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Leslie

Critter Expert
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Posts posted by Leslie


  1. Hi everyone - My museum, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, is putting a very large dried specimen of the caribbean gorgonian Pseudopterogorgia acerosa on display. the designers would like some good quality UW images of a whole one & close ups of the polyps, maybe even a video. I doubt there's any money involved, just the satisfaction of helping the museum & having your name displayed. Does anyone have suitable pics we could use?

     

    For reference, there's some images on the web at coralpedia.bio.warwick.ac.uk/en/octocorals/pseudopterogorgia_acerosa.html

     

    Thanks, Leslie


  2. Hi Tim -- I wasn't sure either so I sent your image to a friend who works on crinoid commensals. It's an unusual type of polychaete worm in a subgroup called the Myzostomidae. He says it's very similar to Myzostoma lobifera but it's also much larger than the ones he's collected. Myxostomids are all commensals on other organisms & especially on echinoderms.


  3. I don't know. The shooter seemed genuinely surprised by the action of the cuddlefish. I think the original intent was for the shooter to capture the octo playing with whatever it was playing with. I'm sure most predation that occurs around divers is partially due to the prey being distracted by them.

     

    I agree totally. The photographer had no idea that the cuttle would attack. Paul Whitehead once posted a series of shots of a cuttle going into defensive mode before jetting off in a puff of ink. He followed it only to see it's tail sticking out of a lizardfish's mouth. He felt terrible for days about the idea that he had caused it.


  4. We've had to re-schedule the next LAUPS meeting. It was supposed to be next week on the 15th. Turns out there's a Bruce Springsteen concert happening that night at the Coliseum which is next door to the museum. That means about 60,000 people will be trying to get here & park at the same time as the LAUPS members. The date for LAUPS has been post-poned until wednesday, April 22nd.


  5. There are other possibilities of decorator crabs with 2 prolonged spines on the front of the rostrum and only a few of them are in the popular guide books. Hyastenus bispinosus has them & is know to selectively attach hydroids (like Bent's critter) to itself. Naxioides has several species so even if it's in this genus it may not be taurus. The hydroids do break up the outline of the animal which makes it harder to see, especially when the animal is living on or near the same type of hydroid. I suspect that they are also used for defense as the hydroid's stinging cells will make attacking the crab an unpleasant experience.

    Same caveat for the second crab. There are a lot of these stick crabs in many genera and again, only a few are in the guide books. The identification is very inconsistent for most of them so you see the same animals under a variety of different names.


  6. I agree - a really great shot. It's a crustacean but not a shrimp. These belong to a group called mysids. The odd body shape with the bent abdomen is characteristic of the genus Idiomysis. Only 5 species have been described but there are probably more.


  7. Hi Kay -- The first three belong to a very nifty species of onuphid polychaete. You only got the head region but there was a lovely photo with more of the body over on DD about 2 years ago. The back is iridescent dark blue crossed with bright white bars and the appendages are gold and white. Unfortunately I've never seen a specimen so I don't know the genus & species. The other one is a species of Chloeia, again without a species name.

    Leslie


  8. :drink: what a funny little guy! He's managed to completely encase himself in sponge. It's pretty hard to say what he is other than a decorator crab in the family Majidae or a related family. None of the details needed for identification are visible. Even that big snout - which seems like it might be a useful character - could have a couple of significant spines underneath or just be all sponge.

  9. Got a fast response courtesy of Jeff Williams via John Randall: "It is a Laiphognathus multimaculatus-like fish. The color pattern is slightly different from Seychelles photos I have seen. I suspect this will be another complex of species and the WA form is probably undescribed, but specimens would need to be collected first."


  10. It's surprising how many people in the taxonomy biz are unaware of the importance of live color. Of course so many species are described from preserved specimens only that we don't know the live appearance of many well known animals.

     

    Scott -- G. americanum is getting split apart. The first one to be separated was G. taylori from Australia which has thin widely spaced brown bands on a yellow background. I've been told that Hawaiian specimens probably represent another species as do several regional IP populations.

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