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Posts posted by Leslie

  1. Hi Dave -- That crab looks like it's newly settled out of the megalopa stage which means it doesn't have the adult shape yet and can't be id'ed, sorry. A lot of different species are accidental jelly riders. For some, like the US west coast Cancer gracilis it's a regular way of life. They feed on amphipods which prey on the jellies or steal part of the jellies' food.

  2. My guess is some sort of vermetid snail. This particular family has lost the ability to coil in tight spirals like other snails & instead makes long sinuous or irregularly coiled tubes. Some species have an operculum - a calcareous plate used to seal the tube against predators. On reefs the tubes & operculums are often overgrown by algae & encrusting fauna like sea squirts. They feed by forming strings of mucus which collect food particles then reel in & swallow the strings.

  3. Hi Tony -- When are you going to stop playing around with those big swimmy things and get down to the good stuff like worms? ;-)


    Contact Dr. Mark Norman at Museum Victoria, Australia. He wrote the book on id'ing cephalopods in general & from that part of the world in particular.


    Cheers, Leslie

  4. It does look like a Tozeuma, doesn't it? But I'm pretty sure it isn't. In Tozeuma all the legs are in the anterior third of the body. In this one the legs are spaced out along the whole body. I'm pretty sure it's an isopod and I've forwarded the pic to some friends who work in the group for a better id.

  5. Aplacos aren't photographed very much as they're usually small and inconspicuous. Some of you might have photos of them without realizing what they are. There are a few colorful - but still small - species which live entwined on soft corals or sponges. Most of them live in the mud. Here are some examples:







  6. Same here, Michael, so I went & did a bit of research. And guess what? You're right :-)) In 2004 the genus name Eurycephalus Imamura 1996 was replaced by Sunagocia. The reason? Eurycephalus had been used first for a genus of beetle by Gray in 1832 and the same name can't be used for 2 different genera. It was Imamura himself who made the change.


    I usually rely on Fishbase over ITIS as my experience with ITIS - admittedly based on marine inverts - is that it's less reliable than other major databases. In this case it - and you - was correct.

  7. Alex's right, it's a siphonophore, a type of jelly. Phylum Cnidaria, class Hydrozoa, order Siphonophorae, family Forskaliidae, genus Forskalia. It's a colonial animal with specialized polyps for buoyancy, propulsion, feeding & reproduction. The central cord is the stem to which everything attaches. The clear components at the top are the nectophores, swimming bells that propel the animal & the red ones at the bottom are the gasterozooids which feed.


    This is an excellent site for information on siphonophores:




    As is this one which is centered on the US west coast fauna


  8. Hi Bud --


    What a great set of photos! You're right - it's an eunicid polychaete although whether or not it's "The Thing" I can't say from the photos. I suspect that name is getting to be the common name for any large eunicid found in the Caribbean. The web is just the anterior part of an extensive tube or burrow lining made with solidified mucus which is secreted from special glands along the body. One study of coral reef eunicids concluded that they were responsible for a large part of the reef's structure due to their habit of moving & cementing chunks of coral rubble into place. What I find especially interesting in your remarks is the suggestion that they also use the outermost portion of the tube to catch food.


    This page by Ria Tan has a good discussion of different types of tubes built by polychaetes on a reef flat in Singapore:



    Thanks for posting--

  9. Excellent paper, Ben. I was intrigued by one sentence "Photographs of preserved specimens were processed, edited, and remodeled with Photoshop software." First, by your use of the word "remodeled" and second that you put it in at all. Did the journal or a reviewer ask for the statement? I've heard that some journals are getting very particular about photoshopped images.

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