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Posts posted by Leslie

  1. My first response was the same as Jim's but it's a flatworm. Many of them have that type of tentacles. The white streak in the middle of the body is the stomach and the 2 white spots at the end of the stomach are internal reproductive organs. The movement is very characteristic for a flattie.

  2. It's certainly possible. Boxer crabs sweep their anemones over surfaces to pick up food particles which they then take from the anemones. Arm waving could make them look more like a collection of hydroid branches for better camouflage. Last possibility is that he really was trying to get your attention & get into one of your books.

  3. Both are H. denise I think. According to Richard Smith who is doing his PhD on pygmy seahorses H. denise is a generalist that lives on at least 8 genera. It comes in a variety of colors - matching the host - & the degrees of papillation varies. Check out his seahorse species pages for lots of photos & facts. He includes photos of the "Raja Ampat" color morph under H. denise.



  4. It is a relative, Phyllognathia simplex. Cor & others have posted about it before. Eric even took video of one munching on a brittle star. Although reports of it are rare the animal is probably common. It's just so small & well camouflaged against the sand that very few people notice it. It was described from Sagami Bay, Japan & extends at least to Australia, PNG, & Indonesia. The second link will take you to the original scientific description & the third to a later paper that includes the color pattern.





  5. It's a polychaete epitoke. Worms often spawn at the same time as corals or anemones. One theory is that if everyone spawns simultaneously there will be so much in the water that individuals have a better chance of escaping predators; another is that the animals are all responding to the same stimulus. Could be both are right.


    I suspect the epitoke belongs to the family Eunicidae. It's not feeding on the anemone's spawn. The worm's movement is pretty erratic and it just blundered into the anemone. That puff of white is probably the worm exploding & releasing it's own gametes.

  6. Leslie was out of commission for a while & didn't do much for anyone, even me. :-(


    The worms belong to the genus Haplosyllis. Once upon a time they were all called Haplosyllis spongicola (the species name means "living on sponges"). Now they've been divided into a number of different genera. Some associate with only 1 species of sponge while others are less particular about who they live with. Cindy & her partners got some excellent photos of the worm & white-foot shrimp. I don't remember which species they photographed - have to go back to my notes for that.

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