Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 39

Related Articles: Marine Invertebrates, Marine Invertebrate Systems, Marine Invertebrate Compatibility, Marine Invertebrate Disease, Marine Invertebrate Reproduction, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, Feeding Reef Invertebrates, Lighting Marine Invertebrates, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

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 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 56, 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 

Tired of Nerite Eggs, or Whatever They Are: Foraminiferans - 9/15/08 Hi Crew, <Hi Tom, Lynn here today.> About six months ago you ID'd these calcareous discs as Nerite egg casings, thank you for that. <On Mich's behalf, you're very welcome! She's a real gem when it comes to ID's! I just took a look at your original photo (at this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaq6.htm) and those do indeed look like Nerite egg capsules. Had I answered your query, I would have given the same answer. However, after looking at your new photo, I'm thinking that you might have something else entirely, specifically Foraminiferans. Nerite capsules are sesame seed shaped, a bit 'pillowed' (not flat), usually a uniform opaque white, fairly consistent in size, and are adhered fairly well to whatever surface they're on. See the photo at this link under the query titled 'What Is This!?! Nerite Snail Egg Capsules 9/10/07' for comparison: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailid12.htm What I see in your photo (after enlarging it quite a bit), are objects that look thin, wafer-like/more discoid in shape, vary considerably in size, and appear to be loosely arranged on top of the rockwork/algae. I'd love to see an extreme close-up of one, but it would understandably be difficult to achieve. For more information on Foraminifera, please see the query titled 'ID Help: Foraminiferan, Likely Marginopora sp. - 4/21/08' at this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertid34.htm . Here's a terrific article as well, with photos: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-07/rs/index.php .> I understand they're harmless and all, but I would really like to get rid of them. <Foraminiferans are indeed harmless, even beneficial. Personally, I'd leave them but if you'd like to reduce their numbers, there are some predators Dr. Shimek mentioned (in his article listed above) that may consume them. They include hermits, various sand sifting fishes (if the forams you have also inhabit the substrate), and bristleworms. Mind you, none of these creatures feed solely on forams. They may have other preferred foods they consume first before going after these. Another option you might try is suctioning them out. You could knock them loose with something like an algae scraper, then vacuum.> Would you have any suggestions? Anything that will eat/kill/slow these things down (either the eggs, adult snails, or both). <See above.> I've tried scrubbing them off the rock but they eventually reappear... <I'd opt for diligent vacuuming, possible introduction of a predator.> ..in all this time I haven't seen a single adult snail. <That's understandable!> Thanks, Tom
<You're very welcome Tom, and good luck! --Lynn>

Re: Tired of Nerite Eggs, or Whatever They Are: Foraminiferans - 9/15/08 Hi Lynn, <Hi Tom!> Thank you very much for this ID...you seem to have nailed it. <Yay!> I Googled better pictures at: http://www.poppe-images.com/images/image_info.php?picid=910670 http://www.poppe-images.com/images/image_info.php?picid=907142 http://www.cushmanfoundation.org/resources/slides/forams.html (the third one down looks exactly like mine) <Excellent. Yep, it's a common tropical species in the genus Marginopora that can get surprisingly large. Many forams are very small indeed (<2mm). They're odd, but neat looking little things, aren't they!> I used to have a few (40-50) hermits in this tank, mostly Clibanarius tricolor and kin. They eventually consumed each other <Typical> or otherwise died out, now that I think about it, this may have been just a few months before these discs started to show up...now it seems this was no coincidence. <Wouldn't surprise me a bit. While the crabs are away, the forams will..run amok - wheee!> I think I'll do some crab shopping. <LOL This time, maybe start off with just a couple and see how they do. That way, maybe you can end up with a healthy balance of each.> Tom <Take care, -Lynn>

Strange Snail: Young Astraea -- 9/15/08 <Hi there, Mitch> I keep finding these in my reef at home....(not the quarter now) <Heheee!> never see them on corals, but always on glass. <Yes, that's typical. They're herbivorous grazers that pose no threat to corals and seem to prefer hard surfaces (glass/rockwork/equipment).> My turbo snails are always having babies, <Hmmm, I'm wondering if you aren't perhaps seeing Collonista snails, aka 'Mini Turbos' (very common/beneficial little hitchhikers). If what you have are the typical 'Turbo grazers' sold through most LFS, those are broadcast-spawners whose young have very little chance of survival in most home systems. Please see this link for comparison/more information: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=242 > ..could these be small Astraea? <Yes, that's exactly what they look like. Please see this link for more information (see second photo down for comparison): http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=375 > Please let me know.... mixed sps/high dollar LPSs reef. Thanks, Mitch <You're very welcome. Take care, -Lynn> Re: Strange Snail: Young Astraea -- 9/15/08 Hello, my name is Mitch <Hello again, Mitch> ..and I sent a picture txt message from my phone to you guys a minute ago. My comp is not working so I wasn't sure if you would get the message from earlier. <Yes, we got it just fine, thanks.> If you could reply in regards to the picture to this email, I would be thankful. Thanks, Mitch p.s.the pic was about snails in my reef <Got it. You're very welcome. Take care, -Lynn>

What's on my Halimeda?   8/21/08 Good evening Crew! I was checking out my tank tonight and noticed that my Halimeda algae has something wacky covering the blades. See attached pics. These were not there last night. Any idea what this is? Thanks as always. Andy <Mmm, would really like to see this under magnification... Am guessing that due to its upright structure, repeated appearance, that this is some sort of Hydrozoan. Do you have access to a sort of dissection microscope with a camera? Bob Fenner>

What&#39;s on my Halimeda? 8/22/08 A dissection microscope? That sounds fancy. I have some binoculars and a pirate&#39;s telescope made for a 3 year old, but I feel that neither of those will work. <Mmm, just the QX scope... even I have/use one> All growths are gone 24 hours later . . . <Bizarre!> I guess I will research whether hydrozoans are bad . . . <Can be if too numerous, the system small...> Thanks for your insight. Andy <Happy to share. BobF>

Need Help 08/12/2008 Wet Web Media Crew - <<Hi there>> I was hoping you could help identify what is in the attached picture.? I have a 60 gallon hex tank? as well as a 90 gallon corner tank.? Both are? salt water and non reef tanks.? This sponge like substance is in both tanks.? It grows in my filter and low light areas.? Do you know what this is and how I can get rid of it?? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks. Jim <<Please re-send with the mentioned picture, attached. Thanks. A Nixon>>

Re: Need Help... ID 08/14/2008 Sorry... I thought the picture was attached.? I hope you can see this one clearly. <<he he he.. Its fine, received the pic now. Just common sponges which are found in near enough all our home aquariums. Simple filter feeders which cause no harm, and will grow with nutrient levels. If you dislike them, then yes, feel free to remove them, however, be prepared for a constant battle as sponges will soon grow back.>> <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>


Yellow "squiggly" slime?? what's that!?  8/7/08 Hi again...you guys helped before...thought this was interesting (@ least for me) to send along. Wondering what you think this may be.....pls see attached pic. Just noticed it today when I got home. It's in two areas.. Another just below and to the left. more in the corner of tank. 30 gal reef tank turbo snails sand sifting snails narcassis snails and fishies <Mmm, snail eggs... see WWM re IDs of such: http://wetwebmedia.com/snailid9.htm and the linked files above... Sing it uhh! BobF>

Polychaete worm photo... Chiton  8/5/08 Hello, ????????? <Mich with you today.> Thanks for the awesome service you provide to reef keepers everywhere. <On behalf of Bob and the crew, you're welcome!> I have had my 125 gallon reef setup for about 5 years now. <Very nice!> One on my favorite things to do in the evening is to see what I can find among my live rock, <Heehee! Mine too!> well I found a strange looking worm. It is about 3/4 of and inch wide and am not sure how long it is. I have watched it extend about 4 inches from the rock without ever revealing its end. Attached is a picture of the head or front of it. I appears to have a pink triangle-shape on its head and its body is black and green. I hope you can help me identify this worm. <It is a Chiton.> I know its not harmful, <You are correct.> I just want to learn more. <Glad to hear! Something to start you! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiton http://home.inreach.com/burghart/ > I have scoured the Internet and nothing looks similar. <Heehee! Hard to learn about what you can't ID, eh? The picture I attached is of the top of its head. Thanks <Welcome! Enjoy your newly identified friend! Cheers,

Mysterious Sponge?  7/29/08 Hi WWM Crew, <Rob> Once again, I've found myself at a loss as to the identity of this newest addition to my reef. It's a white puffy sponge-like growth that's formed on the underside of my LR in several locations. <I see it/this> They look kinda like a cigarette filter without the paper (if that makes sense). I'm attaching a picture for reference. As always, your expertise in identifying this as well as removal method is greatly appreciated. You guys ROCK ! Respectfully, Rob <I would leave this sponge as it is... testimony to your good husbandry. Bob Fenner>

White Pods Growth in Refugium Chaeto Algae... Syconoid Sponges 07/20/2008 Hi All, <Hi Chris, Mich here today.> I am a long time fan and reader of your website and thought you might be able to help identify what is growing in my refugium. <Hope so!> There are white pod like growths mingled throughout my Chaeto algae. The refugium is light by a power compact light and contains Fiji miracle mud and a couple of clams. <Really? Clams in your refugium? Are they doing well? I'm surprised they are getting enough light.> At first glance we thought it might be copepod eggs. <Nope.> We are worried if this is something we should remove from our tank or if the white pods are beneficial. <They are Syconoid sponges, harmless filter feeders. Nothing to be worried about. The population generally waxes and wanes. You can see similar ones here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf7.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf6.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf5.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaq3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaq2.htm Attached is a picture of the growth. <Got it.>

Re: White Pods Growth in Refugium Chaeto Algae  7/20/08White Pods Growth in Refugium Chaeto Algae... Syconoid Sponges Thank you very much for the answer. <You are most welcome Chris.> By the way don't worry about the clams they are tiny hitchhikers smaller pinky nail not large ones. <Glad to hear they are not Tridacnid. Enjoy your sponges!> Regards, Chris <Cheers, Mich>

Live Rock Hitchhikers!  7/18/08 Hello Crew, I am a somewhat experienced saltwater enthusiast, having about 1 year of experience with a 55 reef setup. This year was spent with at least 5-10 hours per week spent reading and researching throughout the entire year.. so it's more than just a 'casual' "hey let's throw some fish and corals in a tank" kind of experience... Anyway... I just started a Nano tank, for the "challenge" of it. After patiently waiting until the water parameters were stable, I bought myself a nice 3 lb piece of live rock at the LFS. After a few hours, I was looking at the tank and making some observations, and I saw a few neat creatures that I had not seen at the store: a smaller feather duster, some random smaller zoanthid type polyps (hopefully not aiptasia, but they have a deep body, so I'm thinking they're not) And I thought that was all really neat. However, I was looking at the back part of the rock, and it looked like something large moved! Turns out, I have some sort of clam that attached to the rock and is covered in beautiful coralline algae and some macroalgae. All the research I've done about clams has been the Crocea and Maxima varieties, but this one has the body shape of a freshwater "eating type" (I hope my descriptions make sense..) Any ideas on this guy? I have about 3.5 watts per gallon lighting and the tank is only a 10 gallon, so I'm not sure what I'll do with this hitch hiker, besides research of course. Thanks for the much appreciated help and suggestions/insight. Eric <Hello Eric. Bivalves -- clam, oysters, scallops, and mussels -- are very diverse, with literally thousands of species known to science. Most are marine, fairly small, and infaunal, meaning they live in sand, soft rock or sunken wood. So from your description it is virtually impossible to put a name to what you have! But you could start here, and see if anything rings a bell... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bivalvia.htm That said, virtually none will do any harm in an aquarium, so identifying them usually isn't critical. The main problem with bivalves is that the majority are filter feeders (a few are micropredators or deposit feeders) so the bigger species often find it hard going in the largely plankton-free aquarium environment. If they die from starvation, you have a lump of rotting protein there messing up your water quality. But small "hitchhiker" species may well survive, even thrive, without undue fuss. What you're actually learning about is that marine invertebrate diversity is an order of magnitude (at least) greater than freshwater invertebrate diversity. Every piece of living rock will have representatives of at least half a dozen animal phyla, including ones you never see in freshwater, such as the Echinodermata and Sipunculida. So, enjoy your new "pets", go grab a book on marine invertebrates, and learn about the wonders of marine biology! Cheers, Neale.>

What's in the tank? Hair or Spaghetti worm -- 7/16/08 Hello all! <Hi Kathy!> Once again I am in need of a question answered... I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank. In January I purchased 65lbs of live rock. For the last 7 months I have been totally fascinated with the little creatures that are emerging. <It's the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it!> Yesterday I noticed what looked to me like long pieces of hair on the bottom, across the crushed coral substrate. I have long black hair so I thought some of it had gotten in the tank...but when I looked closer it was thread-like, dark and light alternating along the "thread" and it was moving!! Then I notice 3 or 4 more! All seemed to be stretching out from under a piece of the LR...and this morning when I fed the fish, these "threads" seemed to attach to the blood worms and mysis shrimp I had put in. They stretch out approximately 6 to 8 inches... in different directions. I've spent most of the morning reading and trying to identify, but I can't wait. My eyes are blurry and I have to know, "What's in my tank?" Can you give me a clue as to what this is so that I can begin, in a logical place, to look on the website, to research this little creature? <It sounds a lot like a harmless/beneficial Hair worm/Cirratulid (Family Cirratulidae), or possibly a Spaghetti worm/Terebellid (Family Terebellidae). Both are deposit/detritus feeders, as well as scavengers that make nice additions to a system. For more information and photos, please see the following links: http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic34114-11-3.aspx (last post on the page) See the Query 'Red worms with black Rings? 7/8/07' at this WWM link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wormidfaq10.htm http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/rs/index.php > OBTW I love, love, love, your website! <Thank you, thank you, thank you!> So much so that some days it's hard to do my work...mind and body keep drifting back to the PC :) <Heheee! I know the feeling!> Thanks so much, tootles, ~Kathy <You're very welcome, Kathy. Take care, -Lynn>

Re: What's in the tank? Hair or Spaghetti worm -- 7/17/08 <Hi Kathy> Well...creepy looking things.. but, I will keep them around, the more I watch them the more fascinating they are! <Indeed they are!> (I found a couple more :) ) thanks again! Tootles, ~Kathy <It was a pleasure! Take care, -Lynn>

What is it? Got tons of them in a tank with base rock, crabs, snails, and two clownfish...nothing else...appeared overnight....they are 1/4 inch and smaller. <Look to be small sea cucumbers... a better resolved pic will get you a better guess. Bob Fenner>

Sponge ID... uhh, worse  7/6/08 Hi Bob and Crew, Can you help us identify this thing (we think it's a form of a sponge) growing from under our Goniopora. All of our parameters have been good, we just noticed this one night when the Goniopora had gone in. Picture is at: http://photo.evasionoftruth.com/g1/aquarium/IMG_0849 cropped Its directly in the center growing from under the frag disc. We are wondering if we should remove it, it appears to be a filter feeder as it does not retract when we touch it. <... is a Hydrozoan... and is stinging the bejeesus out of the Poritid... needs to be removed, scrubbed clean (with vacuuming if done underwater) entirely. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hyzoancompfaq.htm> Keep up the great work on the site, we use it daily to find out things about having a reef tank. Thanks, Buster
<Thank you for sharing Buster. Bob Fenner>

worm or larvae identification?  7/4/08 Hello and thanks for all the great suggestions...your site is extremely helpful! <Thanks> About 2 weeks ago, I've added about 24 cerite, Nerite snails (hope I spelled them right) and about 50 red-legged Mexican hermits to my 72 gallon bow-front reef tank. Over the past week, I've notice maybe hundreds of tiny white, thin dots on the back glass of the tank. I've never seen these critters before and not sure if they are simply snail larvae or harmful hitchhikers that came with the critters. I've taken a few out just to observe them under a magnifying-glass and they don't appear to any protrusions and/or any other physical characteristics other than being flat, white, and smooth. I've attached a photo as well. One observation, is that the snails predominantly stay on the back glass where the concentration of these white critters are. Thanks again for your help! Emmett <Flat, white, smooth? Can you make a closer up, more resolved image? These might be Limpets. Bob Fenner>

Another New Critter - 7/2/08 Crew, <Jared> I found another critter today that I have actually seen before, but have never been able to get a good photo of. I have a few of these in my tank, and they are either swimming or attached to the glass. <Ah, yes! Was out for dinner at a friends last night and they played some of the excellent "Blue Planet" series... part of which featured some great footage of strobilization...> They are about the size of a pea, disc/umbrella shaped, and "pump" their bodies while they swim AND when they are attached to the glass. I thought they were some kind of jelly, but I haven't been able to find a picture. The attached photo isn't the best, but I think you can get a good idea. Thanks again, Jared S. <Is indeed a jelly... There is but a small bit re their appearance, concern posted on WWM. Please do relate further observations you have re. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: