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FAQs about Marine Snail Egg Identification 1

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Related FAQs: Snail Egg ID 2, Snail Egg ID 3, & Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail ID 3, Snail ID 4, Snail ID 5, Snail ID 6, Snail ID 7, Snail ID 8, Snail ID 9, Snail ID 10, Snail ID 11, Snail ID 12, Snail ID 13, Snail ID 14, Snail ID 15, Snail ID 16, Snail ID 17, Snail ID 18, Snail ID 19, Snail ID 20, Snail ID 21, Snail ID 22, Snail ID 23, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Invertebrate ID, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbalone

Can You Identify This For Me? Snail Eggs, Likely Cerith -- 8/28/08 <Hello Liz, Lynn here this evening.> I have this white thing in my tank. At first it was in one place, and then this morning I see it in a totally different place. Can you tell me what it is? <It looks like what's commonly called a 'snail trail', a harmless, looping/squiggly, rope-like strand of snail eggs. By any chance do you have any Cerith snails in your tank? They lay eggs in patterns just like this. The strands tend to last for several days then simply disappear, becoming part of the food chain. It sounds like you either had two separate snail trails (and the first was eaten), or the first strand came loose and snagged at the second location. It's not at all uncommon for this to happen. I'd love to be able to tell you that you'll soon be seeing baby snails cruising about, but unfortunately, the young have very little chance of surviving. On the plus side though, it speaks well of your husbandry techniques. Good job! Thank you Liz <You're very welcome. Take care --Lynn>
What a surprise...but what is it? Looks like snail eggs! 2/2/08 Hello WWW Crew, <Hi there, Pat.> Thanks for your site! I have learned a lot from reading your answers and articles. <Excellent!> Starting a reef tank has been one heck of a learning experience and even after ~2 years I am still finding new things in my own tank and I have no idea what they are! <Heheeee! Isn't it amazing the things that can crawl out of a rock!> It has led me to purchase a microscope to examine things in new detail, some pictures which I have included. <Neat! Opens up a whole new world, doesn't it!> My question is I found about a dozen egg sacks on the inside of the cover of my MJ. They are a little larger than a BB and have some white things eggs in each one and in this one it looks like they are alive and moving. The only opening in the MJ is the two small holes ~1/8", and the sacks are larger than the holes. Do you know what they are? I am thinking amphipod eggs. <Nope, not amphipod eggs. The females carry the fertilized eggs in a brood pouch until they're ready to hatch. What you have looks very much like snail eggs, but I'd love to know how they got there!> In the first picture there is a copepod in the upper right to give you an idea of size. <Thanks.> In the second, just below center is what I think is a partially developed pod. It is upright with a black eye and a clear antenna and darker body? <I see that. Looks like a developing embryo -- hard to tell what it is at this point. Please see this link for photos/more information: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-02/rs/index.php.> I guess I can always wait and see if they develop more. <Yes please, and document as much as you can! I'd love to see the progression/development!> Both pictures are in the following link: http://cmas-md.org/forums/showthread.php?p=305826#post305826 Please feel free to download the pictures from the link to post, I have had problem with sending you e-mails with attachments. <Ok, thanks.> Thanks for your time, Pat
<You're very welcome! Take care. --Lynn>

Mystery Marine Eggs, Likely Snails -- 1/29/08 Hi everyone, <Hi Rochelle.> Have some mystery eggs here I hope you can tell me what they are. No one is guarding them or tending to them (so far, it's been 3 hours) so I am unable to figure it out. Here are the possibilities'¦ I have '¦ 3 Percula clownfish, (but when I looked up their eggs, it showed them yellow then turning to orange/red as they develop) I was rather hoping they were clownfish. I have 2 mated 3 strip damsels, BUT.. the male is currently tending to his own eggs on the opposite side of the tank, so that can't be it. <Correct. Neither of these species lay/deposit eggs in strands.> 1 magenta dotty back, she has her own private cave. If they were hers you'd think she would've laid them in there, not on a rock outside. 1 Hawkfish, I think he's a male and wouldn't have laid eggs out in the open if he was female. 1 Chromis damsel, 1 mandarin goby, 1 clown goby and some pink foot snails. I don't think it was the snails, they weren't in the area at the time the eggs 'appeared'. <Heeee! They're sneaky that way. I don't know what species the 'pink foot snail' is, but that egg strand looks like it came from either a snail or Nudibranch of some sort.> I do have some crabs, blue legs, a sally and a hermit, but that can't be right, crabs don't lay eggs like that do they? <No, they don't.> When I looked up the different fish I have, and what their eggs look like, my eggs don't look like any of them. So do you think they are clownfish? <Alas, no. It's more than likely a "snail trail".> If so I'd like to move them to my nursery tank (already to go with micro food stuffs). If you think they belong to any other fish I'll leave them be. Due to them not having a mate to fertilize them.

<That's how I'd handle these - leave them and let 'nature' take its course.> Thanks in advance, Rochelle
<You're very welcome. Take care. -Lynn>

What Is This!?! Nerite Snail Egg Capsules  9/10/07 Ok.. I have a 90g tank.. and just moved across town.. and set up all my rock/sand/water in new 90g tank with built in overflow...well... needless to say the move made my tank angry. <I'm sorry your tank is upset.> and I am now getting over the wave of algae that happened.. but I am finding a large amount of rust colored flat worms <So long as they are not too big, they are generally beneficial detritivores.> (which I am taking care of) <???> and alot <This is not a word. Should be 'a lot'. I mention just for Bob, as it is one of his pet peeves'¦ Right RMF? ;) > of these white hard disks I don't know where they came from if they are related to the rust flatworms, or if they are a parasite or not.. take a look and let me know please. As I said they are hard, white and cannot be siphoned off of the rock. <These are completely harmless Nerite Snail egg capsules, nothing to worry about. You can read more about them here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2003/invert.htm Hope your tank gets happier! Mich>

Critter ID -- Gastropod Egg Mass -- 08/07/07 Hi WWM Crew -- <<Hiya Bob>> Long time visitor and fan!! <<Excellent>> After searching the photos and snail/critter forum I didn't find anything describing the "thing" that appeared on the front glass of my 220gl reef tank overnight. <<Oh? Looks to be snail eggs to me>> I have not added any new livestock in two years with the exception of a clean-up crew restock about 4 weeks ago (50 Nerites, 50 Nassarius, 50 Cerith snails, 50 Blue Leg Crab, 4 Serpent Stars). This morning when I went to do my normal tank check, this worm looking thing was stuck to the front glass. I'm assuming worm or snail eggs? <<Is the latter...looks to me to be an egg mass from a Cerith Snail>> The lights (1100wts total) have been on full for 3 hours and this thing hasn't moved. <<And it won't...on its own>> I couldn't get a clean picture even with macro zoom. <<The picture was 'good enough' in this instance>> It is approx 2" X 2" in overall area on glass but this thing is curled up in a bunch of "s" shapes so it would be much longer straightened out. Tank population is: 1 Hippo Tang 1 Foxface 1 Koran Angel Pair of Maroon Clowns (which have displayed mating behaviors in the past) 1 Blue Devil 1 Yellowtail Damsel 1 Strawberry Dottyback Thanks for any assistance! Bob
<<Happy to help. EricR>>

Identification Request... More snail eggs! -- 08/02/07 I would like some help identifying the lacy, leaf-like "growth" on the glass of my aquarium. <Snail eggs. Second snail egg query today. Is it a full moon?> I've looked all over the web for similar photos, but since I don't know what to call it, I'm running out of ways to describe it in search engines--so far nothing matches. <Yes, this can be an exercise in futility.... and can be quite time consuming.> I see this on the glass every once in awhile. Sometimes more elaborate patterns. It seems to deteriorate (or get eaten?) after a day or so. <The likely the latter.> I'm fairly new to the marine aquarium hobby, so forgive me if this is one of those "duh" questions that I should have found the answer for with an "obvious" search query. <No worries... this is how we learn.> Most things I find in my tank I have gradually identified, but not knowing what they are to start with can make it quite time consuming. <"Beetlejuice" reference here?> Thanks for your help on this one. <Welcome! Mich> David

Re: Identification Request... More snail eggs!  8/4/07 Thanks, Mich. <Welcome David!> That surely explains why I've recently started seeing little tiny snails on my glass!!! <Mmm, unfortunately, this is not likely the case.> Too small to tell what kind yet, but with a magnifying glass it looks like they could be either turbo snails or Astraea snails (I have both in the tank). <Don't mean to burst your bubble here, but is more likely a different species all together. The only larger marine snails that readily reproduce in captivity as far as I'm aware of are Stomatella snails.> Neat. Thanks for helping me make the connection. <Sorry, but I doubt that there is really a connection.> While I was first trying to decide what corals and fish to put in my tank (and convincing my wife we could afford it!), I spent lots of time just sitting on a stool in front of my tank watching and marveling at the tiniest things going on just in my live rock and sand. <Yes is one of the simple joys of keeping a marine tank! Just be careful which people you tell that you spend several hours staring at the rock in you tank. Some may begin to needlessly worry about you.> Now the fish and corals can lure a person away from the tiny things because of their larger size and activity, but even while I enjoy them, I try to look past them still to keep up with the intricacies of the tank. (My yellow tang seems to know I'm not paying attention to him and keeps himself in front of me whenever I sit and watch, moving to whatever side of the tank I'm watching from.) <Mmm... perhaps a Pavlovian response to food!> There's just so much to see in there. <Yes, hours upon hours of entertainment! Please continue to enjoy the amazing display of life your tank can reveal. Cheers (and keep staring!)

Mystery "thing": Eggs - 6/2/07 Folks, <Hi Pete> You have been MUCH help to me in this hobby so far, from the excellent information presented on the website to the returned emails - thank you. <You're very welcome, and thank you indeed for the kind words.> I noticed this "thing" attached to the spray bar in my reef tank. I have NO CLUE what this might be. Even after searching through you site - I couldn't get an Id. Do you have any clue as to what this is? <It appears to be eggs. I can't quite get a size reference, but the squiggly pattern looks very similar to what you see with Cerith snails. By chance do you have any in your tank? If not, with a little more information regarding size and what livestock you have, we might be able to figure it out. At any rate, there's no cause for concern. It's a good sign that you've got some happy inhabitants!> Should it be removed? <No need.> Please ignore the date stamp - it's wrong - this pic was taken 06/02/2007. <No problem.> Thanks. --Pete <You're most welcome! -Lynn>

Re: Mystery "thing": Eggs - 6/3/07 <Hello Pete! Lynn here again.> Yes I do have Cerith snails! Well then that explains it. <Yay!> Thank you so much, it was driving me crazy trying to figure out what that was. <I know just what you mean. When something mysterious pops up in your tank, it's good to know what it is. Finding out that it's no cause for concern is even better!> My assumption is they may hatch and become a food source? <Yes.> Yellow-tail blue damsel, yellow tang, tomato clown, urchin, some snails, hermits, and a couple corals are in the 75 gal tank. Again - a sincere thank you for your time. --Pete
<You're very welcome! -Lynn>

Unknown White Growths...Nerite Snail Eggs    5/15/07 Hello all... <Hi David, Mich with you tonight.> First I would like to mention that I love your site and I find a lot of much needed information on it that I use in the daily maintenance of my tanks.   <Thank you for this fine compliment!> Now, to my problem/dilemma.  Over the past two weeks I have been having a problem with ich and some other parasites attacking the swim bladder that caused me to lose 9 fish in 2 1/2 days <Yikes!!!  I'm very sorry for you large loss.> (believe it or not, this is not my problem).   <Ok, I'm a little scared now!> The other day when I woke up I went to look at my tank to see how the survivors are doing and much to my surprise all my live rock and even the snail shells were covered with these white growths (I've attached two pictures, one of the snail shell (IMG_0485) and one of a piece of my live rock(IMG_0504)).  I've searched your website, along with some others, and I may be missing something or using the wrong keyword but I cannot find anything that resembles or sounds like this outbreak.  I'm guessing that it has nothing to do with the ich and other parasites that have taken over my tank but I would like to know what these unknown growths are and how to treat them. <Seems like you have some frisky Nerite snails in you tank.  These would be Nerite snail eggs, they generally don't mature in captivity and there is nothing to treat here.  A photo here: http://www.wildsingapore.com/chekjawa/largfoto/r422fx.htm  >   I took one of the snail shells to my LFS and after careful examination the owner determined that it looked like this growth feeds off of calcium.  He came to this conclusion by taking a razor blade to the growth and removing it.  When it came off the shell was all soft and a few layers could easily be scraped off.  When you took the razor blade to other parts of the shell where no growths were, the shell was hard, as it should be.  Could this be clam or mussel larvae?  When I got home I was looking around my tank and found a snail that had a growth (looks like a shell) on it.  I've attached that picture as well (IMG_0512).  I'm sorry about that picture but it was as close as I could get to the turbo snail using my digital camera and lens.  Do you have any suggestions as to what this problem could be?   <This is not a problem or anything to be concerned about.  You will likely see these "sesame seed" like eggs wax and wane in your system.> If so, how do I treat it because my 125 gallon is stocked full of these white growths.  Thank you for your time and continued knowledge. <Welcome!  My pleasure to assist.> Good night....Dave
<G'night!  Mich>

Unidentified Egg Sacks - 12/01/06 Hello, my name is Michael. <<Hi Michael...Eric here...>> First off, thank you for being such a helpful site. <<Glad you think so>> Your site has stopped me from making countless mistakes and has helped me diagnose and save the life of one of my sick clownfish =). <<Excellent to hear!>> Anyways, today I noticed about twelve small white egg sacks the size of pin heads on my tank glass.  They are almost evenly dispersed near the top of three of the walls.  I sent a drawing I made of them close up. <<I see it>> I know it is not very clear and could easily be from many types of creatures but I only have two types of creatures in my tank that I think could possibly make them.  I have a somewhat new pair of True Percula Clownfish that seem to have paired nicely but I am not sure if clownfish would produce 12 small egg sacks and then put them everywhere while leaving them unguarded even if it would be their first time having babies. <<Mmm, no...these are definitely not clownfish eggs>> I also have some turbo snails in the tank but I think that their egg pattern looks different. <<Indeed...long ragged-looking white strings>> I then have crabs, a few corals, and some other species of fish but none are in mated pairs. <<Pairing is not always/many times unnecessary for an organism to produce "eggs">> So if it is possible, could you venture a guess as what type of eggs these are? <<Sure...if the "membrane" were more round/symmetrical I would say these were egg-clusters from a species of Nassarius snail.  I think it likely these are from "some" type of mollusk (probably a hitchhiker on coral/live rock), and very likely harmless if not beneficial>> Could they have come from something besides the clowns or snails? <<As just stated>> Thanks very much for your time and any help you can give me, Michael
<<A pleasure to assist.  EricR>>

Re: New growth... ID = snail eggs   1/12/06 Hello once again and once again, thanks for an awesome site. <Hi Randy, Mich here today.  Glad you like the site.> I have one question today. I have a growth that seems to have appeared almost over night and have no idea what it is. <Likely did appear overnight.> I have reduced the picture size in order to send it to you but when blown up, it shows a definite pattern and almost looks like eggs of some sort. <Yep.> Can you help me to identify this? <Looks like snail eggs to me.> I can send the pic in a larger size if needed. <No need.> Thanks again for your help, Randy
Thanks again for your response. <Welcome!> Ok, so possibly snail eggs. If that's true, is that a good thing or bad? <It's all good!  Happy and healthy enough for reproduction!> Obviously I don't want 100 or 200 snails running around in the tank. <Understandable.> Haha! Should I just leave it or wipe them off. <Leave it there, will most likely be eaten by other critters in your tank.> Thanks again, <Welcome again!  -Mich>

Odd white pattern on live rock Dear folks, <Howdy> Thanks in advance for your time. I was just looking at my tank and noticed an odd pattern in two locations on my live rock. It is white and looks like it is made up of mini bubbles or something. It is very squiggly and the pattern is extraordinary regular. Without a digital camera, I am forced to send a poor computer drawing. I know that my drawing stinks, but really, the design is like this only each loop is exactly the same and very close together but not touching. I thought it might have come from the margarita snails ( I have 3) But I am not sure. I also have a bunch of Cerith snails, 2 clowns and a few hermit crabs. Thanks, Steve <Drawing looks fine, and I do agree with your suspicion. This is likely a "snail trail". Nothing to be concerned about... as the system goes/grows, other organisms will come into being, preponderance that the snails don't denude. Bob Fenner>

Not a Question Actually, this isn't a question...on the Snails FAQ 2, the question titled Odd white pattern on live rock -- those are Cerith snail eggs. I have pics of one in the process of laying eggs if you'd like a copy... <Thanks much for this. Will amend (my evil ways, no, actually just this label) on the morrow> SushiGirl  <Ooh, and I like that name. Bob Fenner>

Response to odd white pattern on live rock Hello Crew; <<And hello to you. JasonC here at your service...>> This is not a question, but another confirmation on a previous post in marine snails 2. <<Fair enough.>> The title of the post was "odd white pattern on live rock" I have the same pattern...white squiggly lines that under magnification, look like they are made up of tiny bubbles. The only difference...mine are on the glass inside the tank. I have 10 Cerith snails that hang out on the glass a lot and I noticed the snails producing these lines. I suspect that they are Cerith snail eggs, just as SushiGirl suggested.
<<And that is the most likely explanation. Cerith snails are known to lay their eggs in geometric patterns.>> Thanks for your time;
<<Cheers, J -- >>

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