Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 14

Related Articles: Marine Invertebrates, 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 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 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 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

Creature ID   3/14/06 Hi, <Good morning from HI> I would really appreciate it if you could identify this curious creature residing in my (almost) reef tank (one small addition at a time). Unfortunately, I cannot give you much information as I have only seen the creature once for less than a second as it 'swam' (perhaps wriggled) away from the torchlight at 4am in the morning (I am this determined to get a good look). <And no pic?> For the last week I have noticed that a 'structure' is being built up against a chunk of live rock, suspended off the coral sand substrate. Each morning this structure has more material added to it. <Neat> The first part of the structure is made with grains of coral sand, is about 10mm long, appears to be round and the grains appear to be glued in some way. This structure grew for a couple of nights to a total length of 20mm. Next, a large snail shell had been moved (again through the night) across the aquarium bottom and was held to this structure.  Now, the method of adhesion can be seen.  Thin threads of spider like silk hold the large shell to the structure.  The shell is resting on the Coral sand and not suspended. The next night (last night) a small snail shell had been moved into place and held up to the rest of the structure, suspended off the bottom. This morning, I decided to try and spot it.  I used a torch to see into the tank and spotted for less than a second what appeared to be a fish like creature.  It was about 30mm long and brown in colour.  I am sorry, but this is as good as the description gets.  Tonight I intend to set the camera up on a tripod and in the morning (while it is still dark) take a 'blind' photo and hope the blighter is there at that time. I hope that you may have an idea what this is given the vague information I have provided. <Do send along the image... cropped to show the organism, structure at good size> While on the subject of night observing, would a red light be a better option to use for looking into the aquarium in the dark hours? <Yes> If not, is there a colour that the creatures are less startled by or even better, cannot sense? <Red spectra are best, but blue will work and look much more "natural"> For your information, my tank is 90 gallons and still fairly young at 6 months old. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your work on WWM.  On many occasions I have been in a state of anxiety worrying that what I have in my tank may be bad.  The use of this site has always proved helpful and put me at ease. My thanks in advance Tim <Don't know what this animal is... likely a crustacean of some sort... Bob Fenner>
Creature ID   3/15/06 Hi Bob, <Tim> Many thanks for your speedy reply. <Welcome> Attached is a photograph of the structure that has been built.  It starts at the top left of the picture, goes up and over the top of the rock and then down (this bit is made of coral sand). <I see it> The next bit you see is a long thin shell, below this a small snail shell and then at the bottom, a large snail shell.  The quality of the photo is insufficient to show resolution of the silk strands but they can be seen if you know where they are.  They are connected to the large snail shell at the 10'Oclock region and go up to join the rock just above the small snail shell.  As you can see, the large shell is not completely resting on the sand, but is held up a small amount by the 'silk'. I still have not had a good look at the creature yet or since glimpsed it at all.  Is there any crustacean that use silk as an adhesive? <Mmm, yes> To give you a rough idea of scale, the circular base of that large shell is about the size of an old penny. If I do manage a picture of the creature, I will send it over to you. Regards Tim <Look forward to seeing it/this... Again, likely a crustacean of some sort... second mega-guess, a worm... Bob Fenner>

What is this?   3/10/06 Good afternoon Bob, Thanks for such  a wonderful website, packed with so much information. I have attached a photo of something I just found climbing on my aquarium glass, could you please identify this for me and is it harmful or poisonous? Thanks Catscot <Mmm, looks to be a gastropod of some sort (the appearance of the foot here), but could be a polypoid animal of some sort. I would leave it be, enjoy it. Bob Fenner>

Invert ID/Barnacle?   03/9/06 Greetings! <Hello Orlando> I'll start off by saying that I've learned a lot from your site and am still learning something new each day. <Keep reading my friend.> You guys are awesomeous!!! I've had my tank set up for over a year now and new critters still pop out of my rocks now and then. The latest one I can't identify anywhere I search and still cannot photograph it clearly enough to send. I added an extra pump for circulation and aimed it towards some rocks, when suddenly out of a tiny hole in a rock (this particular rock was added about 3 weeks ago) I see what is similar to the stalks/leaves on carrots but black instead of green. They seemed to be retracting in a little then folding into a mouth in the center, as if filter-feeding. I added some food (reef chili) into the current and it went nuts grabbing as much of the particles as possible and shoving them into its mouth. What is this? Does it ring a bell? The arms don't look like the feathers on the featherworms nor do they look like tentacles. Right now it is about half an inch in diameter when fanned out and each branch is so thin that the camera barely captures it.  On video it's easier to see. <Sounds like a type of barnacle to me.  Pics would help.  James (Salty Dog)> Orlando

Invert ID  - 03/05/06 Here are the pics I was able to get,  Thanks for your assistance.  My regards to Bob, John <Bob is out on a well earned vacation.  James again.  John, the pics dictate a type of cucumber or slug, I'd probably lean toward a cuke.  Bob may know exactly what it is.  Hopefully he will insert something here.  James (Salty Dog)> -- "FAQ Crew" <crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com> wrote: Thank you for contacting us at WetWebMedia.com Your reply is below Invert ID Anyone have any information on an Invertebrate "Crytoplax <Cryptoplax> larvaeformis" I believe I found one in my tank last night. I found a close illustration in Julian Sprung's Invert book. It is about the size of your little finger 2" - 2 1/2" long, 1/2" in Diameter. It has a leathery type skin and a row of what looks like plates or points along the top length and a white cartilage looking thing running the Length of the underside. It resembles a garden slug. I will try to post photo's. <Do send photo and we me be able to identify.> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> John Janda <<? They are/were attached... some 4 plus megs worth. Is this not uncommon Chiton. Bob Fenner>>

Tiny Transparent Jelly-Like Creature On Live Rock!   2/24/06 Wait... he's not on the rock anymore, now he is on one of my blue hermits!       Good morning.  I am upgrading my 10 gallon to a 29 gallon and just purchased 26 pounds of Marshall Island live rock.  There are many wonderful things living on the rock, but one thing in particular really has me perplexed.     At first I thought that it was just some sort of hairs or antennae protruding from the rock.  Upon closer inspection, though, I noticed that there are two long (approximately 5-6 inches long) hairs that resemble 2 single feathers which wiggle about and take in floating materials from the water.  As material hits one of the "feathers", the material is moved extremely quickly down to the "body".  At first glance, the "body" looks like dead transparent sponge, or some jelly-like substance on the rock.  (Mind you, the rock is not completely cured so the blob is difficult to distinguish from the many dead "blobs" on the rock.)  The strange thing, though, is that this thing actually moves in the tank.  He is normally seen perched on the exact same spot throughout the day, but yesterday he had disappeared from his happy spot in a well lit area and I found him on one of my nearby crabs!  The thing didn't seem to enjoy the ride on the crab's back for too long because about a half hour later the thing was back in his favorite spot.       Do you have any idea at all what this thing might be?   <Mmm, could be a few things... A ctenophore, crinoid, hydrozoan, polychaete...> I have drawn a picture since it is too difficult to get a clear picture of it.  He is just less than a half-inch long in "body"  but the "feathers" are nearly 6 inches long each and retract, move rapidly (not just due to water flow) and the "feathers" also move food in the same manner as a starfish moves food towards its mouth, only much much quicker.  The "body" sometimes appears to be triangular in shape like a tiny Hershey's kiss, but at other times the "body" is just a blob.  The "feathers" also appear to be retractable.  Could it be harmful or possess stinging capabilities? <Possibly... but will likely "cycle out" of its own accord... Short answer/primary mentat projection: I would leave it> I would really rather not touch it to find out! Thank you so much for your help!   Carrie
<What a planet eh? I'm not leaving! Bob Fenner>

Re: Tiny Transparent Jelly-Like Creature On Live Rock!   2/24/06 Thank you so much, Bob!!!  I searched the web for the terms of possible creatures that you thought the mysterious blob might be and found that it has to be a purse jelly (Coeloplana)! <Ahh! A ctenophore after all... What's that saying? "Stick with your first guess"> Absolutely amazing!  Thank you again for your expertise! You're "The Man"! (Just don't let it go to your head...) Carrie <Heeee! Too much about to keep me humble... forever! BobF>

Little Bug-Like Creatures - 02/22/06 Hi, <<Hello>> I have a tank that has been running for about 6 months, and has LR, various polyps, corals, a pistol shrimp, 4 fish, hermit crabs, snails, 2 conches, and a serpent starfish.  I just converted my wet/dry into a refugium with live sand, some live rock, and some mangrove seedlings (I think they are seedlings).  A few weeks ago at night I began noticing a few of these little translucent creatures spinning around and swimming all over the water.  They have a few legs, with the front (or it could be back) 2 legs curved outward.  It's almost impossible to get a photo because they are moving very fast.  Tonight when I looked there were literally a few hundred of these creatures at the top of the water. Are these creatures a problem? <<Unlikely>> I have read about copepods etc, and did a little research but these look at least to be different than anything I have seen in photos.  The weird thing is that they mainly stay at the top of the water.  Should I be alarmed about this? <<I wouldn't be.>> Are they bugs?  Larvae of some kind? <<Likely a "pod", small crustacean of some kind brought in even "hatched" from your live rock.  Many possibilities...and very likely harmless, if not beneficial.>> Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks again! Dave Sheehan <<Regards, EricR>>

Identify these pics of marine life from my tank!   2/22/06 Hi! This is Sam from India. I wanted you to please try and identify these pictures of marine life which i clicked from my aquarium. Most of the life is collected from my local areas. Common names, Latin names or even something close to will be fine, as i can then refer to their special care for long life! The main stuff to id is the anemone fish and the anemones. waiting for reply, thanks. regards Sam <... These are all ID'd on WWM... with the exception of the "Red Anemone" (don't know what this is... the Carpet is a Haddoni... and the Tube Anemone... a Cerianthus... not kept together, hard to keep individually... the Clowns are Clarkii's... See WWM re Identification by group, then their Systems... all posted. Bob Fenner>

Microscopic Tubes? Polychaete ID, Likely Spirorbids - 02/13/2006 I was wondering if you could help me identify what is growing in my tank. <I'll try.> Especially my canister filter. I've looked all around the site but obviously in the wrong places. About a month ago I noticed a few tiny white calcareous looking growths attached to the basket inside my canister filter. Now the inside is COVERED and they're starting to appear on the inside of the tank itself, on the powerheads and glass. Looking closely they look to be tiny spiraling tubes. What are these things? <Most definitely a tube dwelling polychaete worm, I'd bet spirorbids.> Do I have a problem on my hands? <Hmm...I don't know, but your tank is fine;)> Thanks for any help.   <Sure. - Josh> Small, White, Spiral Growths - 02/06/2006 Hi I have new saltwater aquarium, been running about 2 months. Everything is looking great and doing well. I have noticed some white coral looking organisms that are showing up on the glass. They're half moon shaped, kinda spirally about 1/16th on an inch diameter, any help with identifying these and make sure they're ok. <Well Ryan, based on your description, I'm pretty sure these are spirorbids. Totally harmless Polychaete worms.> Thank You, Ryan
<Gladly. - Josh>

Strange Growth ID   2/6/06 Sorry about the previous attempt at email. I have a Mac with I Photo   and apparently the two machines can't talk to each other in Mac language.   <I know the feeling.> I'll try this the old way.  It still shows up as a photo rather than as a  standard attachment.  If it doesn't work sorry I wasted your time. <It came across fine.> Was hoping you could identify these guys that recently popped up and are growing fast on the underside of a brain coral skeleton.  They   are quite cool looking but seem to be spreading....a problem?  They are pink and shaped like staghorn but translucent and don't seem to be rigid. <It looks to me like they're a bit of flesh from the coral that somehow survived. LPS Corals are well-known for this.> Sorry about the blenny.....he's become quite the camera ham.....can't take a picture of anything without him getting in the frame. <Hah... I originally assumed that your Critter ID was for the Blenny.> Thanks for your time. Janie
<Best of luck! Mike G>

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: