Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 23

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 24, 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

Hitchhiker critter   3/8/07 Greetings! <And salutations!  Mich here.> I am relatively new to Saltwater Aquaria. <Do you have "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert M. Fenner in your library?  If not, you should.  It will help you navigate your way through this often-challenging hobby.> I have a 30-gallon reef tank with 30 lbs of live rock and sand. The tank has been running well with no causalities since December, 2006. All weekly water tests are great! Tonight I saw for the first time an unidentifiable snail or slug. From what I read on your site, I am actually thinking it could be a sea slug or nudibranch. <Possible.> It is cream in color with tiny brown spots, about the size of a fingernail and has no apparent shell. It can contort its body into many shapes and ultimately squeezes down into small holes in the live rock. It was sucking on the glass today and from the underneath it appeared just like a normal snail. It's an obvious hitchhiker, but I was curious if it would pose any problems to my current livestock. <Difficult to say without a picture.> (Coral Beauty, Maroon Clown, Neon Goby, Firefish, 3 green Chromis, Mexican hermits, a couple Turbos and a skunk cleaner.) <Seven fish!  In a 30 gallon tank!  Yikes!  Won't be happy for long...  Now I'm doubly recommending the book!> I got lucky and also have some Hawaiian Feather duster clumps that have recently shown themselves and are growing. <Very nice.> I enjoy them all and would be disappointed if I were to lose them to this new critter. <Glad to hear.> I've read that some Nudi's can expel toxins. I appreciate your assistance and expertise. <Really is difficult to say, especially without a photo.  You have a rather small system and it doesn't take much to upset the balance.> Anything you can share would be great! <Get the book, read the book, be the book, (OK don't be the book) but more knowledge and less fish (in a 30-gallon) will make you more successful in the long run.> Thanks, Lori <Welcome!  Mich> Lori Brawner

Hopefully better pictures of strange creatures.     3/8/07 <Hi Faye, Mich with you again.> I tried sending some photos the other day of some mystery creature but the picture were rubbish <Yep!> so I've sent some more which are slightly bigger and a bit clearer, <Better, wish they were in a little better focus.> the one that's bothering me is the strange little pyramid shaped creatures which have started to move around my live rock. I have no idea what they are, one of them is climbing up a bit of algae at the moment. <Is it climbing the algae or vice-versa?> They are very strange. <I thought you might have a couple of tunicates on your hands but my understanding is that these are sessile, non motile, creatures.  So my best guess would be tunicate, but it may be incorrect.  A tunicate will have two siphon holes.  Do have a look here and the links in blue:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ascidians.htm and see what you think.> The other thing to be hopefully identified is some orange polyps with black centres, they look nice but you never can tell! <I believe, again I wish the photo was a bit more clear, that these are a feather dusters of some sort, as they appear to have tubes from which they extend.  Do they retract when touched?  If so, most likely tis a cluster of feather dusters.  More here and links in blue:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feather.htm > By the way, your site is great I've found loads of information! <Thank you!  Is good to hear.> Thanks in <You're welcome!  -Mich>
Re: Hopefully better pictures of strange creatures.  -- 03/09/07 <Hi Faye, Mich with you.> Oh well its a mystery, I'll have to borrow my friends camera and see if I can get better pictures with that, <See if the camera has a macro setting, may have a button that looks like a flower, if so use that, you may get clearer pictures.> the polyps are sending runners so I don't think they are tubeworms and they don't retract when touched. <If they don't retract, then likely not tube worms.> As for the pyramid things they're too small to see any detail other than their basic shape and color, I can't even tell how they are moving I just know they move about very slowly. The one that was climbing up the algae stalk climbed to the top (about 4mm) in about 5 minutes, so they're pretty slow!   <But definite motile, so unlikely tunicates.> Cheers anyway Faye <Sorry I couldn't be more help.  Hopefully better next time!  -Mich>  

Marine Creature ID  - 3/7/07 First of all, thank you so much for the great sight that you have set up.  I have learned almost everything i know about saltwater reef aquarium keeping from this site  Keep up the good work! <Will try> I have noticed hundreds of tiny white things all over the glass in my 75g saltwater tank.  What are they??? <Look like little polychaete worms... likely Serpulids>   They are about the size of a pin head.  Are they OK for my tank?  Do i need to get rid of them?  How? <No problem, no> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time! Sincerely, Lee
<Enjoy them... they'll likely pass in time... Bob Fenner>

Copepod Size Worm?? 3/6/07 I have a friend telling me I have zoo eating nudi.s, next he's telling me I got flatworms.  I see neither just some copepod sized worms in my frag tank thriving on the glass under T5HO lighting.  There's only a couple in the main tank but I think they get eaten up so am not too concerned about it.  I figure you guys might want to add this pic to your wonderful collection, had to use a magnifying glass....I haven't seen any of these worms on corals or live rock, just on the glass. <Pic not real clear, but looks to me like some are indeed copepods, and a few others, tunicates.  Nothing to worry about here. James (Salty Dog)>

Tunicate Invasion  3/5/07 Hello: <Hi.> You have been very kind in the past in answering my questions and I hope you can help me with this one. Not long after I transferred my very healthy Dwarf Zebra Lionfish from to my 55 gallon display tank, I began to notice white specks on the glass and ornaments. They were accompanied by the things in the photos attached to this email. They look like some kind of parasite but they are not affecting the fish at all. They are though making my tank look terrible as you can see. I keep the water and gravel very clean and I also scrape the glass but these things return. The tank has been up for five years and I never saw these things UNTIL I put the Lion in there. What are they and how do I get rid of them? As always, any help is very much appreciated. Thank you for your time. <These are tunicates, are not directly harmful/parasitic at all. Please see WWM re: for more detail about them.  an overabundance may indicate an underlying nutrient issue though.> Robert Sabbia
<Adam J.>

Mmmm, no. Are Syconoid sponges. RMF

Octopus care/capture & Brittle Star comp. 1/29/07    02/17/07 Good afternoon guys, <James>     Thanks again for your insight. First off I finally caught the little octopus. I placed a few large empty tulip snail shells around the aquarium and when I saw him enter one it was easy from there. He has gone to the fish store and is in one of their tanks now. They identified it as a dwarf. As stuff keeps coming to life from assorted rocks I spend many hours trying to figure out what things are, whether they are good or bad and what to do to keep them healthy. <A fun pursuit> I have included 5 pictures that I hope you can help with. The first is a colony of polyps that grew from the original live rock. At night they retract into a bumpy path on the rock. They seem to be expanding their area. Just looking for an identification if it is possible so I can dig up how to better care for them. <See WWM re... Cnidarian groups ID> The second lives in a tube on the bottom of a clam shell. It retracts like a feather duster but is much coarser and seems to have a mouth in the middle. The tentacles are about 1 inch or so. <An Aiptasia, Glass Anemone> The third is a snail of some type. The picture isn't great. <A blurry snail of some sort> It was belching out the little cloud above itself about once every 10 seconds or so. (I am just wondering if he is good or bad because I have something eating the coralline algae from the live rock). I actually think that it is a small white crab that I have seen from time to time (no pic). He is about 1/2 inch across and very fast. Next is a small anemone I think. <A small polypoid animal of some sort> It started as a little blob that was rolling around the tank. It has since attached itself to the rock and developed a stalk. It has no tentacles. Any ideas? Last of all; I caught this guy digging in the substrate. I am keeping him until I hear from you. Is it a fireworm? <No other graphic here> Should I put him back? It is about 2 inches long. Thanks in advance for your help. I have really spent a lot of time trying to figure these out myself. In itself that has been great because I read a lot of stuff that I would have never known about. Have a great day.      Regards      Jim <I would leave the worm be for now... see WWM re... and consider a course in common near shore marine bio. for your area... Perhaps a reference work or three. BobF>

Invert ID  Zoanthids <Maybe a Chlorophyte> and Euryalid    02/17/07 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Hi Laurie, Mich here.> I hope I am not going to crash your server again! <Nope!  Not this time!> I have resized the pictures of the inverts. I hope you can id them for me! <Will try, the photo are quite blurry.  The Macro setting on your camera (symbol often looks like a flower) might help for future reference.> I do not know if you have received the text--so, I'll write everything again.   <Actually saved the text before deleting the overwhelmingly large photos.  Included the original text at the end of this message.> The group of green tubes began to grow around November in my classroom 12 gal. tank. The largest is about 1 inch long with a diameter of about 1/16 of an inch. The tubes are turning white at the base and appear to have fine white "hairs" on them. There appears to me a mouth also at the end of the tube (I can see a dark green slit), although I have never seen the mouth open. See photo of green tubes. <I believe the photo shows a zoanthid colony.  Please read more here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm ><<This looks like the Green Algae, Neomeris sp. to me. RMF>> The second photo was taken of my gorgonian in my 55 gallon home tank.  The creature has been attached to the gorgonian since I bought the gorgonian and is growing fast. Its "arms" move, but it appears to stay in the same place daily...a possible Euryalid?! <Could be, hard to tell by the photo but the description and the behavior would fit.  RMF any comment?><<Maybe>> Thank you for your help! <Welcome!  -Mich> Laurie Price <Mmm, Laurie... the pix aren't here... are you sure you attached them? Please cc yourself (to make sure they're getting through) and re-send. BobF> <Original text below.> I have (possibly) two different types of inverts that I cannot id. myself. One type is in my classroom's 12 gallon nano tank. There are about 7-8 of them. They began growing last November. They are not about 1 inch long with a diameter of about 1/16 of an inch. They appear to have white "hairs/fuzz" on their bodies. See photo of lime green tubes.  The other creature is on my gorgonian in my 55 gallon tank at home. It, too, is growing. It has maroon skin and several arms. The arms have cream colored "feathery" branches coming out of them. See photo of purple gorgonian. Thanks for your help! Laurie Price, NPHS
Re: Invert ID  Zoanthids and Euryalid follow-up  - 02/21/07 Thank you! Laurie Price <Hi Laurie, Mich here again.  You are welcome though I don't know if you saw the correction on our FAQ's page made by RMF.  I sorry, but I believe I answered your question incorrectly.  I thought you were referring to what looked like zoanthids toward the back of the photo you sent, but rereading your question I think RMF is correct and you were referring to the algae toward the front of the photo.  The lime green tubes are called Fuzzy Tip Algae or Spindleweed (Neomeris).  Nothing to be concerned about and is a pretty addition.   Hope that helps,

Sea Slug, Flatworm, Something Else? The Latter, ID Stomatella Snail.   2/14/07 Hello, <Hi there!  Mich here.> First, since I'm sure you don't hear this EVER (hah), I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE! <Thank you!  Yes we do hear this occasionally.> I was looking on your website and possibly found something that I   have in my tank. I saw some white clouds squirting out from one of my live rocks the other day and then I saw a creature through the hole where the clouds were coming from. Its size is somewhere between a  quarter and a half dollar. It is grayish, relatively opaque. It almost looks like a slug or a snail without the shell. <Actually, there most likely is a shell, but it is quite a bit smaller than the actually snail.  I saw your prior gigantic photos.  I believe you have a Stomatella snail reproducing in your tank.  A wonderful addition that is often self-sustaining.  Once your population is established share them with your fishy friends.> I read on your site that this could be a type of flatworm and that the white clouds could be toxic?!? I guess, what do I do? <No worries here my friend.> My rocks have been in my tank (55 gallons) since the summer and my fish (2 clown fish) and snails have been in there since November, so it's still relatively new. I do not have any corals, clams, or anemones yet. So, if the first time I saw it was 3 days ago, then how did it get there? Hitchhiker on the live rock probably there for quite sometime before you noticed it.> Do I have any more? <Hopefully!> I guess, would you please send me any information about this creature? I honestly thought it was a sea slug, but now reading that it could be a flatworm, I'm nervous. <No cause for alarm.> I tried e-mailing you the other day with a picture of it attached,   but I got a response saying it was too large of a picture so my e- mail was deleted. I do not know how to make the picture smaller, or check the size of it (I have an Apple iBook G4, in case that matters at all).   <I have a newly acquired MacBook that I too am learning about.  I believe when you go to attach the photo if you scroll down under the photo on the right hand side you can choose the size as actual, large, medium or small.  Choose medium or small.  Hope that helps.  -Mich>

Re: Sea Slug, Flatworm, Something Else? The Latter, ID Stomatella Snail.  Part 2  2/14/07 Hello, <Hi there!  Mich with you again.> I just sent you info about my possible flatworm or something that is squirting out white clouds into my water. <Yep, got it.> I was having trouble attaching a picture that wasn't huge. I think I figured out how to make it smaller. It is now 112K and I can't get it any smaller without cutting into the actual creature. Sorry for any confusion. <No worries!> This picture is attached below. <Got it!> It's kind of gross looking! <Might not be pretty, but is beneficial.  A lucky addition!  -Mich>

Re: Sea Slug, Flatworm, Something Else? The Latter, ID Stomatella Snail  - 02/15/07 <Hello, Mich with you again.> Oh my gosh! I am so excited now! <Excellent!> As a beginner, I was seriously losing sleep these past couple days worrying it was a toxic flatworm.   <No worries my friend!> So, I do not need to do anything special to this snail, it'll just survive on it's own with the algae that is naturally growing in my tank? <Hopefully!> I Googled that type of snail and one website said that it lets its sperm or eggs into the water and it'll turn the water milky for a short while. Would that explain the white clouds that it was squirting out? <Exactly!> Is it safe to assume that I have more than one in there? <Most likely.> I'm really excited! It's not so gross anymore, snails are cute, haha. <Hehehe!> Thank you so much for your help! <You're very welcome!  -Mich> Sarah

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: