Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 49

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 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 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 Identification, LR 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,

Very interesting...

Fangs... Cirripedian? 10/22/09
Hello all, I have searched the internet high and low trying to figure out what this critter is. It has been living in a hole on a star polyp rock for over a year now but I have only been able to catch a quick glimpse of it a
few times. Today it is just out sunning itself and not shy about it. It has never bothered anything in the tank to my knowledge. It looks like a large pair of spider fangs covered in very long hairs. It does not appear to have any type of tube it has formed like a type of feather duster, in fact I am fairly certain I have seen it poke out of a few different holes in the rock. The part it shows is about a half inch long in total length. and
forms a Y before reaching into the darkness of its hole. I have looked at every identification website I could find and have been unable to find anything close. Any help at all would be great. I am sorry for the poor
quality picture, it is the best my camera could do. Thank you for your help.
<Does the tentacular portion "fish?". I.e. move back and forth, in an inward motion? As a static image, my guess is on this being a Barnacle...
IF non-moving, a Polypoid animal of some kind, perhaps a Zoanthid. At any length, not likely hazardous to your other livestock. Bob Fenner>

ID Please -- Sponge? Coral? Pest? Nope: Tunicate -- 10/18/09
<Hello Crystal, Lynn here this evening.>
I have no real way to describe this hitchhiker.
<It's a beauty!>
It is about an inch round, oval shape. Last time I thoroughly inspected the live rock was about 3 weeks. That particular rock has been in my tank since April (it passed through 3-4 hobbyist tanks before reaching me). It is in a very shady spot. It seems to be uniformly attached to the rock (i.e. no clear base like Aiptasia) and doesn't seem to react to touch, movement, or light change. Looks kind of 'feathery'... Very pretty actually.
<Yes, indeed.>
Can you ID it? I tried Google, several marine forums, but have found nothing.
<It looks like a neat, harmless, little Tunicate/Ascidian colony. Please see the following links for more information/photos: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ascidians.htm
Something similar in the genus Clavelina (family Polycitoridae): http://guamreeflife.com/images/organisms/fullsize/inverts/ascidians/
http://www.ascidians.com/families/polycitoridae/Clavelina_moluccensis/clavelinamollus.htm >
picture: [url]http://i445.photobucket.com/albums/qq176/c_scherer123/aquarium/Saltwater/unknown1.jpg[/url]
<You're very welcome!>
<Take care, LynnZ>

Salt water tank question - tadpoles? 10/17/09
<Hi there>
My husband and I are great fans of your site and have used it to ID many of our hitchhiking creatures. We have a 30 gal saltwater tank, sand and crushed coral substrate, several pounds of live rock, some hermit crabs,
and 3 damsels. The tank has been set up less than a year and is very basic.
We've also had bristleworms (or something similar), Aiptasia, Gammarids, spaghetti worms etc as a result of hitchhiking in on LR. Now for my question! Sometimes, after the lights in the tank have been out for a few
hours, we will turn the light back on to see what night time creatures we have. On several occasions, we have turned the light on to find 50-100 tiny tadpoles (that honestly look exactly like sperm with a head and tail)
swimming through the water. They are very small, 2 mm or less. I have tried taking pictures, but the size makes it impossible. Any idea what they could possibly be?
<Many possibilities... likely either some sort of worm or crustacean (there are even some called "tadpole shrimp!")>
We have never seen any sign of eggs floating through the water during the same period of time and have witnessed these sperm type things on several occasions. Could something in our tank be trying to spawn? Any information
you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for your help!
<A neat planet eh? I'm not leaving! The more one looks, the more there is to see. Bob Fenner>

Red Stringy Creature: Likely Cirratulid -- 10/14/09
<Hello Lori, Lynn here this morning.>
Since I put up my salt water tank (6 months ago), right next to the glass burrowing down through the substrate, is a thin red line. I have noticed that it has like a tangled mass of red with several 3" thread like tentacles coming from the sand and flowing with the current. Yesterday it relocated itself. But it doesn't seem to be bothering anything. What is it?
<Sounds like a Cirratulid (family Cirratulidae) commonly known as a 'hair worm'. These Polychaetes are beneficial/harmless, detritus/organic particulate matter feeders, typically orange, red, brown, or black in color, <2' in length, segmented, narrow, substrate dwellers, with filaments (gills/"branchiae") arranged along the length of the body. For more information/photos, please see the many WWM FAQ's regarding, as well as the following article:
Enter the term Cirratulid in our Google search engine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm
Here's something to get you started (see second FAQ listed: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polychaeidfaq2.htm
Lori A. Pickett
<Take care, LynnZ>
Red Stringy Creature: Likely Cirratulid -- 10/14/09
Thank you for your help :)
<It was a pleasure, Lori. Take care, LynnZ>

ID a few things and green film algae 10/12/09
Good evening.
I was wondering if you could help me ID a few things in my reef tank.
The tank has been up over a year and having battled Cyano, hair algae and red slime in it's infancy it's been stable but always evolving as new life forms seemingly appear from no where. The first is an algae like looking plant, kind of like little branches that are tan.
<Looks like bleached Derbesia... but can't really make out much... this image is too poorly resolved>
to have increased a bit lately and are in high areas of flow. The second thing is the little pink "bulbs" that are on the shaft of the candy cane coral. Is this some type of coralline?
<Maybe... more likely some sort of sponge>
This pic was taken about 3 hours after lights out which is why most of the corals are closed up.
On another note, I recently had a bad batch of salt that I had talked to Justin about. The manufacturer (not the LFS) confirmed this and gave me a free bucket of salt as well as refunded me the money for the bad salt. So that was cool that they honor and care about the positive view of their product, but needless to say I will be more diligent in testing all new batches when mixing prior to introduction into the display tank, even if the test results for the previous four buckets of said salt were perfect.
<Good points>
Anyway, if this is someone other than Justin, I really appreciated the many responses and troubleshooting he helped me with on this matter.
I have been getting Alk and ca slowly but surely back in balance, but the Ca dive my tank took as well as the soon to follow Alk stability (and the possible more than liberal use of oyster feast during this decline...which for the time being I wont be using) caused a bit of coralline die off and also introduced green film algae on my side and back glass. Will this subside with proper care in nutrient import/feeding and export/water changes (with properly balanced salt mix) and syphoning/turkey baster blow off of rocks/ filter maintenance or is manual removal really needed to get a foothold?
<Likely the former>
I was afraid to try to remove too much at a time thinking it might cause a spike in my water column if it is holding absorbed nutrients.
I do 2 %5 WCs weekly or at least 1 10% WC a week.
<Better to do the 10% all at once... in terms of water quality improvement... or better... 20% every one or two weeks.>
I usually target Ca
at 420 Alk at 8.5 and pH at 8.1-8.3 daytime/nighttime, which is pretty close right now since the salt mix fiasco (Ca is now at 440 and Alk at 7 with pH fine after several small WCs during the last week). It was at 320 Alk 13 at the beginning of this problem.
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and Phosphate undetectable with pretty new test kits.
My tank is also a little light on CUC I think (5 Astreas, 5 hermits in a 20 gal long). I have heard Turbos are good but they seem a bit large for my tank and my LFS only carries them and Astreas...no Trochus which I have heard are better than Astreas but smaller than Turbos. I am at my fish limit with my 2 clowns and watchman goby so I don't want to give a death sentence to a Blenny or something like that to try to control it. I also have a small emerald crab, a cleaner shrimp, and the Watchman's best friend: a tiger pistol shrimp. The tanks flow/filtration is 20 lbs of live rock, Aquaclear 70 running Chemi-pure (what is the normal exhaust rate on that BTW?
<Best to switch out/rotate (one/two present at all times... the older one on top...) every month or two>
I have had this pouch for over 3 months but rinse it weekly with changed out tank water right before I clean out the sponge) and Purigen that is still white/the lightest of tan. I have 2 Aquaclear 147gph powerheads on opposite sides of the tank for additional flow.
I am thinking about getting an Aqua C Nano skimmer but can't do for a bit. Had a SeaClone but it started to leak (which from what I have heard it will do if you ever take it apart to clean it properly....wish I had that $80 bucks back...it never really pulled out much at it's "peak") and have been skimmerless for 6 months without problems (when I started using Chemi-Pure) until possibly lately. Not an easy venture to get a quality skimmer on a 12" tall tank without a sump that really does much without taking up valuable real estate, and it seems the best Nano ones are made to fit in the BioCube type tanks where they are hidden but would be huge in a tank like mine...but the Aqua C Nano seems to have gotten pretty good responses from folks with tanks similar to my tanks footprint and setup.
<Is a good unit I'll warrant>
Haven't heard a lot of reliable info on the Prism, which also size wise would do my tank good in that aspect but haven't heard much about its skimming ability or its ability to not have to be tuned daily like the SeaClone had to be. At any rate, I would like a great HOB skimmer (great for an HOB) without much of it actually in the tank if possible.
Sorry or the long email, I just wanted to include what my tank husbandry is, where it has been and possibly where it needs to be to get the film, and possibly more stuff that hasn't happened yet, under control.
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: ID a few things and green film algae 10/12/09
Good morning,
Here are what are I hope a better images that might make ID a little easier. First the Pink bulb like spikes but also you can see the tan algae stuff to the left, it looks like craft moss for making crafts in the picture:
<The "pink stuff" are assuredly Poriferans>
And now a close-up. This never started out green or as die off, it comes in like this and is present in high flow areas that are mostly low in light.
<... maybe Hydroids... again not enough resolution/acuity to tell. B>

Re: ID a few things and green film algae 10/13/09
Thank you on the id of the sponges, I have them all over my rock as well...and more seem to sprout up all the time. Sorry about the resolution of the other life form. They are quite small and hard to get a decent photo of. I will continue to observe and research. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
<Welcome Keith. BobF>

Red sponge? 10/5/09
Good evening crew-
<Morrow, Dan>
Just got these nice clove polyps, and found a bright red hitch-hiker on them. It has now strung anchor cables to the aquarium wall. AM I correct that it is some type of sponge?
<Mmm, I wish the pic was a bit better resolved and larger... But I think this/these are Ascidians, Sea Squirts. See here re:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Red sponge? - 10/06/2009
Thank you. I think the photo of the red grouping (in the link provided) is probably my mystery guest. I'll see about getting a better photo.
Appreciate the help.
<Real good. BobF>

Re: Red sponge?
Thanks for the reply earlier. I have one more photo, showing more of the anchor cables and some antennae-like tentacles.
<Likely another group of organisms here... Hydropolyps/Hydrozoans...>
Seems to be a good fit for the Ascidia family.
<Mmm... other taxon>
I wouldn't anticipate being able to keep them healthy for long in a clean reef system. Does that sound correct?
<Are indicative of good, consistent care... Can live there. Please see the linked files above: http://wetwebmedia.com/ascidpt2.htm
Bob Fenner>

unknown critter 10/2/2009
It was in the fresh to low saline part of the Tomoka River just north of Daytona Beach, Fl, about a foot long and swimming.
<Really? As your email address notes you as some sort of state civil servant, I'll take it this is an earnest query... but still state that this looks like some artificial contrivance. Maybe it's a colorful "tag" attached to a turtle, marine mammal, even a large fish... to allow surface tracking. Bob Fenner>

Re: unknown critter 10/2/2009
Thanks for your thoughts, and yes - this is not in jest. It was observed by someone who has no reason to be playing a gag either, we're all scratching our heads as well. No additional photos or higher resolution exist.
FYI - Here's are some of the other responses provided:
Guesses so far: weird Polychaete; weird isopod; weird mutant gar;
mudskipper; freshly-scarred manatee; part of something else swimming beneath the surface; Loch Tomoka Monster; and "are we sure this is living"?
<Heee! Am pretty sure this is/was a "lure"... Really... did you try to "catch it"?>
Maybe the caterpillar of the banded sphinx moth, Eumorpha fasciatus - it's common around here and feeds on water primrose at the edge of ponds (and apparently falls in sometimes; images attached).
<Too big for this... and swimming?>
Juvenile alligator (image attached).
Charles Kovach
Senior Scientist
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, SW District
13051 North Telecom Parkway
Temple Terrace, FL 33637-0926
<Mmmm, Will keep your email addy... and hope that amongst the bunch of folks who peruse our Daily FAQs, that someone will have a better guess than moi. Thank you for sending this along. Bob Fenner>

Something wacky... WWM ID 10/3/09
Lynn... pls take a gander/look at the query in your in-folder... What the Dicken's is this? B
Re: Something wacky... WWM ID
Hello Bob!
I don't know for sure what that thing is, but it's been driving me nuts since I saw it last night. I actually laughed when I saw the photos. I thought it was a prank until I saw who sent it. Right off the bat, it looked to me like one of those jelly-type worm lures you use for Bass fishing. You can get ten inch ones that look pretty darn similar and come in a variety of colors. Here's a nice blue one for comparison: http://www.californiabasscraft.com/bassintalk/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Mav_Donk_MavMang.jpg
I figured either someone had set the hook just under and behind the "head" area and dragged it underwater with a fishing rod/line or else some unfortunate fish/turtle/whatever had the thing snagged and was dragging it around. The thing is, I've never seen any snake or worm swim in a straight line, stretched out, as this one appears to be doing. Even epitokes with swimming paddles don't swim straight. That thing appears to be swimming like it's got a bunch of legs underneath doing a neat little dog paddle!
One thing that did come to mind is a big Glycerid...a bloodworm - Glycera dibranchiata. Apparently they're indigenous to the area and although they're mostly marine, can tolerate brackish. They can get pretty big, too (up to ~15"+) but they're mostly burrowers. The adults do come up to the surface in the middle of the summer to spawn but the timing isn't right. Also, the head isn't right - Glycerid's are conical/pointed. Unless what I'm seeing is actually a partially everted pharynx, then that rules out this possibility. Beyond that, you still have the problem of the way it's swimming. These guys are not good swimmers so moving forward in a straight line seems unlikely.
<Looks too shiny, symmetrical... I tried: "big rubbery red lures" in search tools... I do wish there were extant optical characterization programs, id for such graphics... this thing is unnatural though. I do wish "they" would have tried to capture/collect "it">
There's something else tickling the back of my mind as another possibility but I can't quite put it together yet. If/when I do, I'll let you know.
Take care,
<Thank you Lynn. BobF>

Re: Something wacky... WWM ID -- 10/3/09
Yep, it looks too unnatural/contrived (especially the color), like some fishing lures I've seen. At one point I briefly considered the possibility that it might be a chain of creatures - that the thing in the front was dragging the rest. That would account for the straight line (except for the anterior portion), but that doesn't fit either. By the way, I finally remembered what was at the back of my mind - a Salp chain but that's way off too - wrong place, wrong color, wrong shape. I'm calling this thing Tomokus hinkyus!
Take care,
<Heeee! Good as name as any! BobF>
Re: unknown critter
Thanks for all the thoughts, it's driving us crazy too!
<I suspect we'll have an answer that satisfies soon. BobF>

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: