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Leslie

Critter Expert
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Posts posted by Leslie


  1. If you do an image search for Camposcia retusa you'll find pictures of sponge encrusted crabs very similar to yours. Camposcia is a decorator in the superfamily Majoidae, family Inachidae. However, those sponges really do a great job of camouflaging the real identity. If all the sponges were stripped off & the body was revealed it could turn out to be something else.


  2. Art & I share the same basic technique which is common for scientific photography. The animal is placed over a black background. He uses a small clear dish suspended above a black cloth several inches below plus 2 fiber-optic lights on the side (or at least he did when we were in the field together). He's currently in Moorea as part of a huge biodiversity survey collecting & taking pictures & samples for DNA analysis.


  3. From well identified stomatpod images go to Roy Caldwell's website & to the Lurker's Guide to Stomatopods http://www.blueboard.com/mantis/

     

    There are a lot of crustacean sites with varyiing degrees of accuracy. At the same time there are a lot of Charybdis & related species that are very similar in appearance and each site only has a few of them listed or pictured. Why don't you contact Gary Poore at the Museum of Victoria? He's a top expert for the IP.


  4. It really is confusing, isn't it? I've also seen this animal under a variety of names. In both Colin & Arensen and Gosliner, Behrens, & Williams it's called Rhopalaea sp.

     

    In a 2001 paper on ascidians of the tropical western Pacific by Monniot & Monniot 2001 I found these two descriptions plus color photographs:

     

    Rhopalaea crassa - "The siphons are simple round holes or with six low lobes. The colour of the tunic varies from yellow-green to orange-yellow."

     

    Rhopalaea fusca - "The colour is characteristic and concentrated in the tunic. The thoraces are of an intense blue (Fig. 124E), while the siphons are rimmed with a thin orange line and an irregular blackish band.....This spectacular species is one of the most photographed ascidians in guides to the Indo-Pacific fauna." The Monniots say that one of the photos in GBW is this species. It's also on the web in various places as Clavelina fusca.

     

    I haven't found a reliable reference yet to Clavelina caerulea which was described from Japan.

     

    The Monniots are among the top authorities on tunicates in general & tropical Pacific ones in particular . You might be able to download the paper from http://www.mnhn.fr/publication/zoosyst/z01n2a1.pdf


  5. Wow, that really is a big difference in color from your first shot But that's a really good match for the image on Seifarth's site.

     

    Josei or kylie are certainly 2 possibilities. One of the big problems for amateurs like us in trying to put names on pictures is that we don't know what the differences are, how the animals change as they grow, the extent of variation for each species, or how many species share the same general color pattern. That's why I tend to say things like " it resembles", "might be", "similar to this picture" rather than "it is". In general the smaller the animals are the less we know about them.


  6. Hi Vie -- The first one looks like it might be Pseudobiceros flowersi - thin white margin, brown submargin, tan body, & white streak down the middle. Is the second one really blue in the middle or is that an effect of the light? The brown & black marginal spots are similar to those of Pseudoceros leptistichus but that has black, brown & orange spots down the middle (I guess this could be a light colored individual). I'm unsure enough that if it were my image I'd leave it as unidentified flatworm. Third - which is a couple of millimeters in diameters? - I'm not going to touch, sorry!


  7. I think it's Q. coronata which is the senior synonym of Q. granulosa. The photograph of the crab listed as Q. granulosa in the Ferraris' book appears to be Q. maculosa. 5 out of the 6 known species inhabit antipatharians along with alcyonaceans & gorgonians; the 6th, Q. boopsis lives on dendrophyllid & other ahermatypic corals.


  8. Cindy -- It's really fantastic that you & the rest of your team were able to help out with this little guy. Even though it's not a new species you've basically rediscovered a "lost" shrimp that hasn't been seen in 60 years, shown that it's distribution is much much larger than reported, and provided great photographic documentation of it's living color, association, & behavior. This is a excellent example of what I've said over & over when pictures of unknown critters have been posted for id: they may be described but we don't know because the living color is unknown & can't be matched to a description. Bit by bit UW photographers like you are adding pieces to the puzzle we call biodiversity!

     

    Let me second Cindy's request for more information & pictures from different areas of the Caribbean. Sammy is thinking of writing this up for publication and would like to know if anyone has observed it from other areas of the Caribbean. Full credit of course to whoever provides additional info & pics. So if anyone is diving in the area & sees a touch-me-not sponge why don't you take a look inside the crater? Cindy PM'ed me that she got the best pictures when she placed her poker near the crater & the shrimp came out to take a look.

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