small to id from this image. Hope this helps."


    Jim is Jim McLean, the museum's curator emeritus of molluscs

  7. Good photo Paul --the shrimp really don't like to come far enough out of the sponge to be clearly seen. It's Periclimenes harringtoni, commonly called the white-foot shrimp. Some Wetpixelians spotted it a few years ago & managed to get a few specimens off to a specialist for id. The full story along with some images was written up by Everett Turner http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=44462)


    It would be interesting to know if the shrimp actually does eat the worms or if it's just a room mate. Those are syllids in the genus Haplosyllis and they're almost always associated with sponges.

  8. The closest thing I can find is Sakuraeolis kirembosa from TAnzania & the UAR. These are photos of the specimen it was described from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/sakukire


    There are more images of kirembosa on the net, most of which show it with yellow markings at the base of the cerata & the blue of the tip extending down the cerata. Most of these come from the Philippines.

  9. Close. it's a male Sapphirina copepod. The females are shaped differently, usually have 2 egg sacs at the rear, & are transparent. Males are also transparent but there are structures throughout the exoskeleton that work like prisms when the light strikes just right. That's what makes it appear & disappear. Lot of species in the genus; at least some of them are predators or parasites of salps at some point during their lives.

    ImageQuest has nice shots of the sexes & more info.


  10. The first one is similar to what Art Anker - one of my shrimp gurus - has listed as a new species of Pliopontonia Another new species of shrimp (Pliopontonia n sp) but the first row of 3 white spots across the back is different. The eyes are fairly typical - I bet it had them pointed up watching the strange monster with the bright lights. ;-))


    I haven't been able to find photos of all the described Coralliocaris so I'm not sure about yours. It's similar to a recently described species, Coralliocaris sandyi. The only web picture I could find is of an overly relaxed or dead female and it's not very good. http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=4444+4444+1009+1759 There's a photo in the new Humann & Deloach Reef Creature Identification-Tropical Pacific. Yours is somewhat different than their's in having stronger brighter color on the legs, claws & telson, the spots are bigger, and it lacks a white stripe on the eye stalks. The color & size of the spots will vary in shrimp as the chromatophores expand & contract so that may not be significant but the white stripe on the eyes might be. I haven't been able to get the description of sandyi so again, I'm not sure.

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