Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 34

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 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 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


What are these? (Serpulid Worms) -- 04/23/08 Hi! <<Hello!>> I have searched and searched your site for an answer that I know is probably a "no brainer" for most of you. <<Oh?>> What are the hundreds of tiny white worm-like things in my sump that seem to be calcified? <<Umm, worms? [grin] >> They don't move and are "crunchy" but look just like little white worms that are about an inch long and about a mm wide. <<These are very likely a species of Polychaete worm from the Family Serpulidae'¦these creatures secrete a calcareous 'tube' in which they live>> Do they need to be cleaned out or do they serve a purpose? <<They are a beneficial detritivore>> Thank you for your site. It is great and has helped me tremendously. <<Glad you like it>> I search your website for info often I just have never been able to answer this puzzle. <<Well then'¦hopefully, puzzle solved!>> Sincerely, Suzanne <<Regards, EricR>>

ID Help: Foraminiferan, Likely Marginopora sp. - 4/21/08 <Hi Paul> When I first set up this tank, approximately 4 months ago after adding LS (fine Fiji pink CaribSea Arag-alive) I found a few hitchhikers (small disk animals) one was green, the rest have been pinkish. <Neat> They attach very securely to LR or glass and are often in the sand as well. My first guess is sand dollars and I can't find anything else that closely resembles them. <I can see why you'd think sand dollar, it certainly has the same general shape. However, your specimen lacks the characteristic 'petal' structure on the surface. Then there are the fine lines spiraling out from the center. I'd love to know the size of the disk. I can't tell if what I'm seeing is less than 1/8' or an inch+ in diameter. From what I can tell though, it looks like a foraminiferan, likely in the genus Marginopora. Forams are harmless, single-celled Protists with either calcareous or silicious shells, usually very small (<1mm) but can range up to about 8'. If what you have is Marginopora vertebralis, a common tropical species, then they should top out at about 5/8". Forams feed on dissolved organics, diatoms, micro-algae, bacteria, copepods, and some are even zooxanthellate (like many corals). Please see item# 48 at the following link, showing a photo of Marginopora vertebralis: http://www.cushmanfoundation.org/resources/slides/forams.html See the photo at the bottom of this link for a good close-up shot: http://www.imagequest3d.com/pages/articles/articleofmonth/foraminifera/foraminifera.htm http://www.poppe-images.com/images/image_info.php?picid=907142 General information regarding forams: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-07/rs/index.php > Thank you in advance for any help. Thx. Paul <You're very welcome! Take care, -Lynn>

Re: ID Help: Foraminiferan, Likely Marginopora sp. - 4/21/08 <Hi Paul> Yep, that's a positive ID, "Marginopora vertebralis" <Yay!> ..and the smallest I've seen was approximately 1/8". The one in the picture measures 5/16" diameter. Thank you very much for your help. <It was a pleasure. Take care, -Lynn>

Please ID, new reef... cycling   4/20/08 Thank you for responding so quickly. I have, of course, rushed the tank for the 5 weeks that I've had it. There are so many different opinions and everyone's an "expert" at the LFS. I have had varying opinions, but I bought 3 different books and am trying to educate myself. <Good> My husband and I watch the tank for hours, trying to find whatever small changes that occur. I thought the fish would be most interesting, but now I'm at the point that I could care less if I have any fish or not. A guy at one fish shop told me that he thought my tank was cycled since I had an algae bloom. <Mmm, not necessarily, though a good indication of activity in that direction> I test daily with strips and the Red Max testing tube kits. All the parameters seem to be ok. pH 8.3, nitrites almost 0, nitrates almost 0 (they have not been 0, but I think I over analyze the color scales), temp 76. I started with Live Rock, Live Sand, and water from the LFS. My Live Rock has a tiny clear worms. Also has a tiny flowering worm, not a feature duster, which I looked up on your site, but I don't think Judi, definitively ID'd. About halfway down the WWM page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertid26.htm attached image with email. I have not seen it today. Over-stocked tank (will avoid anymore purchases in the future other than a few coral, and will wait on those) 1 false percula 1 clarkii (again, told they would get along... and are for now). I have a slew of snails and hermit crabs. 2 peppermint shrimp that I absolutely love. 1 big skunk cleaner that molted, then died a few days later. A guy at LFS said an arrow crab would not be aggressive, but after reading your site, I took him back. <Good> The guy at a beautiful reef shop in Jax convinced me soft coral would do fine, which for 2 weeks it has done great, even gotten bigger. 1 Small green mat Zoanthid polyp 1 pom pom xenia 1 star zoanthid polyp with green centers (not quite sure of the name. Both fish / reef stores I've been to have .021-.022sg. All of the reading in the books I've purchased, along with online articles indicate the salinity should be at least .024. I am going to go with closer to .024 salinity, adding salt to the LFS R/0 I'm buying. <Do see WWM re... I would keep your specific gravity near full seawater strength/concentration. 1.025-1.026... and steady> I read your site daily. Thanks for all your great advice. Cynthia Rice <This pic is not easy to make out... could be a small anemone (like Anemonia) or a Corallimorph, even an ascidian colony... Bob Fenner>
Re: Please ID
I took a look at the pic of Anemonia, it does look like that. But it retracts with any movement around it, like a feather duster and there was only one of them. Sadly, I have not seen him in 2 days. I did find a bristleworm, 3/8" of an inch kind, white while looking at the tank with a flashlight last night. We got him out with a net and flushed it. I haven't seen any other ones. We are going to Vilano Beach again this afternoon. I measured the ocean's sg. Lol. I'm sure the other folks on the beach thought I was a geek. <A curious, intelligent individual> Thanks and have a great day.
Cynthia Rice
<And you. BobF>

Not a Sea Apple, Likely a Syconoid Sponge - 4/19/08 <Hi Ash> I have a 10 gal. tank with 2 seahorses. I also have some plants. On a leaf there is a very small white thing. I don't know what it is, but it looks like a very, very small and white sea apple and I would love to know if you could tell me what it is. <It's most likely a harmless Syconoid sponge. Please see the following link for photos and more information: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf7.htm > Thanks, Ash <You're welcome! Lynn>

Eggs, using WWM  -04/11/08 good evening, <Trying to wake this morn...> first off, great site, must say must have saved my tank from total destruction many a times. I have a quick question. I was doing a regular water change, when i noticed in the bucket something that looked like eggs. Im not sure what part of the tank where they came from because i was cleaning all around the rocks. I have a 29G SW tank with roughly 25 pounds of LR, 1 blue damsel, 1 yellow tail blue damsel, 2 clowns, 1 domino, <I'd be watching this Dascyllus... likely a source of high-stress in time> 1stripe damsel, and a lemon peel angel. <Misplaced here... needs much more room> 2 turbo snail and 7 blue leg hermit crabs. tank parameters: SG 1.022, <... too low... see WWM re...> nitrate 0, ammonia 0, pH 8.1, temp 80, nitrate about 30. <... too high...> lighting 1 blue actinic and 2 white bulbs, pengiun filter, Fluval 304 and maxijet900 with wave deflector. <... no skimmer?> can you please help me identify if these are some eggs of the fish, crab, snail . <The last. Bob Fenner>

SW Aquarium ID if possible 3/20/08 Hi WWM Crew! Recently I've housed all my fish in QT due to Ich and Brooklynellosis outbreaks. But my question has to do with thousands of tiny things, almost unseen to the naked eye, in my main tank. At first we though they were part of the Ich parasite's life cycle, but upon closer inspection they appear to be baby fish. <Mmm, nope> One of my yellowtail blue damsels has had a bulging belly lately but we never saw her lay any eggs and she's quite small (not even an inch in length). I've tried searching the web but no luck. So I've attached a photo...are these guys baby damsels or something else? Thanks for your time! Tracy
<Something else... larval... shrimp! Neat-o! BobF>

Polyps of some sort in my sump? (sponge ID)  3/14/08 Crew - At some point I hope to have a refugium in my sump. For now there is no light, just a rock beside a bag of activated charcoal where my refugium may be one day. However, I have a new development in the past couple of weeks, and while I like to see new life, I have no idea what's going on here. Suddenly these little critters are all over my sump. Would you please identify and tell me if they are a positive or negative life form to have in the sump? <They are harmless Syconoid sponges. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf6.htm> I don't know if I should clean them out or rejoice that they exist. <It's your call. There's no need to clean them out if they're not bothering you.> Pics are attached. Thanks for any help, as always. Regards <De nada, Sara M.>

Re: Polyps of some sort in my sump? Wonderful! Thanks for the ID. Looks like my nutrient levels have risen to support these. I'll check to see if my skimmer pump filter is clogged since I have noticed reduced skimmate the past week - just before these little guys arrived. <Well, in many ways, they are little filters themselves. ;-) They usually come in boom and bust cycles. People seem to get them in droves all of a sudden, but then they don't last.> Joel
Sara M.>

Mystery Creature In My Reef? Scutus - 3/11/08 <Hi Aaron> I caught this guy in action last night and I've seen him from time to time. One time I observed him on the glass and his mouth parts look just like a snail's. <Heeee -- and for good reason! It *is* a snail/Gastropod!> What is he? <It appears to be a species of Scutus, aka a 'Shield Limpet', in the family Fissurellidae. This family also includes Keyhole and Slit Limpets. It also looks a bit like a Chiton, but the two antennae rule out that possibility.> Is he some type of Nudibranch? <No, although they're often mistaken as such.> Would he eat coral polyps? <It's possible. Scutus spp. are primarily herbivores, but reportedly may also feed on coral tissue.> Should I take him out of my reef? <It's up to you. I don't have any personal experience with these, but most people seem to love them. Apparently they can be very beneficial when it comes to grazing/removing algae.> I have a 75 gallon reef tank with tons of live rock, zoas, mushrooms, leathers, and LPSs corals. <Heeeee! You can add Scutus to the list now as well!> I've tried some of the more fleshy LPSs corals like open brains and candy canes and they seemed to have their flesh devoured. <Yikes! Although I've read cautionary statements regarding Scutus and corals, I've yet to read any actual accounts of coral predation within home aquaria.> Other LPSs corals like frog spawns, torches, bubbles, and galaxia do fine. Could this guy be the problem or is it more likely my flame angel? <Hmmmm. While I can't rule out the Scutus, based on their popularity with aquarists, it wouldn't be my first choice of suspects. I'd be more inclined to suspect the Flame Angel, possibly even a Tang, or one/several of the other usual 'picker' suspects (various crabs, shrimps, etc.)> The picture isn't the greatest, but it's the best I could get at night. <Understandable! The good news is that I think we're good to go. For more information/photos, please see the following links: http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=scutus http://www.poppe-images.com/images/search_results.php?category=Shells&family=FISSURELLIDAE > Thanks for your help! <You're very welcome! Take care, -Lynn>
Aaron Chandler

Hello wonderful people! Lotsa pix, disparate organisms, reading to do  03/11/2008 HI! I want to start by saying that I have read a large amount of your site content - about worms & feather dusters & live rock & coral & algae - I'm sure the questions I am asking are somewhere on your site, but I cant find the answers.. (and I have been saving my questions for about 3 weeks - to ask them all at once!) I put the pictures on a webpage - thinking perhaps it would be easier to see them in a separate browser, instead of downloading an email attachment? IF BY SOME CHANCE there are any pictures that you want to keep or use, feel free.. and if you would rather me send the pictures in email, i will.. http://www.nunyasworld.com/wetwebmedia.html <Ahh, very nice!> OK, picture #1 shows 2 things i am concerned about. On the left is a rock with what looks like a rust spot? <I agree... this does look ferrous... I would not be overly concerned if this is the only such rusty area... not likely very toxic here> This along with a couple of other things has me concerned that some of the rock (bought at LFS) is straight out of the ocean.. <?> On the right is something that resembles (to me) things i read about worms - or maybe coral? The pink growths on the rock.. <Sponge material... no worries...> #2 shows this odd crevice in a rock - it looks very flat & smooth - and has white spots/deposits on it.. my overactive imagination feels like maybe divers salvaged "something" out of the rock.. or that maybe there still is metal in there? <Looks like a bivalve to me... see the Net, pix with the name "Arca"> #3 this is from a small(10g) tank that i originally set up for a refugium, but there is no shared water source between them, so for now it is just a separate tank, that i put water from the bigger one into when i do water changes. All that is in it are 3 snails, 1 crab, and some small pieces of macro algae & live rock... up until a week ago I had a powerhead with sponge filter in there - and have taken that out and put just bubbles in.. trying to raise copepods and amphipods in there.. It is being overrun with this stuff that starts as 3a, and then ends up like 3b.. is this OK stuff? I cant even tell if it is algae or another type of aiptasia??(and my big tank is getting infested already with this pest)??? <Mmm, maybe a Hydroid, perhaps algal...> #4 shows something - perhaps a barnacle? there are some others i see in a hole on just this one rock, but i never see them stick out? <I see some algae...> #5 I'm concerned with my feather duster, his "feathers" have gotten thin as they are sticking out further than ever from the tube. I think it looks like he has a double head. Purchased him 6 weeks ago & for the first week he only stuck out of the tube about 1/2 -3/4 inch. THEN for the next 5 weeks he was normal - beautiful, and the heads were alternating this green color from one head to another. Kinda looked like pulsing-one head would be green - ten 2 seconds later the other one was green.. Now - for the last 2 days he has been stuck out a lot (still retracts though) - and I am hoping you tell me this is normal - or that maybe he is getting ready to lose a head? <Looks starved to me> The only 2 possible problems i need to mention are a) Seahorses have moved in and like to wrap their tails around the feather dusters base, but it doesn't look like they are squeezing.. <Still likely bothering it excessively... I'd move it> b) my water parameters are good -except for one thing the LFS told me i didn't need to worry about - the calcium is high, according to the testing kit - 600-700 ppm, <Way too high> could this affect the feather duster? <Yes> I have been mixing phytoplankton with brine shrimp and target feeding him, the coral, and the xenia.. Thank you for any info you can provide. and sorry for too many questions... for now i am leaving a link to the website, if that's OK, and then going to put a link on the main page - under my "donate" section.. and HOPEFULLY - if i ever get done dumping $$ into the tank, i will be sending a donation myself! -- Have a GREAT day! <Mmm, read on WWM re the above organisms... Their IDs, Systems... esp. Featherdusters. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hello wonderful people! Lotsa pix, disparate organisms, reading to do   3/12/08 I am writing again because either I am thick-headed, or something - but I don't understand one of my questions/ answers, pertaining to this picture here... <http://www.nunyasworld.com/num4.jpg> """"#4 shows something - perhaps a barnacle? there are some others i see in a hole on just this one rock, but i never see them stick out? <I see some algae...>""" do you see the 2 brown growths that look like bits of brown human hair, or just the ends of a feather duster? is that the algae you mentioned? <Yes. There is some, but not much likelihood that Cirripedians survived on/in such denuded rock> sorry for just not "getting it" - and hope you have a nice day... <You as well... Do you consider that the reddish-brown material may be byssus or such? Would you send along a better resolved pic of size? BobF> Re: Hello wonderful people! Algae and a Hydroid    3/12/08 You know I saw a picture of "byssus", and it looked similar.. Hopefully the picture attached is better? I stitched 4 pictures together, and on the far right shows how it looks as if every strand is attached with "goo".. remind me of the remnants of a human hair, if beaten with the rock... The larger one sticks out about 1/2 inch from the rock, the smaller about 1/4 inch. <Am sticking with my guess re the left hand pix being an algae... the right is almost assuredly a hydropolyp. BobF>

Lots to i.d.... Syconoid Sponges, Foraminiferan, and Sargassum  3/6/08 Hello! <Hi Pavlo, Mich here.> Let me just say that you guys are invaluable. <Wow! Thank you for the nice compliment.> I have spent a year researching & putting together my 125 gal "FOWLR to be reef someday" tank & I owe all that is good about it to you! <Well you had much to do with this success, you did the research, had the foresight to plan ahead.> It finally came to be in January. It has cycled, went through an algae bloom, and now has stabilized. No fish yet...starting that in a week or two. <OK.> I do have about 40 assorted snails (Cerith, Margarita, Astraea & Nassarius and 40 blue & red-legged hermits. <I personally am not a fan of hermits.> The 150lb of live rock is showing nice coralline growth <Good!> as well as aiptasia & Valonia. <Not so good!> I purchased 2 small emerald crabs for the Valonia (limited success) <Better to remove by hand.> and 2 Berghia Nudibranchs for the aiptasia. <Would not be my first choice.> They disappeared into the rockwork 5 min after I put them in the tank and are nowhere to be seen. <Happens.> Oh well. Water parameters: Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0, Phosphates 0, pH 8.4. Temp fluctuates between 79 & 81 with the halides, salinity is 1.026. There is a huge ball of Chaeto in the 30 gal DSB refugium/sump. <All sounds good.> Which leads me to my id questions. Out of nowhere, literally overnight, I found many, many of these things on my refugium baffles. Not on the fuge side of the baffle, but on the channel side. ((pic 3) if you can make them out). Pic 2 is an attempt at a close up of one. It's clear and stubby. Almost looks like a pod of some sort. <Is a Syconoid sponge, a harmless filter feeder that adds to the biodiversity of the system. More images here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaq3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf5.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spgidf7.htm > The last thing I put in my tank was the Berghia 5 days ago. Could it be related? <No, is not related.> As if that's not enough to take up your time, <Heehee! No worries!> what is the white branching thing next to the unknown algae on the live rock in pic 1. <Is a foraminiferan, be careful, these creatures sure can hurt your fingers, but are otherwise harmless.> The hermits & emerald crabs like to chew on the algae, so I suspect it's not bad, but I could be wrong. <The algae look like a Sargassum to me, just watch that it doesn't get out of control.> Any help with identification would be greatly appreciated as well as any advice on how to get rid of it (if that is what should be done) <Manual removal if it gets too bad.> Thanks again for your help & hard work! Pavlo
Please Help! (Live Rock Hitchhiker Paranoia) -- 03/04/08 So I got a piece of live rock from a guy on my local board (San Diego) and I immediately identified some Asterina anomala. <<Mmm, yes'¦a controversial genus/species. Some folks swear they consume their corals'¦others swear they have no problems at all with them>> And tonight I saw this guy near a piece of encrusting Montipora that appears to be receding. I was bummed before that I didn't dip and quarantine the rock and now I am even more scared. <<Dip? As in 'freshwater dip?' Quarantine, sure'¦ Cure if necessary, you bet'¦ But 'dip' as a prophylactic treatment for live rock? Not how I would treat 'my' rock. Seems such a waste to spend the money on live rock only to destroy so much of the emergent life on/in with a freshwater or medicated dip>> I am picking out everything I see. <<Really? Everything? Just because you found an Asterina spp starfish? Don't you think you might be overreacting? If you are certain an organism is harmful is one thing, but otherwise, you are defeating much of the purpose of introducing the rock in the first place (bio-diversity)>> Can I get an ID on this guy please? I think the red dot on him is a result of the tweezers but he is flat (so I thought flat worm) and has an obvious spine looking thing running down its back. The worm or whatever it is hard and curls up like a roly-poly out of the water. <<The pictures are not good at all'¦ But from what I can discern, and from your description, I'm fairly certain this is a Chiton (do a keyword search and see what you think), a beneficial algae/diatom scavenger'¦and certainly nothing to be fearful of re your livestock>> What are the odds that there are more of these, this guy is 4mm in length? <<The odds are very good there are more'¦if you are lucky [grin]>> Thank you! Mike <<Happy to share, Mike. Relax and enjoy/study the emergent life in/on your rock'¦most does turn out to be a 'good' thing. Regards, EricR>>

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: