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Leslie

Critter Expert
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Posts posted by Leslie


  1. Hi Vie -- Dorippe dorsipes does occur in Thailand so that's good possibility. There are a bunch of these carrier crabs and I doubt if they can be reliably identified to species from a photo. Most of the photographed ones are identified as Dorippe frascone or Ethusa but that's because they're the only two carrier crabs in the Gosliner-Behrens-Williams book. Can't help with the urchin, sorry.


  2. You're right - tunicates. It's not unusual for these solitary tunicates to have bumps or nodules in the apertures of the their siphons although the ones in your friend's images have the most pronounced ones I've seen. They probably serve to reinforce the aperture when it's closed against predators. Here are a few examples

    http://www.guamshellclub.org/images/marine..._061121_001.jpg

    http://www.ascidians.com/families/styelida...rpacaptiosa.htm

    http://www.ascidians.com/families/ascidiid...idiagemmata.htm


  3. I'm puzzled by it too - looks like tunicate body with a polychaete inside because the branchial basket (used for filtering out food) is so dark. Or maybe it is a polychaete inside? :) Nicholas, would you mind sending me a high res file of the entire animal so I can send it to some friends who work with tunicates? My email is lharris[at sign]nhm.org


  4. FishBase lists 2 species - Eurypegasus draconis and Eurypegasus papillio. The second one is restricted to the Hawaiian islands while the first is very widespread. The distribution listed on FB is "Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa (Ref. 4264) to Marquesan and Society Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia and Lord Howe Island; throughout Micronesia." http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSum...esname=draconis

     

    A 10-foot worm? Wow!

    smilies-7640.png


  5. Could be! The Pseudoceros indicus photos below show violet/purple margins - I have never seen the variant that you linked (above) before. Thank you.

     

    Leslie Newman identified all 3 images and she described the species so I guess they're probably right

    :lol:

     

    the original description says either blue or purple spots. It's here: http://mangilao.uog.edu/up/micronesica/abs...man_177-184.pdf

     

    And here's another color variant

    http://www.nudibranch.com.au/pages/6646a.htm


  6. :D:) My friends would laugh so hard if they read that!! Obviously your friend hasn't read some of my recent more stupid posts.... :)

     

    Anyway, I think your animal is an echiuroid (phylum Echiura) which got out of it's burrow. The common name is spoon worm but I haven't got any idea why. The skinny end is the proboscis. It normally lives hidden in a burrow with only the proboscis showing.

     

    http://www.earthlife.net/inverts/echiura.html

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Bo...s)_PC301461.JPG

    http://www.zum.de/Faecher/Materialien/hupf...h/bonellia.html

    http://www.asturnatura.com/especie/bonellia-viridis.html

     

    This video is of a different type of echiuroid but you can see how the body inflates & deflates & twists around


  7. Hi Allison - You have a good point that deserves to be raised. :) Lots of species occur throughout wide areas of the Indo-Pacific but are only reported from a few locations because that's all the people writing books or scientific papers know about.

     

    The problem as I see it is the difficulty of making a reliable id from photographs. Lots of things are undescribed or they're described but no one knows what they look like in life, or many different species look similar (like all these 2-spot octopuses with stripes). Another problem is that many web images are mis-identified so if you compare a photo to one on the web you could be misled.

     

    I tend to be conservative & if I have something written by an expert I'll follow that. As it is I use waffle-ly statements like "seems to be", "looks like", "similar to this photo called X" instead of saying "it is speciesX". Not being really knowledgeable about anything but worms also keeps me cautious about ids.

     

    It could certainly be mototi but honestly, as variable as octopus species are, I can't see an external species level difference based on the images. (Of course that could be the result of my own octo-ignorance.) The difference between mototi & siamensis may be internal or something on the underside like the arrangement of suckers. Jeff's photo was given a name by Mark Norman so I trust that id more than another. And did you notice that Jeff's critter also represented a range extension from what's reported in books?

     

    It would be great if Kuiter would confirm the presence of Hippocampus pontohi in PNG. In his description of H pontohi Kuiter did say there was a similar undescribed species in PNG but he didnt' mention how they differed or even if they can be distinguished on external characters. So I'm cautious. :):D

     

    Cheers, Leslie

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