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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 24

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Related FAQs: Non-Vert IDs 1, Non-Vert IDs 2, Non-Vert IDs 3, Non-Vert IDs 4, Non-Vert IDs 5, Non-Vert IDs 6, Non-Vert IDs 7, Non-Vert IDs 8, Non-Vert IDs 9, Non-Vert IDs 10, Non-Vert IDs 11, Non-Vert IDs 12, Non-Vert IDs 13, Non-Vert IDs 14, Non-Vert IDs 15, Non-Vert IDs 16, Non-Vert IDs 17, Non-Vert IDs 18, Non-Vert. ID 19, Non-Vert. ID 20, Non-Vert. ID 21, Non-Vert. ID 22, Non-Vert. ID 23, Non-Vert. ID 25, Non-Vert ID 26, Non-Vert ID 27, Non-Vert ID 28, Non-Vert ID 29, Non-Vert ID 30 Non-Vert ID 31, Non-Vert ID 32, Non-Vert 33, Non-Vert ID 34, Non-Vert ID 35, Non-Vert ID 36, Non-Vert ID 37, Non-Vert ID 38, Non-Vert ID 39, Non-Vert ID 40, Non-Vert ID 41, Non-Vert ID 42, Non-Vert ID 43, Non-Vert ID 44, Non-Vert ID 45, Non-Vert ID 46, Non-Vert ID 47, Non-Vert ID 48, Non-Vert ID 49, Non-Vert ID 50, Non-Vert ID 51, Non-Vert ID 52, Non-Vert ID 53, Non-Vert ID 54, Non-Vert ID 55, Non-Vert ID 57, Non-Vert ID 58, Non-Vert ID 59, Non-Vert ID 60, Non-Vert ID 61, & Marine Invertebrates, Marine Invert.s 2, Marine Invert.s 3, & FAQs about: Marine Invertebrate Behavior, Marine Invertebrate Compatibility, Marine Invertebrate Selection, Marine Invertebrate Systems, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Marine Invertebrate Disease, Marine Invertebrate Reproduction& & LR Life IdentificationLR Hitchhiker ID 1, Anemone Identification, Aiptasia Identification, Aiptasia ID 2, Worm Identification, Tubeworm ID, Polychaete Identification, Snail Identification, Marine Crab Identification, Marine Invert.s 1, Marine Invert.s 2, Marine Plankton

Egg Id Please -- 4/9/07 Hi <Hi!> I am new here and like what I see keep it up <Thank you! How may we help you?> I have spent about 90 min scouring your FAQs etc for an id on these eggs? They are both in my fuge and display tank, they are only on the LR none on the glass. The only critters I have added lately are turbo snails but these don't seem to represent their egg clusters. <They do appear to be snail eggs. Is there any chance you might have some Nerites in there? Please see this link for more info: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2003/invert.htm  Hope this helps! --Lynn>

Unidentified Gelatinous Blob - 04/09/07 Greetings from Arizona! <<Backatcha from South Carolina!>> This morning I discovered a clear gelatinous blob with red specs in my sand bed. <<Mmm, sounds yummy! [grin]>> It's about an inch or so in diameter, and other than swaying in the current it has been stationary. <<Any defining features?  Bumps, ridges, tentacles, inhalant/exhalent openings?>> My Twinspot goby has poked at it a few times and it has neither recoiled nor swallowed the goby whole (thankfully!). <<Is likely harmless>> I'm hoping you can identify this blob and tell me if should be removed from the tank. <<Hmm, the pictures aren't sharp/close enough to be sure...but I think there are a few possibilities.  This may be a species of tunicate or sea squirt...it may be the Medusae stage of a jellyfish species...or it may me an egg cluster from a gastropod species.  If there are no openings in its structure, or if it does not move (pulse), then it is likely the latter of the three.  But regardless, I don't think it is anything to worry about and will probably disappear as easily/mysteriously as it appeared>> Thank you in advance, <<A pleasure to share.  Eric Russell>>


Mystery Growth - Haliclona sponge? - 04/04/2007 Hello crew. <Hi, Tom!  Sabrina with you today.> I'd like to start by saying thanks for the great web site. I would have left this hobby after a month if I had not found it. <Wow....  Excellent (and important!) testament....  Thank you for sharing this.  It is very encouraging to realize that our efforts do reach the intended goals!> With that I would like to know if this purple growth can be identified? <I hope so.> It is a deep purple and in spots has a dark green. I thought it was coralline algae but have read that it maybe Cyano bacteria. I have looked at a lot of pictures and can not find any that resemble what I am seeing. <It actually looks VERY much like an encrusting sponge, maybe even Haliclona vetulina, though it doesn't seem to have the "star" pattern that H. vetulina exhibits.  It doesn't look like Cyanobacteria or algae to me, from the images provided.> The tank is ten months old and is fish only. I have some dead corals and the growth is attracted to them mostly. <Any live rock?  Any previously live corals, or things that came from reef tanks, anything like that?  If so, I'm still comfortable saying I think it's an encrusting sponge.> The water parameters are AM=0, NI=0, NA=10. I do regular water changes at five gallons per weekend and ten on the fourth change. I also age the water for three days before I use it. <Very good.> The tank is a Sea Clear System 2 forty gallon. There are two inches of mixed sand and crushed coral. I also have the Sea Clear venture skimmer installed. I would love to get a better skimmer but could not find one the would work with the design of the tank. We are waiting on a new custom one hundred and eighty gallon tank to be built and I have not decided if this tank will remain or if I will take it down. <If it IS sponge, and you choose to keep it, be certain NOT to expose it to air, if avoidable....  keep it submerged, even when moving it from tank to tank.> So if this is Cyano will I be able to wait it out a few months? <Probably.  If it is Cyano (I don't really feel that it is), you can try manually removing it 'till the move.> The biological load is as follows. One Dottyback, one Yellow Stripe Maroon Clown, one Algae Blenny and a Blue Hippo Tang. The new tank is for the Tang. <He'll appreciate it, to be sure!> I have included two pictures to help. Thanks you for your time and effort. <Glad to be of service, Tom, and again, thank you for your kind and encouraging words!> Tom
<All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

White Crusty Creatures on the Glass   4/4/07 Hey- <Hi!  Mich here.> I'm sorry not to submit a photo, <Photos are very helpful.> but I just noticed football shaped, flesh colored creatures clinging to the inside of my 30gal salt tank. I have had this tank for 2 years, and have just noticed these creatures today. I saw about 15 creatures. The smaller ones are about the size of a pencil tip but a couple are nearly a quarter inch long! They are crustaceous since I took a rubber spatula and tried to pry one off the glass---had a very hard shell and took some effort to remove. The underside is fleshy, with a dark gray spot near the center of the body. Is this a barnacle? <No, not likely a barnacle.> I did notice that the crusty shell was shaped much like a chocolate chip, with a distinct tip near the middle of the shell, and with the fleshy side squeezed flat onto the surface of the glass. <Sounds like a limpet to me.  Most are herbivorous and not likely harmful based on your description but would need a photo to confirm.    More here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mollusca1.htm > BEN in Baton Rouge, LA <Mich in Gouldsboro, PA>

Re: white crusty creatures on the glass   4/4/07 MICH- <Hello again Ben!> Thanks for your reply. <You are welcome!> You were right---they are limpets. <Excellent!  Thank you for the follow-up.  It is most helpful to get feedback, especially when relying on description alone.> I Googled it and saw a picture. <Great!> I just wonder how after all this time I am now discovering them! <Sometimes, it's the things we see everyday to which we are most oblivious.> Ben <Cheer, Mich>

ID... How?   4/3/07 Hello, <Hi Phil, Mich here.> I have been enjoying your website for quite some time, very helpful. <Glad you think so!> I am now perplexed by a growth in my tank. I know the routine is to check all available sources on the site before asking a question, and I think I have exhausted all there is to offer. I looked through the sponge articles because I believe it is a sponge but have not found one photo that resembles this animal/plant. I took some photos but am not including them because they aren't that great. <Less than perfect is better than none!  Check to see if your camera has a macro setting, often the button has a symbol that looks like a daisy or a flower.  This may allow you to capture a better photo.> It is a mostly white with pink head, and has small white arms and legs all over its body. <Huh?  I thought you suspected it might be a sponge?  Sponge Bob Square Pants is the only sponge I've seen with a head and appendages.  Is it motile?  How big is it?  What shade of pink?  What shade of white?  Are you starting to understand how even a poor picture can be helpful?> At first I thought it was only a piece of shrimp from feeding but there is no way any of my animals would let that pass. Hopefully this answer isn't somewhere on your site and I'm not wasting your time. <Send a picture and as much description as possible, and maybe we can help you, but with what you've provided, I am at a loss.> Thank You <Sorry, not of much worth.  -Mich> Phil

What is it?  3/30/07 Hi Crew! Well, it's happened again.  I've discovered another unknown creature in my reef tank.  Only this time it's too small for me to be able to get a good picture, so I'm going to do my best to describe it for you. The best way to describe it is to say it looks like sperm.  I know that sounds strange, but it has a very small, sort of oval body that is stuck to the glass and has a long thread like tail.  I have just recently noticed several of these in my tank.  Any ideas????  I think finding all these new and strange creatures is one of the most interesting benefits of this hobby! Thank you all so very much for the wealth of information and help you provide! Thanks, Kathy <Mmm... well... this description is too vague to be of much use... likely a worm, vermiform organism of some sort... Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/wormidfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Teeny tiny worm question  3/30/07 Hi there! <And to you> Wanted to say thanks for all the great info on your site!  It's really helped me and my little nano project!  I have a question about some bugs/worms that I can't seem to identify that I hope you can help with.    My tank specs are: Equipment: Eclipse System 6 gal, 32watt actinic/10000K lighting upgrade (11hrs/day), stock filter with Pura complete, the powerhead that came with the crappy fission nano skimmer, 8lbs live rock. Livestock: 4 hermits, <Do keep your eye on these... all predaceous to extents...> a dozen small feather dusters, one (so far) Asterina star, various (reef safe) snails, Zoa, Paly, <And these Zoanthids... too toxic for small volumes> mushroom frags, an accidental Kenya tree frag (came with frag shipment), and a whole bunch of cool stuff   that comes out at night when the lights are off! <Neat!> Set up since Jan 2007. Ammonia and Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: <5 pH : 8.3 Temp: 81 dH: 8.5 Calcium: 360 Phosphates: .25 SG: 1.024 1gal weekly water changes Twice daily top offs w/distilled bottled water Parameters have been very stable since the get go, especially for such a tiny tank! <Good> I've got these little tiny bugs all over my tank. They seem to be photosynthetic, as they congregate on the rock near the top of the tank where there's more light. <Mmm, or at least positively phototropic...> They're a little less than 1mm long and half as wide, and have a distinct head to them (distinct as in it's lighter, and has a darker band below it. Hopefully the pic will help.) They're kind of a nondescript colour, some looking grey/blue and some grey/beige. I thought they were flatworms, but they're not flat and they don't really look like any of the pictures of flatworms that I've seen. <They're not> They do move like a worm though (faster than a snail, slower than an amphipod), and have no legs that I can spot. I've had them for a while, came with the live rock, but they didn't do anything evil before. Now, there's so many of them that they're hanging out on my zoas as well as the rock and glass, and the zoo polyps with worms on them aren't opening up. They don't seem to prefer the zoas though, so I don't think they're eating them, and there's no visible damage to any of the polyps. Everything else in the tank looks healthy, no problem algae, and the zoas farther down in the tank are opening fine. Do you think a peppermint shrimp might help eat these critters? <Perhaps>   I was planning to get 1 or 2 shrimp to add some movement to the system, figured I might kill two birds with one stone if I got one that had a tendency to eat small wormy things.  Another thing I was thinking of trying was getting flatworm exit <Mmm, no. Not advised> and maybe another couple meds that kill worms/nasties, <Too indiscriminate, toxic> siphoning out some of them and adding the medication to the siphoned out worms (not to the tank) to see what kills 'em.  I figured this little science experiment may help id them.  Or I could leave the lights off for a while and starve 'em, but I have a feeling these guys would out live my frags if I did that. <These may be worms of some sort (annelids), crustaceans, even mollusks... I'd leave them be> Another quick unrelated (I hope) question for ya:  I received a frag of a Kenya tree coral (Capnella) by accident with some Zoa frags about two weeks ago.  It's been opening up great and looking healthy until yesterday when it didn't open up at all.  Just wondering if this is normal once in a while, or if I need to do some investigating as to the cause of this behaviour. <If it stays closed... I would indeed be "doing something"... moving it>   As a conscientious marine aquarist, I wouldn't have added this guy to my tank on purpose, but now that he's here I'm struggling trying to   catch up on my research of this coral (took a week to get an id!!) Any advice you can give would be appreciated! Thanks! <Mmm, keep enjoying, learning, sharing... Thank you! Bob Fenner>

Another ID please.  Possibly a Sponge or a Tunicate.   3/26/07 Hi, <Hi Allan, Mich here.> Could you please id this little critter for me, I have a few of these in my tank that came in on live rock, they are about 1-2mm in diameter. <Really, only 1-2 mm, not 1-2 cm, in diameter?  Is very, very tiny.  I'm surprised you could get this good of picture if it is 1-2mm.  It is non-motile, correct?  Perhaps it is a sponge or tunicate of some sort.  Does look like there might be sets of incurrent and excurrent siphon tubes.  Sorry, I know this is not terribly helpful with such a vague ID here, but this critter is not likely harmful, if that helps any.  -Mich

Invert Ids: Cowry (Cypraea vitellus) and a Flatworm (Amphiscolops sp.)   3/21/07 WWM crew, <Hi Stephen, Mich here.> I wanted to see if I could get an ID one the attached photos.  First is what I think is a Cypraea vitellus.  Is this correct? <I would agree with your identification.> What is your experience with this species in a mixed reef? <Nothing specific to this species.  Generally cowry snails grow too large and cumbersome for most reef systems.  Several are carnivorous, some are herbivorous and for many their diets are not well understood.  Probably not the most suitable choice for your reef.>   Second is an unknown invert I saw in my refugium.  Is about 3-4mm in size, translucent as seen in photo and used a rhythmic motion for propulsion along the front glass.  First one I have seen and have not added anything new to the tank in 4 or 5 months.  What is your advice of this living in the fuge? <Is a harmless acoel, Amphiscolops sp.  Please see here for a nearly identical picture:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flatworms.htm  > Thank you <Welcome!> and best regards,
<And to you, Mich>

Mass of clear tubes??? Sponges, Not Bagpipes -- 03/17/07 Hello from Parma, OH. <Greeting from Gouldsboro, Mich here currently buried in a foot and a half of snow...> I hope you can help me out. <Me too!  Gotta plow?  Wanna shovel?> I have some zoos growing on a tube coral skeleton. And I have noticed two masses of clear-white tubes growing on the dead corals branches. What could this be? <Mmm, Snow, icicles, oh wait, wrong place... Umm, bagpipes?  Does sort a look like bagpipes... OK, seriously looks like a Poriferan to me, a sponge, no worries here.   I've sent along a photo to assist you.   <Nice photo!> Thanks in advance!! <Welcome!  -Mich>                                                                                                    Scott Seck

Eggs in pattern on glass -- 03/17/07 <Hi Calesta, Mich with you today.> I have eggs on the glass of my tank. They are in a pattern like a leaf, <Hmm, is it a shamrock?> and when examined closely each part of the leaf looks like a feather. I have looked up the eggs for the 2 types of snails I have and the Nudibranch, and these are nothing like those eggs. <Well they are definitely eggs, likely snail, but beyond that, really not sure, shouldn't be anything harmful and will not likely survive long as most other tank inhabitants find them quite tasty!  >    I know the picture isn't very good but hope it will help. <Either the photo's a little blurry or I've been honoring St. Patty a little too much! Sorry not really able to provide anything  beyond what you already know.> Thank you

Brown mass under rockwork?  3/16/2007 Greetings Crew, I found under rock work a fairly large mass of jelly-like substance.  It almost looks like frog egg mass after the frogs have left.  It is not near any coral so I do not think it is the brown jelly disease but I am not sure. <Is not>   I have not been able to find any other references that seem to fit. I have a mated pair of coral banded shrimp, Regal tang, 3 clowns, fairy Basslet, 3 Chromis, and 3 neon gobies.  All have been with me for over 3 years.  Assorted corals and mushrooms and a bubble tipped anemone. Again, I have had all for over 3 years.  Do you have any ideas. If it is the disease'¦. Should I tear apart the rock work and try and siphon it.  Really it looks like some left over egg mass material.  Any ideas.  Sorry I cannot get a picture. Thanks for any info Cathy <Likely a sponge, perhaps some other sessile invertebrate... not possible to tell w/ more information, image... Not likely deleterious. I would leave it be. Bob Fenner>

Can you identify  3/16/2007 Hi everyone, <Kathy> I find your site very helpful and I'm hoping you can help me identify something strange that has shown up in my reef tank.  All I can figure is it came in on the live rock.  I've attached a picture.  Take a look and let me know what you think. <This is a Chiton... a Polyplacophoran... Please read re such Mollusks on WWM> Kathy
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Coral gall barnacle  3/16/2007 Good Evening Crew! Good day to you Brad!  Mich here. I hope all is well at the WetWebMedia center.   <Making progress!> I am writing with a "Friend or Foe" question.   <Always try to be friends here!> Attached please find a crude sketch for discussion.  It is intended to depict a small (approximately 2mm long) sweeping appendage of an unknown filter feeder.  This "catcher's mitt" looks much like the straining appendages seen on porcelain crabs, and on many barnacles.   <Most all filter feeder are friends not foes.> <<Unless you're very small.... Heeeeeeee! RMF>> I have a newly acquired Frag of a Montipora digitata that is host to a half dozen or so of these solitary sweeping creatures and one other fellow that is slightly different.  From my reading these appear to me (the layman) to be small Coral Gall Barnacles.   <Your sketch resembles barnacles.> Except that the one tiny little fellow appears to have two legs sticking out the front door of his cave.  Could he possibly be a Coral Hermit Crab?   <Not likely a Coral Hermit Crab (Dardanus tinctor).  Maybe an Acropora crab or a coral crab.  A photo would be most helpful here.> Currently, this coral specimen resides in my 37 gallon hospital tank.  The question is: will it harm my 130-gallon reef tank to introduce these creatures along with the Montipora?   <Unlikely.> And, if so, what is your recommended plan of action? <Watch and enjoy!> As always, thank you for your thoughts and for your wonderful site. <Thank you for your kind Brad in Basalt

Mystery Creature in my tank  3/16/2007 Hi, Thanks for a great service!! <You are welcome.  Thank you for the kind words.> I have a mystery creature in my tank that appeared yesterday.   <I have one of those about every two weeks.> I have attached two photos taken from inside the tank.  It is about 1" long and is stuck to the glass.   <Mmmmm.  The photos are difficult to see.> The point of attachment between the creature and the glass is the entire length of its body.  The other side is covered in small "spikes."   <It looks like some sort of Flatworm, Sea Cucumber, or possibly a Nudibranch.  Very difficult to tell, is it possible that you could send a better picture?> It has moved about 16" over the past 20 hours from near the sand (where I first saw it) toward the top of the tank.  I did add a clam to the tank (t. derasa) yesterday, but there was definitely nothing attached to it, <That you know of.> and I also did a water change yesterday afternoon.  I have no idea where this came from or what it is. <See above Re: better photo for more accurate identification.  At any rate, I don't think that it is cause for terrible alarm.  Just grab a siphon hose and suck the critter out, or watch it and enjoy it for a while.  If it starts to show malicious tendencies, suck it out of the tank.> Thanks!!
<You are --- Brian

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