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Leslie

Critter Expert
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Posts posted by Leslie


  1. In Panama at the Smithsonian marine station in Bocas del Toro until the 18th. One of my friends, Rosana Rocha, is a tunicate expert here on sabbatical. As soon as I get my laptop hooked into the system so I can download images I'll ask her about your tunicates.


  2. No! You rock coz you're nearly always there with the answer, and so fast too!

     

    Just chained to the computer, that's all. :D I need a sugar daddy to whisk me off to the IP so I can actually see these things alive for a change! :huh:


  3. How disappointing! - I was expecting a worm post from your title.... :huh:

     

    Heart urchins, sea biscuits, irregular urchins are some of the common names for these inflated ovoid species. Sand dollars are flat to slightly inflated. They're detritus eaters, scavengers, and predators. Some stay buried during the day & come out at night, some are always out in the open, while others stay buried as they move about in search of food. Do a google search for Maretia, Metalia, Brissus, Clypeaster, and Dendraster to see images of various irregular urchins.


  4. :huh: I rock only 'cause I live in earthquake territory!

     

    Looks very similar to pictures I have of Echinaster sentus. Whether our echinoderm curator Gordon Hendler who wrote the book on carib echinos would agree is another matter!


  5. The "sea star" is the main body. These are classified with ophiuroids - brittle & serpent stars, distinguishable from regular stars by the way the arms are much narrower & distinct from the body. Only at night can you see them fully extended and feeding. by day they curl into tight little balls that look like spagetti clumps & hide.


  6. Boy was I wrong! I sent your image to another board composed of coral fanatics. It's a growth form of Porites porites or perhaps a "funky growth form" of Porites furcata. One poster said that he's often seen morphological changes in branching corals like this when they grow near sponges due to the increased currents produced by the sponges.


  7. Hi Bruce - Open up that steel door & come on out. :D

     

    I'm surprised no one's responded so far. That's a common system on other boards I belong to and I think it's a good system. However nothing is going to stop people who want quick answers without any work on their own. The mods & rockers have discussed having more pinned topics before. There are some already & we have a thread in the Gallery called "Best of Wetpixel" which lists favorite threads. If you have particular threads in mind that deserve pinning contact Matt Segal.

     

    Cheers, Leslie


  8. Out of interest, how come it is really hard to find good examples of caribbean Octocorals ? I notice all of your links Leslie were examples of indo or pacific types.

     

    (interested as I had always assumed that these little bubble corals in sponges were hard corals not soft)

     

     

    Whoops, read the post too fast & didn't notice they were from the Carib....... :D:):P:P:P:blush: ....... so obviously not Asterospicularia which is restricted to the IP! Sorry..... It's clearly a cnidarian because of the individual polyps. Giles - I found it hard to count the number of rays on the individual polyps in the image; if it was 8 then it's an octocoral.


  9. Hi Sam --

     

    Alex is right, it's another species of Tozeuma. There's about 10 described species in the genus and several undescribed ones - this appears to be one of the undescribed. the length of the body varies between species as does whether the saw teeth are on the dorsal (top) or ventral (bottom) edge of the rostrum (the long pointed saw). The rostrum is an extension of the anterior exoskeleton. It may look like there's an upper & lower jaw but that's just a line running down the side of the rostrum. The actual mouth is small, on the underside in the vicinity of the eyes.


  10. Hi Heikki --

    Jim may be right. Some species like Pseudoceros dimidiatus are quite variable in appearance. While P. bifurcus usually does have thin lines & a small narrow orange spot this color pattern shows up occasionally.


  11. The nudi does look a bit like a small spanish dancer but it's a Chromodoris. Theere are a couple of species that look like this - Chromodoris tinctoria, C. reticulata, plus some undescribed ones. We'd need to see the foot (under the mantle that covers the body) & better color to know which species it is

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