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Flatworms under lip of leather corals

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In Papua New Guinea last month, I noticed sticky filaments extending out from polyp-withdrawn leather corals at night. The filaments would retract after capturing the critters attracted to my dive lights. Upon closed inspection, I found many little flatworm-like animals hiding under the lip of the coral. They are orange or red spotted.

 

Saw quite a few of these while in Kavieng. Any ideas on what they are? Here are some photos:

 

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Hi Eric,

 

The filaments that extend from Sarchophyton sp corals are usually sessile ctenophores.

Pretty cool, eh? They also have a lot of flatworms that like to hang out there too.

 

Cheers

James

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Oh, these are so cool! Great photos! They're bizarre cousins of the pelagic comb jellies, benthic ctenophores known as the platyctenes. Like their free-swimming relatives they have 2 retractable tentacles which are used to capture food. I saw my first one in the BVI a couple of years ago & have been looking for more ever since.

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