FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification
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Critter ID 10/25/27
Hi there, I've got a funny little dude on one of my corals. I've asked every
reefing group I can find and no one has an idea. It started off between these
two heads of hammer coral and looked like a Chiton at first--it's a series of
armored plates. Then it sort of curved as you can see here in the photo and it's
growing fast. There are three of them now.
It is very, very hard--harder than the coral stalk and absolutely nothing budges
it, even trying to slide a razor blade under the edge hasn't been successful.
The picture below shows it just opened its 'mouth' end which is usually shut
tight. Any ideas what it could be? I'd hate to kill it if it's a reef safe
critter. Thank you!!!
<Mmm; can't quite make out in your pix, but would have guessed at first glance
that these were Chitons as you mention, and with the clue that they can't be
removed with a razor blade either limpets of some sort or, my final guess (for
now) that these are a species of calcareous tube-building worm. I would leave
Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
My local aquarium shop suggested that I submit a question about some critters in
my tank. The attached images show these "sand-sized" organisms (about 1mm in
diameter) blooming in my tank.
<Neato! These are Foraminiferans! Sign of a healthy system, lack of predators>
They have been there for months and seem benign, or maybe even helpful (eating
algae?), though they do obstruct the view of the tank some. There are thousands
of them in the sand bed, on the rocks, and on the glass.
They move very slowly...as indicated by some time-lapse video. The close-up
photos were taken with a macro lens.
Can you provide any insight? Are they helpful? Harmful? Should I be concerned?
<No concern; are helpful... Enjoy them while you can, as changes in your system
will result in their crashing population wise... other life becoming more
dominant in time>
<Thank you for sharing. There's a bunch on the Net (even WWM) re:
Re: Snails? 8/23/17
Excellent. Thanks for the info Bob!
<Welcome Ryan. BobF>