Tag Archive: Invertebrates


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Vetigastropoda
Superfamily: Trochoidea
Family: Turbinidae

Genus/specie: Megastraea undosa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Wavy Turbin Snail has a heavy, sculptured shell with undulating ridges in a turbinate-conical shape with a thick, pearly lining.
The light brown or tan shell color is caused by the fibrous periostracum covered with coralline algae and other epiphytes.

Size: up to 6 inches

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found from Point Conception and the coastal Channel Islands to northern Baja California, Mexico. They range from the intertidal zone down to depths of over 250 feet.

DIET IN THE WILD: M. undosa are herbivores feeding on various types of algae.

REPRODUCTION; Year around with peaks in spring and fall.

CONSERVATION: Because wavy turban snails are hand-picked by divers, the fishery is at low risk for bycatch .
Wavy turban snails are abundantly available and have a high productivity rate, so over- harvesting is less likely.

REMARKS: The shells of wavy turban snails are used to make buttons!

The meat has an abalone-like texture and taste; foot of the snail is processed and sold to restaurants as an abalone-like product, “wav alone”.  They can be prepared many ways: grilled, sautéed, battered and fried, in pastas, in chowders and soups, and in stir fries.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Tidepool 2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/34539982943/in/dateposted-public/

Spearboard.com www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=99314

U of CA San Diego caseagrant.ucsd.edu/sites/default/files/fact-sheet-wavy-t…

Gastropods.com www.gastropods.com/2/Shell_292.shtml

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Qf

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Saturniidae

Genus/species: Rothschildia lebeau

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Wings are reddish-brown with an olive tinge. The four clear spots or four windows give it its Spanish name cuatro ventanars. It may live as a pupa for two or three years before becoming an adult which does not eat in their short lifetime.

Wing Span: 9 – 12.5 cm (3 1/2 – 4 15/16 in)

DISTRIBUTION: Southern Texas To South America. Found in thorn scrub,

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Level 3 2017 Vetting Tim Wong

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/33312191516/in/album-72157608449327886/

Butterflies and Moths of North America  www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Rothschildia-lebeau

Ohio State Univ. bugguide.net/node/view/151823

Chicago Botanical Garden  www.chicagobotanic.org/butterflies/rothschild_silkmoth

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1MF

TAXONOMY
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Corallimorphidae

Genus/species: Corynactis sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Note ball tipped tentacles. 

BallAnemone31690177025_2d4172bda6_k 

 

 

DISTRIBUTION: Tropical Indian, Central and Western Pacific Oceans

HABITAT: Reef associated

DIET: Small fish and zooplankton

REMARKS: This close relative of sea anemones has sticky ball-tipped tentacles.  Some species of shrimps and fish are immune to the stickiness and live within the tentacles.

Corallimorpharia (Corallimorph) is an order of marine cnidarians closely related to the true sea anemones (Actiniaria). They are mostly tropical, with a narrow column topped with a wide oral disc. The tentacles are usually short or very short, arranged in rows radiating from the mouth. Many species occur together in large groups. In many respects, they resemble the stony corals, except for the absence of a stony skeleton. 

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA17 Charles Delbeek

EOL eol.org/pages/75554/names

WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-ji

flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31690177025/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Faviidae

Genus: Caulastrea sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stony coral with a lightweight phaceloid skeleton which gives rise to plump circular polyps clustered on the end of branched stalks. Colors vary, usually green or brown.

 Caulastrea sp.32548578421_33e20ddf0b_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-West Pacific in tropical, protected, shallow reef slopes where the substrate is partly sandy,

REPRODUCTION: Can be easily fragmented and also reproduce by budding.

Remarks: One of the most remarkable and ecologically important features of these corals is that the polyps secrete a hard skeleton, called a ‘corallite’, which over successive generations contributes to the formation of a coral reef. The coral skeleton forms the bulk of the colony, with the living polyp tissue comprising only a thin veneer.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart, Color on the Reef AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 pages 285-286.

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32548578421/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1KX

Arkive: www.arkive.org/caulastrea/caulastrea-furcata/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actinodendronidae

Genus/species: Actinodendron plumosum

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Hell’s Fire Anemone is poorly described. It looks more like a coral than and anemone. The color of  A. plumosum can be light yellowish-green, tan, brown, light green or gray. They have an oral disc that is drawn out into branched tentacles tipped with white swellings resembling globular spheres. Their tree like shape is unique in comparison to other anemones. Size: up to 12″ (30 cm).

Hell fire anemone31862717602_e9e55aaff4_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific on coral rich slopes and drop offs with coral gravel, or in shallow sandy and muddy areas. They bury their foot and body into the substrate and adhere their foot to hard surfaces underneath, having only their oral disc and tentacles emerging. When disturbed they can retract their entire body into the sand and be virtually invisible.

REMARKS: The sting from these anemones can damage and even kill other corals and fish. They use their very powerful and venomous nematocyst found in their tentacles to sting and deflect any possible threats or attacks, as well as for capturing prey. In humans the stings can cause ulcers at the site which last for months.

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References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17  2017

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31862717602/in/album-72157659465376212/

EOL eol.org/pages/421192/details#habitat

Animal-World  animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Hells-Fire-Anemone

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink, http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8C

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Actiniidae

Genus/species: Entacmaea quadricolor

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Bubbletip Sea Anemone has an adherent base which attaches to the shape of the substratum. At the top of the column is a flattened oral disc with an oval mouth in the middle. The oral disc and column are smooth and brown, green, or occasionally a fluorescent reddish-orange. Tentacles are up to 10 cm (4 inches) length, often but not always inflated and balloonlike at the tips. 

Length up to 40 cm (16 inches)

Bubble tip anemone5389669474_fb02a667dc_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific, usually in deep crevices with only the tentacles visible.

Bubble tip anemone16122486362_7ee3a9b81d_o

DIET IN THE WILD: E. quadricolor captures prey using cnidocytes on their tentacles which contain many “stinging organs” known as nematocysts (or cnidae). Larger individuals generally have larger nematocysts used when prey drifts or swims into the tentacles of the anemone to immobilised and transport to the mouth via tentacle contraction. They are microcarnivores of plankton, supplemented with nutrition from zooxanthellae algal symbionts.

REPRODUCTION: Bubbletip Sea Anemones are roadcast spawners releasing gametes directly into water.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: They are symbiotic with many species of anemonefishes, such as the common clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

E. quadricolor has obligate photosynthetic zooxanthellae, brown algae, which live inside the anemone acting as a carbon and nitrogen source.

This anemone also exhibits biofluorescence.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef 2017 AQA16

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/31483022142/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s Worldpress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Kv

The University of Queensland

http://www.gbri.org.au/SpeciesList/Entacmaeaquadricolor%7CNicolaWood.aspx

SeaLifebase www.sealifebase.org/summary/Entacmaea-quadricolor.html

taxo4254.wikispaces.com/Entacmaea+quadricolor

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Hymenoceridae

Genus/species: Hymenocera picta

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Pinkish white body color with splashes of purple-edged pink spots. Stalked eyes and antennae flattened and leaf-shaped.

Length up to 5 cm (2 inches)

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Along the shores of East Africa, the Red Sea, to Indonesia, south to northern Australia and as far east as the Galapagos. Found on hard rocky or coral substrates, with lots of hiding places.

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DIET IN THE WILD: It is a nocturnal feeder hunting in pairs for sea stars, using its claws to pry sea stars off coral reefs flipping them on their back. They then take them to their dwelling-place on the reef, where they consume their the tube feet of sea stars.

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REMARKS: H. picta is known to feed on crown-of-thorns sea stars, so perhaps it should be considered a reef preservationists.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA15

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3270612381/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1K1

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hymenocera_picta/classificat…

EOL eol.org/pages/126747/details

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
Family: Stichodactylidae,

Genus/species: Stichodactyla tapetum

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tentacles short, bulbous variegated, multicolored pattern and densely packed. Often arrayed in fields on the entire disc. 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea covering the sand or reef like a carpet..

Diameter up to 4 inches

DIET IN THE WILD: Primarily by-products of symbiotic zooxanthellae as well as drifting plankton. 

REMARKS: Not known to host clown fish, but they are attractive to anemone shrimp and anemone crabs. In the wild, they are favored by Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) and Periclimenes spp. commensal shrimps.

They can give a potent sting if touched.

 

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA11 2016

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Stichodactyla_tapetum/classi…

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24745127802/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-iW

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Hippolytidae

Genus/species: Thor amboinensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: This distinctively colored brown-orange prawn with large white spots is a stout shrimp with short legs and claws. Eyes are white. The distinctive vertical position and movement of the abdomen earn this shrimp its common name of “sexy.”

 

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Length up to 2 cm. (0.8 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Common in tropical seas worldwide. Found in Coral reefs; in association with anemones such as form symbiotic relationships with anemones such as Entacmaea quadricolor, Macrodactyla doreensis, Stichodactyla tapetum, and Zoanthus sp., living on and around their oral discs, tentacles, or substrate very near to anemone bases.

Sexy shrimp4104005971_290c048ff2_o
DIET IN THE WILD: Sexy shrimp are carnivorous feeding on matter trapped in a host anemone’s mucus, including plankton. Their diet may also include other small crustaceans, such as brine shrimp and krill. When resources are scarce, shrimp may resort to feeding on the tentacles of their hosts.

REPRODUCTION: Mating is polygynandrous (promiscuous).  T. amboinensis are sexually dimorphic. Males are typically smaller than females and have white spots on their pleopods. Sexy shrimp are protandric hermaphrodites; there are no primary females but that all individuals are born male and transition into females later in life.

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Lifespan ave. 3.5 years

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST Not Evaluated

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA11
2017

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3574925860/in/album-72157659465376212/

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Thor_amboinensis/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Jv

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Scyphozoa
Order: Rhizostomeae
Family: Catostylidae

Genus/species; Catostylus mosaicus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The blue, white or brown colors are derived from pigment produced by the jellyfish itself (not symbiotic algae, as in some other jellyfish). There is no obvious mouth on the underside, but there are small openings on each of its eight arm, through which food is passed to the stomach. Diameter up to 30 cm (18 in)  

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in coastal waters of Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

DIET IN THE WILD: The tentacles also have stinging cells that can capture tiny crustaceans and other plankton.

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REMARKS: The Chinese believe eating jellies will reduce high blood pressure. Dried jellies are popular in many Asian countries, especially Japan, where they’re considered a culinary delicacy. The texture is reportedly crispy, yet elastic—hence the name “rubber band salad” for a dish sold in China.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef  2017 AQA10

EOL eol.org/pages/203402/details

Monterey Bay Aquarium  www.montereybayaquarium.org/animal-guide/invertebrates/bl…

WordPress  https://brianeyes21comcast.net/2016/09/18/9-9-16-blue-blub…o-pacific-series/   Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1In

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/29482409560/in/album-72157659465376212/

 

 

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