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erik

It is a worm?

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Anybody could help me to identify this little animal? Photo was taken in Maldives, Ari Atoll with 60 mm micro and Fuji S2pro.

 

Thanks a lot!

 

ERIK

post-1718-1113046114_thumb.jpg

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Hi Erik --

Wow, that's an eye-catching critter. It appears to be a nemertean worm. These little guys are called ribbon worms because of their amazing ability to extand & contract. Some antarctic ones are estimated to reach 100 feet fully expanded. I haven't been able to find a match for your animal in any of my guide books.

Cheers, Leslie

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Definitely appears to be a Nemertean worm. Those are cool animals, here is an excerpt from Invertebrate Zoology by Rupert, Fox, & Barnes:

"The 1150 species of ribbon worms are colorful ambush predators that harpoon or lasso their prey with a venomous, penetrating, or sticky proboscis. The proboscis, which is everted rapidly like a giant nematocyst tubule, is of prodigious length, often longer than the entire animal. Nemerteans are long, slender worms, with several species exceeding 1 m. The lenght record of 180 feet (54 m) is held by a boot-lace worm, Lineus longissimus, the longest animal on Earth, that washed ashore after a storm in St. Andrews, Scotland. Nemerteans commonly burrow in marine sediments, lurk (or lie in tangles) in crevices among shells, stones, and the rootlike holdfasts of algae and sessile animals, but some are deepwater pelagic species with gelantinous bodies."

 

I can't help you with the species... :D

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Thank you all for precious informations! And good dives!

 

ERIK

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This is great news .... Erik's work identified .. and A critter me and a friend saw years ago is now identified too !! we saw the exact same thing on Rapsody Reef in Grand Cayman. It started off creeping out of the reef from a hole .. we just assumed it was baby tigers paw until it came out all the way .. and now at least I know what type of critter it was, even if ours was black and white.

Cool

 

Giles

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In case anyone still is tracking this...

This looks like a version of Balionemertes Sundberg et al 2002, a paleonemertean described from the Great Barrier Reef. I found something very similar to be common in Moorea but the base color was more brownish.

The "black and white" worm in the Caribbean probably was a Baseodiscus, in a different Order (Heteronemertea) but also a nemertean.

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Thanks Jon. It's always great when you show up to put names on things.

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