FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification
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Can you identify this? 5/3/15
Hello! I started finding this in my tank a few months ago. The kinda look like
eggs but nothing seems to hatch. Seems to spread quickly.
<Ahh; very nice. These are colonial Ascidians; Sea Squirts. Indicative of good
conditions in your system. Not harmful.
Re: Can you identify this? 5/4/15
Thank you! I really appreciate it! I have looked in so many books and couldn't
Re: Please help identify this please 4/28/15
Thank u for your help can u help me one more time please I bought a colony of
star polyps and found this it's soft and has 2 protruding what looks likes
mouths that retracts when touched I thought maybe a sponge of some kind thanks
for any help
<Mmm; two mouths, retracts when touched... my guess is that
this is an Ascidian/Sea Squirt of some sort. Not harmful; in fact indicative of
good care, conditions. Bob Fenner>
Growth on Hammer Coral 8/14/15
Hello and thank you so much for all the valuable information you guys provide.
I have been reading and researching on your site (and others) for several years
now and this is the first time I have posted a question. In April I upgraded my
tank from a 75 to a 180 gallon mixed reef tank.
Things are going very well, but today I noticed an unusual growth on the side of
my hammer coral. The hammer is usually fully extended, growing nicely and is
very beautiful. Today I turned my lights off while acclimating a new chalice
coral and a maxima clam and as a result of the lights being off the polyps
retracted on my hammer and I saw this large growth on the side of its skeleton.
I have looked online and the only thing I can find as a possibility are the
vermetid snails, but the pictures I can find don't really look anything like
what I see on my hammer. I am attaching a picture and was hoping that you will
be able to tell me what in the world this is and how I can get rid of it. Thank
you again. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
<The reddish bit? Tis an Ascidian, A Sea Squirt... unless it's physically
bugging the Euphyllia, I'd leave it... interesting animals; not harmful; and
indicative of good conditions, care on your part. Bob Fenner>
full size pic
Re: Growth on Hammer Coral 8/14/15
Oh my, what a relief! I was thinking the worst. It doesn't seem to be bothering
the coral in the least and when my lights are on the hammer is so extended that
the sea squirt is completely hidden. Thanks again!
<Ah, welcome! BobF>
What is this thing??? 5/14/15
I have 65 gal aquarium with lots of live rock and a healthy clean up crew. Only
a few fish since the tank is still pretty young (5 months). I had purchased a
conch snail from LFS; it lived about 2 weeks and I found my emerald crab
feasting on him.
<Typical... Mithraculus crabs are not herbivores. See WWM re>
I left the shell since I like the way it looks in the sand and now there is some
sort of creature growing from the empty shell! It looks like a rusty colored
tube that has grown to about 1/5 of an inch long. Today, I noticed what looks
like 2 little pinchers maybe?? That are sticking out of the tube and it looks
like it has some sort of silk string that it has created. Wondering if I need to
get this out of my tank or if this will be something cool like a coco worm or
feather duster. Thanks for any help you can give me!!
<Likely some sort of tubiculous worm... though could be a tube-dwelling snail
species. Not harmful. Bob Fenner>
Re: What is this thing???
<Ah; you're welcome>
Critter I'd? Help! 4/23/15
Hello! Kathy here once again. Thank you for all your awesome advice in the past
and I am once again in need of your expertise. So I have noticed these
REALLY long white tentacles sweeping all over my frag tank. When I took a
closer look, it looks like these long tentacles are actually coming from these
tiny little slimy / jelly blobs all over the glass. These little blobs
are stuck pretty flat all over the glass and protrude these really really long
tentacles and each of the long tentacles have smaller little tentacles
all throughout kind of like teeth on a comb. I have searched everywhere
and the closest thing I could find are the comb jellies
<Ctenophores was my guess thus far; perhaps Hydrozoans>
but I'm not sure if that's what it is. They are reproducing really fast and
there's at least 100 of them all over the glass and you can see the tentacles
all over the tank. Are These guys safe?
How do I get rid of them?
<Need to know what they are; but likely scraping, vacuuming and netting out
PS each little blob looks just like a little wiggly blob. Not at all like the
comb jelly in Google images. Thanks again.
<Please send along a well-resolved pic. Bob Fenner>
Re: Critter I'd? Help! 4/24/15
Hi again. I've been trying to get a good picture but can't right now. When I get
home later I can take a picture with a better camera. It's basically a clear
jelly like body with white inside and it's kind of divided in half.
This is a handwritten picture of what I see. Thanks again.
<Mmm; am changing my best guess to this being some sort of Hydropolyp
(Hydrozoan)... most likely undesirable. BobF>
Re: Critter I'd? Help!
Hello again! After lots of research I am leaning more toward ctenophores. I was
able to take a few out. They are actually green in color. It's AMAZING how LONG
the sweeping tentacles are. Here's a pic. Please tell me what you think. Thanks
Re: Critter I'd? Help!
Sorry or the bother, this might be a better pic.
Re: Critter I'd? Help! 4/24/15
Last picture I promise.
<Still too blurry>
Now my question is, do you still believe they are ctenophores? Are they
harmful to corals? How do I get rid of them?
<See prev. emails>
Thanks in advance for all your help. I moved all my corals out just to be safe
but would really like to be able to place them back in as soon as possible.
<Might be a Hydropolyp species... Not likely compatible. B>
Someone reported that these washed up on a beach in Florida. They claim that
they could see a heartbeat. It looks like it has a siphon to me. A type of
Cephalopod? Which ones? I can't figure it out. What say you? Thank you.
<Mmm; nothing attached Jan... BobF>
Re: Need ID
ok. Will send via fb pm
<Appear to be Seahares. B>
Re: Need ID
<Ah; welcome. Have seen similar... Aplysia californica; off the coast at minus
tides several times. B>
Re: In need of an ID 2/19/15
<Mmm; thank you for providing the
is a worm of some sort...
will have to check when am not so tired.
Re: In need of an ID 2/20/15
<Though it should be "in the substrate" the movement and oral appendages
of this animal remind me of a Sipunculid, a Peanut Worm. Bob Fenner>
Do you reply via email, or do I need to check the site?
<We respond to all both ways>
I have a small saltwater tank and got some live rock to help establish the tank
before adding my own life. Many small shrimp, star fish, and other creatures
surfaced, and finally, a 10"+ worm. It hates white light and is leaving a mucus
mess wherever it goes. It is catching my baby shrimp and they will likely die.
What do I do about this thing?
<See WWM re Errantiate Polychaetes... Bristleworms>
Even if it is not actively killing other organisms, it is leaving a mess and
catching others up in the slime. Thoughts? Great website.
<Make use of it. Bob Fenner>
In need of an ID
I've been searching, and with no luck, I've now been pointed to you.
I have a "shell-less" scallop like creature.
<.... a well-resolved image please. Per our stated requirements>
Swims and collects just like a flame scallop, that won't stay in one spot,
however I don't own any scallops or clams. This tank has been running for 6
years with Zoanthids and fish with one tube anemone. I just upgraded to a 120
from a nano with dry rock, to fill in the holes.(I have not added anything but
If you would like I can add a video and some photos.
Let me know,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Help with identification please...
I was referred to you by an individual on Facebook. Said that you could
help ID the new overnight arrivals emerging from the
substrate in my tank. There are 15 by my count and all uniform in shape
and size. I am assuming
something is procreating, but what? I have also attached a short video.
<Mov linked HERE>
help would be greatly appreciated, thanks![image: Inline image 1],
<Sorry my vision is a bit blurry from driving on the road for hours
today, but these look like Ascidians, Sea Squirts... Not harmful. Bob