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FAQs about Limpet Snails, Acmaeidae, Fissurellidae and more, Scutus, Stomatella 2

Related Articles: GastropodsSea SlugsMollusksAbalone

Related FAQs: Limpets 1, Limpets 3, Limpets 4, & Limpet Identification 1, Limpet ID 2, Limpet Behavior, Limpet Compatibility, Limpet Selection, Limpet Systems, Limpet Feeding, Limpet Disease, Limpet Reproduction, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Marine Snails 4, Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbalone

Snail-like creature ID: Limpet  12/3/08
<Hello, Lynn here this evening.>
I looked for these, I really did, but no luck. So I turn to you.
<Okie dokey>
These act like aquarium snails. From the bottom, they even look like them. From the top, though...not really. They look like little cones. Recognize 'em?
<Yep. They appear to be Limpets of some sort, and more than likely harmless grazers. Please see the following links for more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gastropo.htm
Several FAQ�s at this page re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mollusca1.htm >
Feel free to use the images if they are useful to you. It's the least I can do for your help.
<Thank you very much! Take care, Lynn>

Identify- Fleshy Slug AKA Fleshy Limpet 10/22/08 Hello crew... <Hello Jessy here> I am baffled by this ...shall I say....shell-less slug?? It moves all over the tank sometimes on the glass but usually on the rockwork. The first picture is very grainy but I wanted you to see it from the front also and this was the best I had. Thanks in advance for the help. <Donna, by my estimation that is a fleshy limpet. See here for further ID http://www.melevsreef.com/id/fleshy_limpet.html> Regards, Donna
<Regards, Jessy>

Hitchhiker Snail Reproduction: Stomatella varia - 1/17/08 Hello WWM, <Hi there!> Thanks for all you do. <It's a pleasure, indeed!> I have a hitchhiker snail that I saw trying to reproduce in my tank. I tried to get some pictures but they were hard to take with the xenia in the way. <Understandable - can be tough to get good photos of such small subjects - especially considering water flow/movement.> What are the chances something like this can reproduce in my system? I've only seen one of these in my tank. <What you've got is a Stomatella sp., likely Stomatella varia. They're harmless/beneficial little herbivores/grazers, highly variable in color, reproduce readily in our tanks, and can get up to ~1.25' in length. With such a small shell and so much exposed foot, you'd think that this species would be very vulnerable to predation. After all, how can it possibly protect itself if it can't retract into a shell? Well, nature has allowed for this. Stomatellids are mostly nocturnal, can move *very* rapidly, and have the ability to detach the hind portion of their "foot" (the 'metapodium'). This is similar to some lizards detaching a portion of their tail when threatened. The sacrificed segment wriggles and writhes, thus distracting the predator and supplying it with a tasty tidbit -- allowing the snail to escape. Potential predators of Stomatellids include the usual 'pickers' - hermits, shrimps, and crabs. Some fish also find them tasty, but the snails' mostly nocturnal nature helps to eliminate them from the menu. Sometimes confused with sea slugs, Stomatellids are actually in the family Trochidae, which includes the more familiar/recognizable Trochus spp. (Trochus/Top Snails), Margarites spp. (Margarita Snails), and Norrisia sp (Moon Snails). Regarding reproduction, unfortunately, if you have only the one female in your tank, the eggs she released were not fertilized and are therefore not viable. They will simply become part of the food chain. Hopefully, there are some small, not yet mature candidates around for future spawning events. As far as method, Stomatella spp. are broadcast spawners. The male releases sperm into the water while the female releases her eggs. In most cases, this means that the young have very little chance of survival in our tanks. However, such is not the case with Stomatellids. What tips the scale in their favor is the fact that the young have a very short pelagic larval stage, during which they don't need to eat. After several days of drifting about in the current, they settle to the rock/substrate as miniature versions of their parents, and begin to graze. All in all, they're fascinating little creatures and make terrific additions to a reef tank!> Thanks, <You're very welcome! Take care. -Lynn>

Question about the supply of limpets. Bob: It seems that I have purchased some Man made Florida rock here and there and received some very unusual creatures called Limpets. I i.d.'d the critter from "The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium" Volume 1. Svein A. Fossa & Alf Jacob Nilsen. An example of the scientific name and picture on Page 188 is Scutus unguis. And yes the animals look very close to a Nudibranch, except they carry a cone-like shell that looks like a volcano. Some species cover the shell with what looks like a mantle. These critters seem to mow down more hair and slime algae than 5 or 7 turbo snails together. Q: Where may one find a supply of these? None seem to be listed on the FFE web pages? I still have one that looks more like a moving volcano that does not wrap it's mantle, and the other was flame orange that did wrap it's mantle. And it looked just a Nudibranch of sorts. Very pretty!! But the seem not to like medications. This animal seems to be very low maintenance and very tolerant of water quality, versus what most Nudibranchs require to stay alive. Am I looking for this animal in the right place? CH >> Well, I looked around for limpets as well and couldn't find anyone listing them for sale... But do want to say a few things about them. I agree totally with your observations... and assessment... these Archaeogastropods are great and innocuous cleaner uppers. Having worked with local (S. Calif.) limpets with different projects, I suspect that they're not specifically offered for two reasons: They're hard to extract from hard substrates w/o damaging them... and Folks just don't know about their usefulness as yet... Unlike Nudibranchs, many limpets have wide, generalized diets (micro and macrophagous herbivores)... and also unlike the "naked gill gastropods", they don't have a tendency toward toxicity... Instead of being poisonous, limpets have a shielding "home" on their backs... and lastly, as you observe, many live in "marginal" and variable environments in the wild... and are therefore reasonably tolerant of the same in captive situations. Thanks for writing. Bob Fenner

Limpets A year ago I noticed two limpets in my aquarium. It is a 90 gallon (6'x1'x2'). My guess is they came in on the live rock I added 7 months before. The curious thing is this. It took 7 months to see the first 2, and I now have roughly 100 more. They are black with a white stripe on their back and are actually not unattractive despite their numbers. They do a good job keeping the glass, and everything else, clean. They range in size from 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch and are found everywhere from the skimmer collection cup (always a few small ones on the cup of a CPR Bak-Pak), to the live rock, to the glass. I have about 80 pounds of Fiji live rock, a 1 inch aragonite sand bed, the CPR, and a couple Hagen 802's for circulation. I also have Naso, yellow, and regal tangs (1 of each--all about 3.5 inches), a coral banded shrimp, a false percula clown, and about a dozen snails and small hermits. There are no corals or anemones. Ammonia and nitrites are 0. Nitrates are close to 50. S.G. is 1.024. Temp. is 76 and pH is 8.0. I add no chemicals and have 0 algae other than coralline which covers most everything and has to be scraped from my glass at least every two weeks. I have two questions. First, is this an extremely unusual occurrence? In order to identify these things I had to post pictures to a newsgroup since the few inexpensive books I have don't even mention them. Second, I'll be adding a dwarf lionfish and snowflake moray to the system tomorrow. Will either/both decide to make a feast out of the limpets? If they do, it would probably be good for them, since, in their numbers, I think the limpets would be able to sustain enough of a population to meet their dietary requirements. By the way, when I first set up this system roughly two years ago, I dosed Kalkwasser for about 2 months to try and get the coralline to grow, and it didn't. Ever since, I have added no chemicals (other than synthetic salt and frozen food for the fish) to the aquarium, and the coralline is almost out of control. It's a great problem to have. By the way, I have 6 24" fluorescent bulbs. Four were bought at home depot (cheap bulbs), while the other 2 are actinic. I also have a large population of feather dusters growing out of the rock and some have even built tubes of up to 2 inches and are living in the sand bed. Is this extraordinary luck, or did I accidentally hit on the aquarium conditions that the worms, coralline, and limpets thrive in (i.e., low light and not-so-low nitrate)? If my experience is unusual, I'll probably try to replicate the environment (minus the fish) in a 29 gallon, devote some study to all three, and write a paper detailing the conditions for anyone that might want to duplicate them (though their suitability would be limited to a fish only situation). Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your time. Sincerely, Richard Weatherly >> Wow, what an outstanding query, relating of experience and uplifting story... Congrats to you. And I think you may be on the verge of a great commercial success. I have only seen a few cases where the snails called limpets were so abundant as yours... and they are a blessing... And your lion and eel will not consume them (different diets all the way around), but I would do as you say, and save some of these "Chinese Hats" in another system... if for no other reason, for just safekeeping. And do "share the wealth" and supply some to fellow hobbyists... Your relating of the non-supplement use and results is exemplary by the several meanings of the term... Thank you for writing... please do consider tallying up your observations and sending them to one of the hobby magazines... Very useful. Bob Fenner

Gastropods/Snails/Limpets and an Over Abundance  12/5/05 I'll save space and your having to read by not listing our tank setup - if you need to know the setup to answer this question, let me know and I'll oblige. <Okay.> We setup 90 gal tank with 130 pounds Fiji and Marshal island live rock about 5 months ago. Within a week, we found a large cap snail hitchhiker...5 months later, there's so many in the tank (also a few in the refugium) we lose count to get an exact number. I've read if you know how many snails you have, you don't have enough, <This sounds like a retailers slogan'¦I to have heard such ludicrous rules of thumbs such as this one and the common 'One hermit and snail per gallon rule' which is to say the least ridiculous.> but is there such a thing as TOO MANY CAP SNAILS? <If you have an overabundance this means that there is sufficient algae to support them. The algae is fueled by nutrients. So if you want the herd to be naturally thinned out I would check your system for detritus build-ups and watch how much you feed. Water changes are your friend.> If so, is there a natural predator for them? <Yes likely any mollusk and crustacean predators such as wrasses and puffers. However they will not limit their predation to just your snails, your microfauna population would be adversely affected as well as any other small critters in your tank.> cheers <To you too.> Donna <Adam J.> 

Snails Everywhere! Hi everyone , I am a little concerned about crustaceans that are in my tank. I seem to have small , about a quarter inch, snails and also limpets in my tank , I have soft corals as well as mushrooms and polyps. Are these critters harmful to any of my other occupants . Thanks Rich <Well, Rich- without seeing them for myself, I can only generalize (gulp!)...Most of the commonly encountered snails and limpets are harmless...I'd keep an eye on population levels, and if you start noticing damage or excessive populations, you may need to remove some. The upcoming "Reef Invertebrates" by Bob, Anthony, and Steve Pro may be a big help in identifying these little guys. Take care! Regards, Scott F>

Tech - I from Kent Marine, and limpets 5/22/04 Good morning to all, <and to you in kind> Just a few questions for you, hopefully you can help. You usually have all the answers. I am curious if tech-I iodine supplement from Kent is okay to use. The label says it has free iodine. My test kit says it is a bad thing. <somewhat subjective here. There seems to be two "camps" regarding advocacy of Lugol's strong iodine solution (the nutritive iodine of color/odor) versus clear Potassium Iodide solutions.  The other troubling thing is several keyhole limpets in my hospital tank. I believe both can be useful, both can indeed be abused/overdosed too. I favor Lugol's based solutions FWIW. I'm not a bog fan of some bottled supplements though... then ones that do not date their products for products with a definable lifespan/shelf-life. Iodine loses efficacy over time once mixed ion solution> scoured WWM and have found two different opinions. Bob says okay and Anthony says they will eat soft coral flesh. I did find a big one sitting on my flower leather, so I pulled him off. <some Limpet species are algae grazers, and some are predators on various reef invertebrates including corals (these tend to be the colorful ones with frilly/fleshy mantles). It depends on the species.) Thank you for always being there for me and my tanks. Thanks, Hopeless reef keeper- Daniel <best of luck, Anthony>

Thanks, and a Story re Stomatella Snails (beh.)  1/29/07 Dear Bob, et. al.: <Greetings John, Mich with you this evening.> First of all, many thanks to all of you for your fine WWM resources. You have all helped me gain a tremendous amount of valuable insight into the reef aquarium hobby, at times calming my fears, at others helping me form new strategies, and most always helping me to stay out of (too much) trouble. <Hehe, this is good.> It is a constant learning experience, and the challenge is greatly alleviated by useful knowledge and sense. <Glad to hear!> I have a 75g reef tank with about 100 lbs. of live rock and a 3" sand bed. This tank had been set up for at least a couple of years by the prior owners, but had been sadly neglected -- inadequate lighting, insufficient water changes and regular maintenance, etc., and the live rock and sand were really not very "live" at all. The sand was absolutely full of detritus. After moving the entire works, setting things back up, adding a new skimmer (AquaC Remora Pro), 300w of 10k and 70w of 20k MH lighting, some new additional live rock and sand and 4 months of babying, this microcosm is now doing extremely well, and has some very good diversity of life... not all to my own credit, because you and your advice also deserve some of the credit. Some "Live Sand Activator" from Coral Dynamics really kick started the sand bed, and a couple of other live micro-critter inoculations have the now very active sand bed well on its way to a stable equilibrium. The tank never did cycle (measurably, at least), and has never registered any reading for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, or phosphates. <Awesome!> The tank now houses the 2 yellowtail damsels which came with the original setup, a black velvet neon damsel (which was rescued from another marine tank after being attacked nearly to death by other damsels, and who has doubled in size in 3 months), a lawnmower blenny, and a powder blue tang (which I had great trepidation about adding, but who is healthy, growing, and truly thriving). I've gradually been adding corals over the past couple of months - a couple of Acropora frags, two Montipora, a Pocillopora, a pumping Xenia, and most recently a yellow Fiji leather. All are thriving (though the Xenia is rather finicky), have plenty of space, and I am done adding anything for the foreseeable future. WWM and Bob's and Anthony's books have really helped me tremendously. <The website and the books are an invaluable asset to this hobby.  I too would have been at a total loss without them.> I don't have a question today, but do have a comment / story to share. <Very good.> After adding something six or so weeks ago, I began noticing tiny slug-like creatures which grew quickly to about 1/4" to 3/8" length. Within a couple of weeks there were hundreds of these animals in the tank, most notably after dark. They were hard to see on the rock since they were well-camouflaged, but they moved around very quickly, much more so than the Cerith, Astrea, and turbo snails. After seeing one of the larger of these spewing milky stuff one morning (obvious to me that this was a reproductive event), I earnestly needed to find out what these things were, fearing a pending plague. After much searching, I finally determined that they were Stomatella, and that I did not indeed have a problem after all. Their population has by now become self-regulating, and there is always a full range of sizes of these snails in the tank. <Most excellent!  These are a great addition to any saltwater tank.> Yesterday I took out two MaxiJet 1200 powerheads with Hydor Flo rotating heads (an absolutely wonderful product for the money, IMO) to (experimentally, at least for now) replace them with Hydor Koralia powerheads. (So far I'm very impressed with these, and the general water movement in the tank is much improved, though time will tell the tale). Upon removing the Maxijets, I picked off several Stomatella, putting them back into the tank. After about 30 minutes (with the Maxijets sitting in the kitchen sink, rinsed in tap water), I got around to their complete disassembly and cleaning. I found several more of the Stomatella inside the powerheads, and was very surprised to find them still alive. <Yes, pretty hardy creatures.> Assuming that following what they had just been through they were almost certainly doomed, I took three of them back to the tank and dropped them into the water anyway. <Always good to be an optimist.> Fluid dynamics being as it is, all three floated to the bottom and landed on their backs. They squirmed around for a few seconds trying to right themselves (they are really adept at that when they land on rock), but none were able. Then all three squirreled their heads around and began picking up grains of sand, placing them on their "bellies" (feet), and moved the grains along to the back end of their feet. After doing this with 4-5 grains of sand, they had gained enough weight (apparently) to squirm one more time and roll over, after which they took off on their merry ways. I was pretty amazed -- what a remarkable behavior this was! Is this a great hobby or what??!! <What a world!!!  Amazing isn't it?!?> Sorry for the length of this message, and again, thanks so much for all your insight and assistance. <No apologies please!  Thank you for the kind words and sharing your delightful story!  -Mich> Kind Regards, John

Turbo Snail Issues 6/3/06 I had 3 zebra turbo snails. After a couple weeks I now have 1. It went to the back of the tank where I have some algae planted and released black pellet looking things. <Waste pellets, snail poop.> I don't know if its relieving its self or what but its all around it in the sand and on its shell. Hopefully  you know what this is. Thank you for your time. Love the site. <Chris>

Reef Tank Newbie With Unknown Slug: Stomatella sp., Overcrowding Issues -- 8/27/08 Hi guys, <Hi there KC, Lynn here this afternoon.> I have a 34 gallon Solana cube that has been up and running for a little over three months now, one month of which was spent cycling. It has approximately two inches of live sand <Hmmm, please see this link for more information regarding sand bed depth: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbdepth.htm> ..and about 30 pounds of live rock. I am running a 250w MH SunPod lamp 10 hours a day and have a CPR Bak Pak skimmer hanging off the side of the main display. I also have the stock skimmer doing whatever it thinks it is doing in the back sump. I wanted to move the CPR to the built-in sump, but found out that the pump would not fit back there because of the limited space even after removing the stock skimmer, <Yep, that's frustrating all right.> so I thought it wouldn't hurt to run both. <No, it could be redundant - but that's not always such a bad thing! If the stock skimmer isn't producing good skimmate (either in quality or quantity) you could try running without.> The water readings are: calcium -- 460 <Would let this fall a bit, to under 450. That is, assuming that the numbers here are correct (the test kit's reliable, not out of date). For more information regarding calcium, please see this link (as well as related links at the top): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm> pH - 8.4 nitrate -- 0 phosphate - 0 alkalinity - (I use the Red Sea pH & Alk test kit and it doesn't give a specific number for this. It has a color chart that shows my water is in the "Normal Range - 1.7 - 2.8") <Not good -- you need specific numbers instead of a range. I personally use/prefer Salifert for KH/alkalinity testing. It's quick, easy to use, and most importantly, has a distinct color change for better/more reliable results.> These are the only things that I am testing for, should I be testing for more? <Other than listing salinity/specific gravity, what you have sounds fine to me. If you were having problems maintaining your calcium level, I'd recommend a magnesium test kit, but that doesn't seem to be necessary. Just keep in mind that if you ever do consider adding supplements such as iodine/iodide, magnesium, etc you'll need to first acquire those specific kits. It's important to get a base-line reading as well as monitor the levels as you increase them (not to mention making sure they stay within recommended range thereafter.> I am still new to this and am not too sure which elements I should be testing for. <You should be good to go. Just be sure to keep up with regular water changes. These make a big difference in helping to maintain the extra supplements I mentioned (and more).> For inhabitants, I have: 1 Fire Angel <I'm not familiar with this term. I'm guessing it's a Flame Angel (Centropyge loriculus)? If so, wow are they beautiful.> 1 Velvet Damsel 1 Three Stripe Damsel <These damsels can become *very* aggressive, especially in small/crowded systems such as this.> 1 Ocellaris Clown <Would be nice to have a pair, but at this stocking point, I wouldn't add one.> 1 Scooter Blenny 2 Fire Shrimp <These are truly beautiful shrimp, if a bit shy (especially in systems with strong lighting.> 1 feather duster <Can be difficult to keep.> 1 2" Tridacna crocea <I would not have added this until the tank was 6-12 months old at the very earliest.> 1 Turbo snail <Terrific herbivore.> 5 Margarita snails <Unfortunately, these are cooler water snails that don't live long in reef systems. The warmer water speeds up their metabolism. It's a case of 'the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long'.> 2 Cat Eye snails <These, plus the Turbo listed above, have big appetites and will need a lot of algae to survive. If there isn't a sufficient amount existing in the tank, they'll starve to death. You may need to supplement with dried seaweed/Nori sheets (available at most regular grocery stores and Asian markets).> 10 or so hermits <Hmmm, careful here. Hermits are neat, but many reef keepers (like me) choose to avoid them. They tend to be opportunistic little fellows that can cause trouble (picking at things, stealing food from corals, killing small snails, even fellow hermits). This is especially true when they're in high numbers, as is the case here. It just makes for more competition for food. Keeping them well fed, along with supplying plenty of (larger) empty shells, will help deter (but not necessarily prevent) unwelcome behavior.> 1 hammer coral 1 torch coral 1 small Acropora frag 1 plate coral a tiny patch of green star polyps that never come out <Watch out. If/when these do come out, they can spread and take over like you wouldn't believe. They'll even climb up the sides of your aquarium. It's best to keep these separate and away from your main rockwork so they can't spread and cause problems.> a small rocks with a few Zoanthids on it 2 red mushrooms <'Shrooms can also take over too, so watch them.> 4 other bluish mushrooms that were given to me and I don't know the names of. <Yikes, this is an overcrowded tank, especially considering the fact that it's only 3 months old! I would have skipped the Damsels, the Margarita snails, the two 'Cat eye' snails, the feather duster, clam, and at least 8 (or all) hermits. There's also a potential for serious trouble down the road with the various corals you've listed. In smallish systems such as this, you should really limit the variety of species to those that will get along best in the long run. Corals are like any other animal in that they'll fight to ensure their survival. They do this in a variety of ways, including chemical warfare or 'allelopathy' (for example many soft corals/Gorgonians), direct contact with either sweeper tentacles that sting (Euphyllids, like the hammer and torch coral you have are particularly notorious for this) or mesenterial filaments that digest the neighboring coral's tissues, or by simply overgrowing (for example: green star polyps). Be sure to keep enough space between the corals you have and move/remove as necessary. I'd give the torch and the hammer corals at least a 6" buffer zone all the way around them, and keep an eye on those green star polyps and mushrooms. Mushrooms (Actinodiscus), although seemingly harmless, can sting adjacent, less aggressive corals.> Each feeding, I soak the food in V3 Triple Strength. The food alternates between flake, Cyclops-eeze pellets, krill, and Mysis. For the corals, clam and feather duster, I dose DT's live marine phytoplankton once every other day, and dose Marine Snow once a week. <I'm not personally crazy about this last product, but hey if it works for you! Just be careful with these two additives and decrease if you notice excessive algae production.> Unfortunately, I bought basically every inhabitant in the tank before learning the error of buying prior to research, and am trying to keep them healthy and correct errors I have made. <Good for you.> Is my tank overcrowded? <Oh yeah.> When I bought all the equipment, sand, and rock, the LFS told me to cycle it for a month, which I did. Other than that, they happily sold me whatever I wanted and I admit that I lost a rose tip anemone and Nudibranch that they sold me not long after I bought them. <Oh no. What a shame.> It wasn't until that point that I started doing research on the internet about trying to keep the rest of the inhabitants alive. I didn't want to lose any of the remaining inhabitants and felt like a real jerk for losing what I did. <Well, we've all made mistakes in this hobby. I know I've made my share and then some! The important thing is that we learn from them. In your case, it sounds like you just trusted people that were either lacking in knowledgeable or that were more concerned with selling their livestock (or both). The good news is that now you know better. You know to always do your research *before* purchasing. That combined with quarantining new livestock will save many lives and much frustration.> That was when I stumbled across your guys' site and have learned TONS of invaluable information. <Excellent!> That was less than a week ago, and it has already saved my Zoanthids from Zoa-eating Nudi's. <Yikes!> I cannot thank you guys enough for your wisdom! <LOL While I would never doubt the wisdom of Bob or my fellow crew-members, the closest I personally come to being wise is wisecracking!> My question: I have had a couple of these slugs running around the tank and was not sure if it was harmful to a reef tank or my inhabitants. <Nope, not at all. They're absolutely harmless and beneficial.> I was wondering if you guys could ID it for me. <Yes we can. Oh, you want to know what it is! It's a species of Stomatella (possibly Stomatella varia), a commonly seen hitchhiker that reproduces readily in tanks and is frequently seen grazing film algae.> I tried to search through your guys' vast resources, but I could not find what this slug is, or if it is harmful to my reef tank. <No worries, it's a good guy.> I might have missed it though in the ID section, as I was trying to find it during work hours, but I was hoping you could give me a hand. <Sure thing. For more information on Stomatellid snails, please see the following link: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=181 Be sure to also check out the many FAQ's regarding these neat little snails at WWM. Just go to our Google search engine, and enter the term Stomatella: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm > Thanks in advance, your site has really opened my eyes to aquariums and I would have no doubt lost everything in a matter of time if I didn't stumble across your Web site. Thanks again! KC <You're very welcome! Take care, -Lynn>
Flatworm Or Nudibranch... Or Maybe Not... (Not) -- 03/28/08 Hello guys, <<Adam>> I have an interesting creature in my tank, I've read through the forums and search across the Internet and I cannot get a positive ID on it (Even checked the sea slug site you guys listed as a resource.). <Okay>> It resembles a Nudibranch, although the one picture I found of something that resembles it, you guys ID'd it as a flat worm. (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fltwmid.htm, second picture from the top, question titled Nudibranch or Flatworm.) <<Mmm, not a good picture is it? Regardless'¦what you have is NOT a flatworm>> Flat worms are generally not as large as this animal is, or at least I thought they weren't. <<Some do get large>> The guy is around 2 - 2.5" and only comes out at night, I have seen what seems to be "antennae" protruding from it. <<Yes>> I tried several different ways of taking the shot, one strictly with LED's, others with flashes and/or an LED flashlight. I have attached a few shots. <<I see them>> One peculiar thing I witnessed last night was a split in the animals back. <<Hee-hee! A clue!>> Down the center, which opened slightly and receded when I placed the light over him. Any ideas? <<Indeed'¦see below>> I am at a loss and don't know whether to enjoy the little guy or eject him. I monitored him for about an hour the other night when I saw him open up down the middle and never really saw him feeding on anything and he stays around a rock in the tank with Zoanthids, and a piece of orange Monti. Only thing I could guess is filter feeding or feeding off the worms and such in/on the rock. Thanks again, Adam <<Well Adam, I've seen a couple of these before. What you have there is Scutus antipodes (Black Limpet, Elephant Snail, etc.). The 'split' you saw is where the mantel parted (the mantel comes up from both sides to cover the shell on the animals back). This critter is reputed by some to be reef safe...others to be a Cnidarian muncher'¦but all seem to agree it's a good algae grazer and a prolific breeder. Regards, EricR>>

No text?  1/8/08 <See... Stomatella... BobF>

Re: ? Snail ID ayer    1/9/08 Bob - <Joel... Oh there you are!> My apologies. I don't know what happened to the content and subject line. I would not be so rude as to intentionally do such a thing. I wrote an email describing my tank setup and how much you and your crew have helped me get 6 months into the hobby with nary a problem that wasn't foreseen. Thanks for the response to what my question was - "any idea what these might be, perhaps some sort of Nudibranch?" I will read up on Stomatella now. Thank you again. Regards, Joel Pippin <Looked like S. varia to me. Cheers, BobF>

Black Slug... actually is a snail... Scutus spp 12/03/2007 I found this in my tank and thought I would share the photo. <Thank you for sharing!> I did some research and found the slug to be (Scutus sp.) <Actually is a snail, not a slug.> Order: VETIGASTROPODA Superfamily: FISSURELLOIDEA Family: Fissurellidae. <Yes, more here: http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=scutus > Our slug is about 2 1/2 inches and may grow to 5 inches in length. This is a nocturnal slug and I found it by mistake a few weeks back. <Well you found it nonetheless.> Just wanted to share. <Thanks again!> Have a great day, Lis <Thanks Lis, you as well! Mich>

Well done Mich/Mitch... RMF.

Scutus pics 9/5/07 Hi, <Make me smile> If there are any Scutus fans out there, here are some fun pics I took of one of mine. :) Best, Sara <What did the Incredible Mr. Limpet say? Thrum!!! BobF>

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